Out of town youth football tournaments are an excellent end of season treat for many youth football teams. Pop Warner, AYF and other organizations have regional and national title programs that are the goal of many youth football coaches in those leagues.
When I played youth football, our team traveled to Las Vegas, Kansas City, Nashville and Atlanta to play in tournaments. It was a great way to see how we stacked up to competition outside Nebraska. I still can recall those memories, losing just one of those games in overtime in Las Vegas to an all-star team from California.What are these tournaments like and as a youth football coach should my teams play in one? Coaching youth football means having a lot of influence on deciding to take these games or not.
There are more independent youth football organizations than Pop Warner and AFL combined and the independents play in various youth football tournaments throughout the USA. The tournaments vary in size and quality as does anything in life. That is one of the big advantages of the Pop Warner National Tournament, you know that the weekend will be a quality event and the rules will be enforced.
Most of these tournaments are done over the Thanksgiving Holiday and your team plays 2-3 games. Your football team is put in a bracket based on pre-set age and sometimes weight restrictions. Most tournaments have gone to unlimited weight with running back weights, with a few still having some total weight restricted divisions.
Back in my day, we lived in a different society and lived under different rules. We would play youth football teams from all over the country right here in Omaha at seasons end. The opposing players would stay in our homes during their stay.Our family made some life long friends through this process. I will never forget flying to Las Vegas in 1973, this being the first exciting plane ride for about 90% of our players.