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No Viking Cup soccer tournament Memorial Day weekend; may be rescheduled
POULSBO — For the second time in three years, changes in the youth soccer season schedule have forced the cancellation of the Viking Cup youth soccer tournament.
North Kitsap Soccer Club president Aaron Vernik wrote on the club’s website that the annual Memorial Day weekend tournament is canceled. He said the decision was made in January.
The club’s sanctioning organization, Washington Youth Soccer, does not allow tryouts until May. That poses a challenge for teams.
“Due to the timing of mandated tryout dates in recent years, NKSC has noted a challenge for teams to form or existing teams to commit to the event,” he wrote. “These circumstances hampered efforts to ensure a successful and competitive tournament during the holiday weekend.”
The club will form a committee to look into possibly changing the date of the tournament or altering the format. “As far as possibly running a replacement day event, that’s kind of up in the air,” he said. “We’re not confident it will happen in 2011. We’ve got a lot going on right now that’s taking a lot of our energy. Our sister association in South Kitsap has folded, and so our North Kitsap association, which we share with Jefferson County and Bainbridge Island, has increased with seven clubs.”
There was no tournament in 2009 after changes in the youth soccer season schedule caused it to conflict with other events. It returned in 2010 — its 25th anniversary year — with 46 girls teams and 25 boys teams competing over three days in Poulsbo and Kingston.
During the Viking Cup’s heyday, when teams were allowed to start practicing in March, the tournament attracted 120 teams and netted the North Kitsap Soccer Club $12,000 to $15,000 for its programs. The smaller 2010 tournament yielded about $6,000 for the club — that’s a tough rate of return for the hundreds of volunteer hours required to plan, organize and host the tournament, Vernik said.
The North Kitsap Soccer Club has more than 1,300 players. The club participates in leagues hosted by the Northwest Sound Youth Soccer Association and Washington State Youth Soccer Association District 4.
The North Kitsap Soccer Club offers a range of youth soccer programs, including developmental, recreational and competitive levels whose teams compete in House, District and State leagues. Players are age 5 to 19.
Tournaments began this week elsewhere in Washington state: the Lilac Festival Soccer Classic, May 20-22, in Spokane; the Northwest Invitational, May 20-22, in Tukwila; the Northwest United Skagit River Cup, May 20-22, in Burlington; the Yak Attack 5v5, May 21-22, in Yakima; the Starfire Memorial Day Cup, May 27-30, in Tukwila; the Rock On! 3v3, May 28-29, in Oak Harbor; and the Washington Soccer Academy Memorial Day Five-a-side, May 28-30, in Camas.