Blair County, Pa (WTAJ)- For the first time, the Northern Blair County Recreation Center held a Stay and Play 3×3 soccer tournament. This weekend, over 100 kids from 26 teams competed in 3×3 soccer in Altoona.
The Stay and Play concept is part of a partnership with Delgrosso’s Park. In the morning, kids will play soccer in the rec center fields. Then, they would stay at Delgrosso’s Park in the afternoon with their free all-day pass. The tournament took about a month and a half to plan.
Teams that played in the tournament Saturday were youth-level soccer players. Teams that played Sunday are the varsity and junior-high boys and girls. Northern Blair County Recreation Center Youth Soccer Director, Alex Bartlett, says they started the tournament to capitalize on the popularity of soccer and 3×3 style.
“One of the reasons we’re holding the tournament is to grow soccer in general in our area,” Bartlett said. “And to capitalize on a really good market to give kids the opportunity to play 3×3 soccer.”
General Manager of NBCRC Jamie Levinson says that the soccer program at the center is rapidly growing. He hopes that the success of this tournament will inspire future 3×3 tournaments.
“It actually could open the door for other 3×3 tournaments,” Levinson said. “Not just pertaining to soccer.”
In 3×3 soccer, teams are a maximum roster of six players. In this tournament, teams played a game of 20 minutes before switching off to another competitor. When it came to the playoffs, divisions played round-robin style. All teams that participated received a trophy.
The positive reviews from the event sparked the team to pursue this tournament as a staple in summer programs. Bartlett has a goal for next year to double the number of teams participating in the tournament.
“I believe this 3×3 tournament could be a real bright spot in our summer programs,” Bartlett said. “And for soccer in the area a real bright spot so definitely going to continue to grow.”
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