Carson City's reputation as a mecca for youth soccer has been well established by two major tournaments the community hosts in the fall and the spring.
It's become a tradition for the Comstock Shootout to be held in the spring and for the Kit Carson Shootout to be held in the fall. The tradition continues on Saturday and Sunday when the Kit Carson Shootout is held.
There will be 76 American Youth Soccer Organization, also known as AYSO, teams competing this weekend. All games will be held at Edmonds Park. Games will run all day Saturday and Sunday, with championship games set in seven divisions for 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday. All teams will be guaranteed three games.
Teams from Bishop, Mammoth, Carson City, Carson Valley, South and North Tahoe, Truckee, Incline Village and Smith Valley will compete. There will be divisions in under-10 boys and girls, under-12 boys and girls, under-14 boys and girls and under-19 co-ed.
The tournament is a reward for the top players in the AYSO regions. "It's kind of our last celebration of the season here," Carson City AYSO commissioner Carl Hasty said.
The tournament also serves as a tuneup for many of the players who go on to play in the competitive soccer in the spring.
"Some of them will play competitively in the spring," said Carson City AYSO official coordinator Eric Ingbar. "Some will move onto other sports in the spring."
While AYSO has the reputation of being more of a recreational league, Ingbar said the tournament is more competitive.
"AYSO has a reputation for not being a competitive league but these matches are quite competitive," he said.
Ingbar said without Edmonds Park, hosting such a major tournament wouldn't be possible.
"Edmonds is a premiere soccer facility," he said. "One has to travel hundreds of miles to get to anything nicer or its equal. We're very fortunate to have it. It's made Carson City a focus for soccer."
"People like coming to Carson City and the facility here," Hasty said. "We've got a super facility."
Many volunteers are needed to put on the event and 300 hours of officiating - all filled by volunteers - are required to cover the tournament.
The tournament is also a big economic boost to the area. There are about 1,000 players in the event and players, coaches and families from about half the teams spend the night in the area. "There's a lot of people," Ingbar said. "You do the math. There's a lot of families."
There's also a great deal of community support for the event. Among the major sponsors are Casino Fandango and Java Joes.
"I have to say we have fantastic cooperation and contributions from our local businesses," Ingbar said.
Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor. Contact him at email@example.com or 881-1214.