It's the grand finale for the best players in the American Youth Soccer Organization to the fall season.
For a large number of the AYSO players it also serves as a springboard for those who will be going on to play competitive spring soccer as well. The annual Kit Carson Shootout has always been one of the biggest youth sporting events in the area in the fall and that won't change this weekend.
The event will be held Saturday and Sunday at Edmonds Park with the championship games to begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Eighty teams from areas such as Carson City, Sparks, Truckee and Bishop, Calif., will compete in the event. Age divisions for boys and girls teams range from 10 and under to 19 and under.
Teams competing are all-star clubs featuring their best players from various AYSO leagues. "It is the culmination of the fall season," said Eric Ingbar, who has been one of the leaders for Carson City's AYSO organization.
Ingbar said 11 teams in the event are from Carson City, so that the majority of teams are coming from outside the community and that more than half the teams in the tournament will stay in the area overnight, so the event is obviously an economic boost to the area.
While the number of players in AYSO has declined, Ingbar said, he added that the quality of play in the Kit Carson Shootout continues to improve.
"We have seen the quality of play improve, particularly at the younger level," Ingbar said.
Ingbar said there are two main reasons for this. He said coaches are more knowledgeable. While coaches are all volunteers, Ingar pointed to the fund-raising efforts in the Carson City AYSO that provides training for coaches in the league. While all the coaches are volunteers, Ingbar said Carson City AYSO has still been able to provide extensive training for those coaches.
The other reason the quality of play has improved, Ingbar, said is that the players already know a lot about the game when they start playing.
"They're just smarter about the game," said Ingbar, noting that players are now more technically skilled.
That's a lot different from when he played soccer, Ingbar said. "Soccer was just like you kick the ball with your foot," he said.