A tournament is a competition between at least three contestants, each playing a game or sport against the others. More precisely, the word can be used in two overlapping senses: to describe a competition, and also to indicate the venue where the competition takes place. In its more general usage, the term can be used to refer to any competition, whether sporting or non-sporting in nature. It can take many forms, from literary tournaments, through to international competitions. You could even describe it as a competition that takes place in between clubs, or in between people who live and work close to one another. The word competition, however, has sometimes been used to describe all forms of competitive activity, or to single out specific competitions, for example Olympic games.
A league tournament can take many forms. One possible form is a “pre season” fixture; meaning that the teams have only played against each other for a short period of time. The sides involved then get a chance to build up their players’ fitness levels and form a short term team before the main league season commences. This type of fixture can prove to be exciting for fans, and can provide the opportunity for unlikely favourites to knock off the top sides.
Another form of tournament is the knock-out tournament. Knock-out tournaments are usually short, often derided by experts as being little more than glorified exhibitions, with little chance of the competition becoming anything other than a stroll down memory lane. Fans will often watch a game of this type with inflated expectations of what they should achieve, often contending that the teams have all been ‘anced’ (to coin my own word) and that the competition will go to extra-large lengths to win. Although it is not uncommon for teams to lose in such fixtures, many also consider the experience to be positive because it helps them develop strength and character.
If this type of fixture has failed your appetite then perhaps a cup final or semi-final fixture may appeal to you. These types of games are normally longer than a friendly, and the sides involved are often top flight teams. It may even be worth considering a testimonial based cup final, where the winner can receive a reward of a trip to the final, sometimes organised by the local stadium. A testimonial is usually arranged weeks in advance of the match, giving teams plenty of time to prepare and hopefully win. In this situation, the winner will almost certainly not be playing in their country, but will instead be representing their club from another country, which could prove to be a valuable qualification if their team does qualify for the World Cup.
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous benefits for those organising a sports day out, especially if there is an overseas element to the occasion. One of the main benefits is that large groups of people can be brought together for a fun activity. Large groups can also increase the likelihood of sponsors looking into supporting the event. A committee would take care of most of the organising of a sports day out, but it would be up to the teams and other organisers of the tournament to help raise the rest of the capital required for the tournament. Most teams would prefer to raise the money themselves, but others may consider funding the tournament through other means, depending on the success of the tournament.
Another major benefit of a tournament, whether friendly or competitive, is the knock-out stage. The knockout stage is where all the action takes place, with the competition becoming more fierce as teams try to knock each other out of the tournament. The knock-out stage usually takes place in the last ten minutes of the entire game, and can create huge excitement for fans watching. If you are organizing a friendly game and you have a good group of people who are keen to participate in the knock-out stages then it could provide a great way for people to meet and socialise, as well as raising the overall levels of excitement for the tournament.