Jefferson Cup Mission Statement:
The Jefferson Cup is committed to quality above all else;
- Quality Competition
- Quality Fields
- Quality Referees
- Quality Organization
The Jefferson Cup averages 1200 applications for 800 +/- spots per year for entry into the event. With an extensive 4-week research period, the tournament committee will consider equally:
- team history
- results (and yes, a 1-0 loss to top competition is better than a 10-0 win against weaker teams
- results against other teams in the application pool.
- placement in state, regional, and national competitions
- team makeup
- other events of acceptance
It is a very difficult process that includes, but is not limited to, contacting tournament directors, league administrators, state administrators, and club contacts. We have been fortunate to consistently bring the top competition from all over North America with more than half of the teams being their respective state cup champions or finalists (remember, any given day even the best team in the state can lose early in state cup).
Our main focus during the selection process is QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. Each bracket is carefully laid out to make sure that every team’s placement gives them a chance of winning. Lower bracket winners have potential of moving up to higher brackets.
The Jefferson Cup bases their field site criteria on four premises:
- Quality of playing surface
- Ensuring proper field sizes
- Amount of field space
- Convenience for age groups
Quality Playing Surface:
Yes, it is true that the further you travel south, the better chance you will see green grass, so it becomes a struggle to make sure we can compete at that level during March in Virginia. The Striker’s main facilities, Striker Park and West Creek, and many of the sites we use are taken care of with great success by I.T.A.C. (Innovative Turf Application Consulting). This company’s knowledge of sport surface growth and weather treatment has allowed us to bypass the normal brown Bermuda, and have some of the greenest fields East of the Mississippi River. Of course this cannot be guaranteed at all sites, but when we can’t control the maintenance of the fields, we try to make sure that all measures are taken to secure the next best sites. With the high quality standard of fields used by the Jefferson Cup, the Jefferson Cup has cancelled only a single game for each of its U16 and older age groups for the past 31 years that the Richmond Strikers have run the tournament. And in all have only had three weather related issues in the past 33 years where games were cancelled while using all-grass surface fields.
Ensuring proper field sizes:
The Jefferson Cup has always made it a priority to ensure that teams play and age groups play on appropriate size fields, utilizing maximum field widths.
Amount of Field Space:
A priority of the tournament is to make sure that you have one place to go all weekend. We try to make sure that all field sites can house at least the bracket you are in. With most sites having four or more fields, we are able to allow the groups to only have one map and to also bracket watch throughout the weekend.
Convenience for Age Groups:
Lastly, we try our best to make sure that each field site is within reasonable driving distance from hotel accommodations offered by the Cup. Knowing that mobilizing 18 players and a group of parents isn’t always easy, our goal is to make this process simple.
How does a tournament guarantee quality referees?
Simple Answer: They can’t.
The Jefferson Cup does, however, set certain standards and suggestions for our referees that we hope they take out onto the field each and every match. The first step we take is not to try to assign referees ourselves. We outsource all referee assignments to one of the top groups in the country, CVSRA. They do their best to make sure that all referees are able and graded to referee the age groups assigned within the event. We also have promoted consistency. The most repeated quote by the tournament staff “If you are going to be good or bad, just be consistently good or bad. A coach can always adjust, but mixing it up is what makes it unpleasant.”
The Jefferson Cup prides itself on the decisions and steps we take every year to make sure the stay in Richmond is a quality one. The Strikers have been running the Jefferson Cup for 32 years and, in our experience we have found a lot of things that don’t work and many more that do. Our field sites will always have easy to find site coordinators, athletic trainers, tournament gear is available at all sites, and college coaches are all given the proper care so that they will be notified of all changes and know where the right ages are. And thanks to the GotSoccer SoccerScheduler system, schedules, college profiles, rosters, and formal team contact is now more efficient and precise.