Hawai'i to host a bigger tourney in 2003
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Having passed its initial test as a host for massive youth soccer tournaments, Hawai'i will get another big opportunity next summer.
And this one will be even larger than the 192-team AYSO National Games that conclude today.
United States Youth Soccer Association will hold its Region IV tournament June 22-28, 2003, at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Complex. It is expected to include 240 teams from 13 Western states in age groups from under-12 to under-19.
USYSA is the nation's largest youth soccer organization, with about 3.5 million registered players across the nation, including 700,000 in Region IV and more than 4,000 in the Hawai'i Youth Soccer Association. AYSO has about 670,000 participants nationwide, with a high proportion of participants (23,000) in Hawai'i.
"This (Waipi'o) complex is tremendous, and we hope to host as good a tournament as AYSO did," said Scott Keopuhiwa, the HYSA president. "We'll need all the volunteers we can get, but we've already got a lot of people who have committed already."
Unlike the AYSO Games, the Region IV tournament will feature only teams that qualified through district and state playoffs.
Keopuhiwa said despite having only a fraction of the Hawai'i participants that AYSO does, HYSA is hoping to draw the same kind of volunteer support.
"We have a unique (AYSO-HYSA) relationship," said Keopuhiwa, who volunteered for this week's tournament. "It's not like some other places. There's overlap, and a lot of people volunteer for both."