The Oz Blog View about stuff while living in the Land of Oz

31Jan/13Off

My 2012 was crazy! (Highs and Lows)

I labeled this my 2012 was crazy but also added highs and lows in the attempts to try and keep it a bit shorter. I am going to try and keep my post shorter to hopefully motivate myself to get more post out and quicker. As you can tell I haven't been doing very well even to start 2013, but that isn't because I just don't care, it would be because I am such a busy person and that would be the other reason why I have gotten bad about getting post out. Well enough of the small talk lets get to the main topic shall we.

Let's start off with the low so I can get that out of the way. There isn't very many actually come to think of it there really is only one.

- The passing of my last blood related grand-parent. Everybody called her Granny and anybody that ever met her loved her. I was fortunate enough along with most of my family got to spend one last excellent time with her as we went out for a nice Mother's Day dinner with her and she even gave me a hard time about having not shaved. Hard to imagine that she wouldn't be with us even a week later, but she had a very good life with lots and lots of family members that loved her dearly.

Now to the high's.
- One of the biggest moments of my 2012 was forming the Kansas City Shock. Everybody involved with the Shock came together in February and its been a non-stop ride ever since and are hopefully getting close to locking down a home venue which will then allow us to start pulling in some sponsors.

- Taking my two son's to Florida to include visiting Disney World and Universal Studios for Halloween. It will hopefully be something that they remember for a lifetime and it should be as it was also their first of hopefully many, many more family vacations.

- NSCAA Convention in KC was my first one and I have since started calling it comic-con for soccer people. There are panels, discussion and sessions to check out from the time it starts till the time it ends.

- Finally being able to get out of the craptastic house that was our old home and get closer to the rest of our families. Our neighborhood that we were living in was started to become a not nice area even to the point that I was nervous to go jogging at night and I have military training.

That about sums up the biggest highlights for this year. There is obviously more, but I am trying to write a blog post and not a book.

16Feb/12Off

WPSLKC Fundraising Tournament

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The idea of this midsummer tournament is to help bring awareness to the KC metro area about the WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League) and that we are trying to form a WPSLKC team/league. The other purpose of this tournament is to help raise funds to run such a team/league for the following summer. I am sure that of the main people that will be involved in running the team and league I was not the only one that ever thought about starting something like this up, but speaking from experience of starting up a league it is easier to do with more than just one person. After the WPS suspended the 2012 season a few people came out speaking about women soccer as did I and expressing how there was a severe lack of Women's soccer in the Kansas City area after the High School level. I mean there are a few colleges, but it seems that you better be really damn good or have a large amount of money set aside to attend school. It even appears that somewhat local bigger universities (Kansas, K-State, and MU) don't even really have women's teams.

So the question was brought up about what if we could form our own league? Which is the idea that I had been toying around with for a little while as I had quite a few friends that I had come across in the last year and half that were of college age, but really didn't have anywhere to play as only two of the local community colleges had any form of soccer teams, and I think that only one of those had a women's team. I came across a person on twitter that just so happened to already be looking into the rules of the WPSL and more specifically how to run such a thing. Well I had recently been to the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) convention a couple weeks prior and learned a bit more about the WPSL and got to see a map of where all the teams were. I must say there was a lot, but I also noticed that there was what appeared to me like a void circle any where near the KC area. Since I had been playing with the idea of forming a college aged women's league before hand not knowing anything about the WPSL at the time, I thought that this would be a great opporutunity to hook up with this other individual and we started talking about the ideas. Well it seems like that we haven't had any problems getting our group to grow and even getting support for our cause. No cash money support yet, but it seems to me that it probably won't be a problem to get it started. Although I see how the final push to meet our exact goal that we set could be a problem.

As I started this I had mentioned that the idea of a tournament was to bring awareness and fundraising. This was an idea I had for this immediete summer (2012) because I knew that we would need a lot of funds to get everything kick started plus it was also clear to me that as we were discussing all this in the month of January at the time that there was no way to get a full WPSL team ready for this summer let alone a whole league which is what we are utlimately aiming for. I figured that it wouldn't not be beneficial for us to just wait to get everything ready for the 2013 summer and that we should have a small round robin type tournament to, as I keep repeating myself, bring awarness to the KC area.

My idea is to have at least 3 teams that would all play each other once in the span of a Saturday. With the MLS season in full swing at that point and Sporting KC getting a huge following of support this last season, I don't want to have to fight with that, so the best time would be June 30th, July 14th or July 28th, possibly August 4th but that one seems a bit late. We also have to take any sort of youth soccer tournament schedules into consideration, but I think that the best possible day would be June 30th.

Probably the best location would be the newer Overland Park soccer complex as it has a larger set of bleechers that would allow for the selling of tickets and could sit quite a lot of people. I don't know the exact amount, but definitely a significant amount of tickets could be sold. Other possible options would be the Blue Valley athlectic complex right across the street from the OP fields. The idea of High School fields was also brought up, but I really think that some of the High Schools during the summer would probably be less inclined to allow something like that on their fields unless it was turf. So it comes to that we would have to find High School fields that were turf and had soccer lines on them. The other thought is that with the few colleges around that we could probably approach them about hosting such a tournament. My thought also with that is that it could be like a preseason style tournament for that college team as well and allow them to possibly particpate in the tournament. That last part is still up for debate and probably wouldn't actually work, but maybe could. Guess it depends on the school.

The purpose of this tournament is to help raise money to help the WPSLKC get off the ground and so the idea is to have admission to the tournament. Honestly I am not 100% sure what we should charge and there is even the thought that we could just ask for donations and that could possibly wield better results because some people might feel compelled to give us what would amount to several possible admission tickets. There is also the thought that we could just do both, charge admission to possibly even include a pre-sale price. I would also look at possibly getting some special items and what not hopefully donated that we could then auction off or do like a raffle and that would further help increase the amount of money that we receive. I highly doubt that a single tournament like this would get us the full $50K+ that we would need for start up in 2013, but I think that it would give us a good jump of point. Especially with us planning on selling shares.

One of the most important things is the all important concession stand. A place where people can go to get food and beverages. This is obviously a necessity and will have to be figured out. This could be something that is very simple or could be a real pain in the ass if not done the right way or even ran the right way. Hopefully where ever we go we would be able to run the stand entirely on our own and not have to share any profit with some other organization. The problem with that though is if we buy too much stuff, then we have to try and figure out how to get rid of it, but I even think I have an idea for that, especially with it being the middle of the MLS season. The best thing to probably do is to hopefully buy everything up front so that we don't possibly owe any body any payment and then possibly come up short. There is probably also a good possibility of being able to get a lot of the stuff donated and thus cost us even less. We will moderately price everything so that people are encouraged to actually buy stuff from the concession stand. With the tournament being in the middle of summer I think that it would be a wise idea to provide water for free in some sort of aspect, but could still sell bottled water and probably for really cheap. I think another really popular thing would be to have candy items because that is what kids always want and with it usually being a cheaper item the parents tend to get that type of stuff for their kids.

Another possible concession that passed through my mind, but would probably be really difficult to do is the selling of beer. Again I highly doubt that we would be able to pull this off for a small tournament like this, but I do think it is something to be considered since it is technically an adult tournament and can be viewed more along the lines of a professional event rather than just some youth soccer tournament. Plus it is always a good money grab for the most part.

Something else that is a huge part of any soccer event unless you're just playing a pick up game is officiating. Well if you have ever had to deal with some thing like this then you will sometimes find out that it can be expensive. I have two ideas to potentially help lower the cost if not get rid of it completely. The first idea is that if we have three teams playing in this tournament that we could have that third team for every match serve as officials and ball people. The second is to find High School level students with experience and give them a small amount to possibly officiate the games for us. There is also that other idea that could go along with the HS student officials and that is to figure out how to pay them by giving them service credit. Like if they have to do community service to graduate or something like that. There is one other idea and that is to just try to find people that would possibly do it for free, which isn't unlikely, but I'm sure any body would prefer to get paid in some aspect.

That pretty much sums up my plan for the tournament, but I did want to make sure to bring up a few other items that crossed my mind while working on this post and that I jotted down on my notes. Putting them here will help us not forget them.
- Can could potentially be like a college showcase as well for some of the players that are looking to possibly still go to college, but haven't or left for whatever reason.
- Waivers. I am not sure with something like this if we should go ahead and have some sort of a waiver for the players and really anybody that helps us sign so that the tournament is not liable for anything that could happen.
- Fees. Something that we could also look at doing is having the players give us a small fee that would ensure that they get to play, and this would also become a significant amount that would allow us to get uniform, concessions, field space, et cetera.
- Uniforms. I was thinking that we would probably have to buy uniforms, but thinking about it more I am almost convinced that we could possibly get companies that do apparel and/or uniforms to possibly donate uniforms that would have their logos or what not on them and it would be free advertising for them.