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Early Bird Basketball Tournament at 156 Teams and Counting

August 14, 2018

The Early Bird Basketball Tournament was originally created with the idea of developing another opportunity to bring additional basketball teams and events to Rochester.

The Rochester Community Youth Basketball Association (RCYBA) year-end tournaments in February and March are already at capacity with nearly 300 teams participating, so the intention was to try to duplicate that success by hosting an event at the beginning of the travel season to try to accommodate more teams interested in coming to Rochester.  Rochester Sports and RCYBA created a partnership, with Rochester Sports agreeing to take the lead on running the Early Bird with RCYBA providing some workers and assigning referees.

The Early Bird theme came with the idea that a tournament the weekend before Thanksgiving could generate interest and it has.  In creating a new event, it is always important to be creative in how you can make the event appealing and create a unique experience for visiting teams.  Last year we gave away champion t-shirts, and even a frozen turkey was given to the head coach of all the championship winning teams!  The same can be expected this year.

The 2nd Annual Early Bird Basketball tournament, set to take place on November 17-18, is already showing major growth from last year.  Registration opened in June and 156 teams from several states are already registered for this year’s tournament with a couple months of registration remaining.  The tournament last year featured 110 teams and utilized the UCR Regional Sports Center and National Volleyball Center.  As with many other events, getting available facilities will continue to be the key as adding more teams means additional gym space will be needed this year.

As we move forward it will be exciting to see how this tournament grows.  Creating new events is a lot of work and it is always hard to know if there will be enough interest from area teams.  It is safe to say it has turned out bigger and better than we could’ve anticipated and should be a quality event for the community and area youth basketball for years to come!

Upcoming Events:

August 24-26: 10,000 Lakes Senior Softball Tournament