Human beings innately crave connection—and so connection, as we all know, is extremely important to us NIRSA members. It is why many of us got into this profession in the first place. At least, I know it was an important reason for me.

I am excited to promote yet another opportunity for our members to connect on a grand scale. We have officially opened the applications to serve on staff at the eleven different NIRSA Championship Series Regional Soccer Tournaments taking place this year. For the first time in Championship Series history, these regional tournaments are under the NIRSA umbrella. This allows us to elevate our sport as well as the tournament experience for students and professionals alike.

My experiences serving on staff are similar to those of all other members who have served at any NIRSA Soccer event. They can be described in one word: invigorating. I first served during an official NIRSA-sponsored event at the 2007 Region IV South Soccer Tournament, and I immediately knew I was where I was supposed to be. The conversations I’ve had over the last nine years during regional and national soccer tournaments have been some of the most extrinsically-motivating and developmental conversations I can remember. My service to the sport has led me to the opportunity to lead the charge as the current NIRSA Championship Series Soccer Work Team Chair, and I am sincerely grateful.

Cybbi Barton, Club Sports Coordinator at Penn State University and a member of the Soccer Work Team, says, “These tournaments are a great way to network with people across the country. They are a great way to learn the administrative side of how to run a large-scale tournament. My experiences with soccer regional tournaments will help me when it’s time for me to apply for leadership positions like Divisional Coordinator or Regional Coordinator in the future.”

Our students deserve a quality experience, and the staff at our tournaments add so much undeniable value to the events. Regionals around the nation will be happening in late October in preparation to send teams to the national tournament in November, which is being hosted in Foley, Alabama. Be sure to get your application in by September 15! Come be a part of something bigger—apply today!

Assistant Director, Competitive Sports at University of Alabama | NIRSA Profile

Laura Thomas, Chair of the NIRSA Championship Series Soccer Work Team, is currently Assistant Director, Competitive Sports at the University of Alabama.