Update, September 21: A previous version of this story had an incorrect time. The live lottery draw will occur at 1:00pm PST on October 3.

Over the last decade, the NIRSA Championship Series National Soccer Tournament has been growing and improving with every passing year. The tournament began with one Men’s and one Women’s Division, 15 teams, and very few volunteer staff members. For the 2016 tournament, the Series invited 96 teams, 60 NISOA officials, and over 40 staff members from across the nation to participate. Needless to say, the tournament has grown tremendously due to the time and service our NIRSA Headquarters team and our NIRSA member volunteers have devoted to it over the years.

Watch the Open Division lottery live

The tournament is currently set up into two divisions: the Open Division and the Championship Division. The Championship Division is played by teams that qualify for the tournament by either winning a bid through their regional tournament or being selected for one of the At-Large bids each region is given. The Open Division is selected through a lottery system that was developed in 2014. Any team with membership in a NIRSA-affiliated league may enter the lottery for their region.

The registration period for this year’s lottery will open on October 1 at 8:00pm PST. All teams who wish to participate must register by October 3 at 9:00am PST. At 1:00pm PST on October 3 there will be a live lottery draw on the NIRSA Play Soccer webpage where the lucky teams will be selected to play in this year’s tournament.

Reflecting on the Championship Series Leadership Summit

This summer, the Championship Series Committee met in Denver for the Championship Series Leadership Summit. The Summit’s purpose was to prepare the Series Committee for the work ahead. The committee worked tirelessly over the last few years on things such as regional alignment, leadership development for the tournament directors, and on streamlining the administration process for the regional tournaments. We on the committee will continue to develop ways that the Soccer Work Team can support the Regional Coordinators as well as the National Tournament Directors. We’ll also continue to look for ways to involve our student officials during regional and national tournaments.

Get involved

The National Soccer Tournament has been hosted in many different states including Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, and Texas. The Championship Series Committee is always looking for new facilities to host this annual tournament as well as the many regional tournaments. Hosting a regional tournament for the Series is a great way to get involved in flag football, basketball, or soccer.

The Championship Series Committee is also always looking for NIRSA volunteers to help during the regional and national tournaments. Staff applications for the National Tournament—to be held in Phoenix, AZ from November 16–18—will open August 1 and close September 6. Regional tournaments staff applications will be open from August 15 to September 15.

We thank the Soccer Work Team and the NIRSA membership for the support we are receiving and hope to continue to push the envelope with NIRSA Championship Series Soccer in 2017 and 2018.


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA National Sport Programs Coordinator Keeley Naughton.
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.