The event begins planning for next year’s 25th edition after another successful competition this weekend.
Following the culmination of the 24th North American Sand Soccer Championship on Sunday, tournament director Dick Whalen is confident the competition’s traditional pattern of self-evaluation will ensure it continues to go from strength to strength.
Hundreds of children, teenagers and adults took part in the event this weekend in Virginia Beach across a host of competitions, ranging from boys and girls under eights to the pros in the U.S. Open as the oceanfront once again showcased the region’s love for beach soccer.
As with every year, planning is already well underway for the next edition, and Whalen is confident the 2018 edition will prove another success.
“Now that the festival is behind us, in a similar way to this stadium being put up and taken down, you have the wind down to take care of the ocean front and see that all the teams get back home safely before you start planning for next year,” he told Beach Soccer Worldwide.
“You try and get the same teams to come back again and maybe even some new ones so that each year you improve a little bit. This year half the teams in the U.S. Open were new and the planning for next year already started during this one.
“Talking with sponsors, getting their feedback, and we analyse every aspect of this tournament. We give ourselves kind of a report card like you get at school, with A, B, C etc, and we try improve each year.
“So far, based on what I know and what I’ve heard from various people, is that everything went well and overall that it was terrific and that makes me very pleased.”
The NASSC holds a special place in the sport’s calendar due to its colossal size and popularity among players and coaches, with next year’s 25th anniversary sure to be an extra special occasion.
But Whalen is keeping his cards close to his chest regarding specific details of the landmark tournament, adding: “We’ve had a lot of questions about next year with it being the 25th and what will be so special about it.
“But it’s a secret for now, we just want to get through the end of this one and then we’ll start the process again. We try bring in different amusements every year but every single aspect is evaluated.
“We go back to the sponsors, see how they felt, and try make improvements where they need to be made or add new good ideas. We just do a lot of research and evaluate everything, like a business.
“Then, having done that, hopefully we can make the 25th the best one yet.”