Som Faramarzi – Tournament Director for Surf Cup – Gives GoalNation the Backstory and Details on Surf Tournaments, Soccer Parents, and Player Success
Som Faramarzi has been involved at every level in soccer – as a player, coach, and in multiple organization capacities. Get to know the youth soccer tournament director — here are Faramarzi’s thoughts on youth soccer and the upcoming Surf SC Thanksgiving Tournament.
The tournament will be held on November Friday 24th, Saturday 25th, with Semis & Finals on Sunday 26th, 2017 and all champions and finalists will receive automatic acceptance to summer Surf Cup.
Diane Scavuzzo: When was the tournament started?
Som Faramarzi: The Surf Challenge began in 2006 as the Surf Thanksgiving Tournament. The event name was changed to the Surf Challenge in 2015.
The Surf Challenge is November 24-26, 2017
Diane Scavuzzo: How many teams will be participating in the Surf Challenge?
Som Faramarzi: Over 200 teams will be competing over the holiday weekend.
The Surf Challenge is for younger soccer players ages U8 to U13 and takes place at the same time as the Surf College Showcase.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many teams and players will compete?
Som Faramarzi: Approximately 2500 plus players will compete in this San Diego youth soccer tournament – plus parents and coaches … it will be a great kick-off to the holiday season for soccer families.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where do the participating teams come from?
Som Faramarzi: While a lot of the youth soccer teams are from the Southern California area, the Surf Challenge has teams traveling from Washington, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Texas to compete.
Diane Scavuzzo: How long are the games? And, how many games do each team play?
Som Faramarzi: The 2009/2008 will play 25-minutes halves, while 2007-2005 will play 30-minute halves.
Each team is guaranteed four (4) games. Bracket play will be played on Friday and Saturday, while Semi-Finals and Finals are on Sunday.
The age groups U8 – U10 will play 7v7, U-11 & U12 will play 9v9, and U13 will play 11v11.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many referees? How many trainers?
Som Faramarzi: For the 2007-2005 teams we will have three referees per field. the 2008/2009 teams will have a three-man crew for finals and semifinals.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many venues? Are the fields grass or turf?
Som Faramarzi: All games will be played on 24 fields throughout Northern San Diego County.
The venues are Ryan Park, 4S Ranch Sports Complex, Hickman, Torrey Pines Elementary, Cliffridge, Allen Field, and Muirlands Middle School.
Muirlands and 4S Ranch will be the 7 turf fields in play.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many years have you been the tournament director? What do you enjoy most about being a tournament director?
Som Faramarzi: This is my first year as the Tournament Director – however, I did work on the youth soccer tournament over the past three years at the Polo Fields, so I certainly have experience with the event.
It is really fun to watch the excitement from the players and parents when they first step onto the pitch after they realize they are playing in such a prestigious event.
One of the most exciting moments is walking through the tent — reading all of the famous players who have played in Surf Cup events in the past.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you define success?
Som Faramarzi: Loaded question – the answer typically results in examining how fat is your bank account. Honestly, I would define success with how happy are you with your life and your accomplishments. Have you helped others, have you given back, have you been a good parent (role model), have you been able to accomplish some of you your own personal goals? And, after looking back on all of that, are you happy in the moment?
Diane Scavuzzo: In your opinion, what is Surf Cup famous for?
Som Faramarzi: Surf Cup has long been the benchmark for the highest standard and level of play with regard to tournaments in the US.
It has become known as the Best of the Best, with the best players, coaches, and teams having attended the event over the years. Countless Division I college scouts, ODP, and National Team coaches attend the event every year looking for top talent.
Players step up when they play in Surf Cup events.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do the champions and finalists receive?
Som Faramarzi: Champions will receive a team Trophy, medals, and maybe a little extra surprise. The finalist will receive a medal as well.
Perhaps most importantly, all the Surf Challenge winners will be accepted to the 2018 Surf Cup.
Diane Scavuzzo: Is there food on site?
Som Faramarzi: There is food on site at Ryan Park, 4S Ranch, and Allen Field. There will be breakfast burritos, and tacos from Catalinas, Kettle Corn, and Kona Ice to name a few.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice do you have for parents?
Just let your kids play the game, make mistakes along the way, listen to their coaches, and have fun.
Diane Scavuzzo: What does respect mean in youth soccer?
Som Faramarzi: Unfortunately, parents are the biggest offenders when it comes to respect with regard to the game itself.
So many parents I know have never even played the game, yet yell and scream at their kids, and referees, and dictate to coaches where kids should play. It’s mind-boggling. It’s no wonder kids get burnt out of competitive sports so young.
Diane Scavuzzo: Any tips for how parents should act on the sidelines?
Som Faramarzi: Honestly in my opinion, just let your kids play the game, make mistakes along the way, listen to their coaches, and have fun.
There is enough pressure on them every day in school and in life. The game is still supposed to be fun. So parents need to respect their children, the game, and the officials and make sure they are in the correct environment for success.
The game is still supposed to be fun.
Diane Scavuzzo: If you could pick any superpower, what would it be and why?
Som Faramarzi: I think I would like to go back in time – I know they say don’t dwell on the past and always look towards the future, but there are definitely things I would do differently as a player, a student, a coach, and as a person in general.
So since I can’t do that – I have learned from my mistakes and move forward while trying to inspire my kids to make the best decisions they can both on and off the field.
Diane Scavuzzo: After years in youth soccer, what have you learned?
Som Faramarzi: It seems like everything has come full circle in terms of soccer as a whole. Having grown up playing myself, then eventually moving to the club level, ODP, then the college level to coaching club soccer — to then watching my kids learn to play and having the opportunity to coach them — it is just crazy.
And it all happened so fast.
Obviously, anyone who has been involved in club soccer for a while knows that the community is very small. Since taking over the Surf Challenge Director role, I am now back in contact with coaches that were teammates of mine high school in college.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Som Faramarzi: From a soccer standpoint, I am just happy my family learned to appreciate the game that I grew up loving. Both my kids have played since they were very small, and are both still playing.
When I met my future wife in college, I dragged her to watch the US and Brazil in the round of 16 at the World Cup in Stanford Stadium. Soccer has and will always be part of our lives.
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