Six Ways to Survive Your Kids’ All-Day Tournament

All-day tournaments can be challenging no matter how much you love kids' sports. Extreme heat or cold can make soccer, baseball, football, and other sports spectators uncomfortable. Here are six ways to brave the elements and enjoy the game!There are loads of parents, I realize, who live to follow their kids to the ball field for an all-day tournament. They’re perfectly content to watch games in monsoons or in 1000 degree heat, or -32 degree cold.

I’m not one of them.

I’m a sports slacker. You could call me a fair-weather spectator. I volunteer coach a little, too, but I prefer to do so when it’s a sunny 75 degrees with a slight breeze. Any parent or coach knows weather perfection like that happens all too rarely. To date, I’ve coached in downpours, freak sleet storms, and in 100 degree heat. These weather conditions make my kid teams and me rather testy. Here are six ways to prepare yourself and your kids for questionable weather during those all-day sports tournaments. I’ve even included some affiliate links for the products we use and like. I might make a small commission if you purchase through my links, but it won’t cost you any more.

Sunscreen and Bugspray

To most people, these items are no-brainers. Yes, I slather my kids with sunscreen when it’s hot, but I once forgot when the temperature was chilly this season. My daughter got a little pink even though it was February.

Occasionally, I forget to sunscreen my feet. There’s nothing more attractive than a flip-flop tan line.

In addition to sunscreen, bug spray is a must in our area. Since we live in a bit low-lying community and our fields tend to be somewhat swampy, the mosquitoes sound like airplanes when they buzz in your ears. I’m convinced they wear combat gear as well. For us, Deet is the only answer as our bugs laugh at the natural stuff. Regardless of the brands of either sunscreen or bug spray you choose, bring some. There’s nothing worse than being attacked by either the sun or a swarm of May flies while you’re stuck in a swamp watching soccer for six hours.


At our last all-day tournament, one of our savvy families not only packed all of us lunch, but they also brought a screen room. We had several other parents bring E-Z UP Shelters, too. We had an entire little city set up–when the temperature climbed to 95, we were so grateful for the shade. These convenient lifesavers help enormously when the sun is scalding or when it’s dripping rain. All-day tournaments can be challenging no matter how much you love kids' sports. Extreme heat or cold can make soccer, baseball, football, and other sports spectators uncomfortable. Here are six ways to brave the elements and enjoy the game!


Bring snacks and drinks. When it’s hot, bring way more Capri-Suns than you think you need. If you’re bringing water bottles for the kids, keep a permanent marker handy to write each kids’ name on the cap or on the bottle itself. We usually bring jugs of water and ice so we can refill water bottles as well. Bigger jugs allow us to quickly refill kids’ water bottles at half-time. If you bring your own solid color water bottle, you can then put whatever beverage you want in it. Go ahead–after six hours of soccer or baseball at an all-day tournament, no one’s judging.

Extra Clothes

Some states have pretty consistent weather. My state does not. Mid Atlantic weather can change like underwear. I’ve seen it go from 65 in the morning to 90 in the afternoon, then back to 50 after a massive thunderstorm line rolls through and ushers in a cold front. Bring rain gear and a sweatshirt so you can layer your clothes. Keep your phone charged with a weather app handy as well.

Towels and Blankets

Sometimes, a kid just needs to pass out on the ground after the third or fourth game and rest for awhile. Beach blankets spread on the ground will keep the chiggers and itchy grass off. If your kids are like mine and just roll on the ground after pouring water on themselves, protect your car seats with the towels. If your car looks like mine, towels are a moot point.

Card Games

Waits between games can be long. At the last all-day tournament, we had about two hours between the first and second game. To keep the kids from running around like herds of buffalo and wearing themselves out for games two through four, we all brought games and tablets. I’ve got cute pictures of the kids laying under the shelter playing quietly. Truthfully, though, this didn’t happen until after game two. No matter what we did, they still ran around like herds of buffalo after game one.

So there you have it–six ways to make your next long sports tournament more palatable. With you’re favorite snacks and beverages, you can’t go wrong!


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