Park City Soccer Club’s Extreme Cup returns, with 483 teams and a symposium |

Park City Soccer Club’s Extreme Cup returns, with 483 teams and a symposium

List of venues for the Extreme Cup:

Park City: Park City Sports Complex, Treasure Mountain Middle School, North 40 Fields, Ecker Hill Middle School, Matt Knoop Memorial Park, Willow Creek Park, Trailside Park and Trailside Elementary School.

Heber: J.R. Smith Elementary School, Rocky Mountain Middle School, Heber Valley Elementary School, Wasatch High School, Old Mill Elementary School and Timpanogos Middle School.

Oakley: Oakley Rodeo Grounds (7 fields).

Thursday will mark the beginning of the 15th annual Park City Soccer Extreme Cup, an event that organizers call the largest soccer tournament in Utah, with 483 teams scheduled to attend, which will run through Saturday, July 28.

Shelley Gillwald, Park City Soccer Club’s executive director, said that though the prospect of 9,000 direct participants plus families coming into the area might sound like a recipe for gridlock, the tournament will be spread out across Park City, Oakley and Heber at 14 different venues. She said the distance between the venues will keep visitors dispersed throughout the area.

“People might want to panic and say, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got 9,000 people coming to downtown Park City, and that’s not the case,” she said.

The turnout is expected to be the second largest in its history, after last year drew 484 teams. Gillwald said the club turned down roughly 50 teams that applied because the tournament was already at capacity.

This year, the tournament has two new features: everyone will get a reusable water bottle instead of using bottled water or sports drinks, and there will be a free sports symposium for parents about how to nurture their athletes.

Gillwald said the water bottles are part of the Extreme Cup’s commitment to sustainability. Extreme Cup staff and volunteers will be busy refilling coolers with water and mixing Powerade so contestants can refill their water bottles without having to seek out individually-bottled alternatives.

Teams will begin check-in on Monday, with games starting on Thursday.

Gillwald said though most teams come from the Wasatch population centers, registration surveys conducted by the club indicate that 57 percent stay at least one night around one of the venues.

“The families use this as a staycation with lots of activities,” she said.

Gillwald said in the context of vacations, it made sense to partner with Park City Mountain, which will provide Adventure Passes for players at a discounted rate.

On Friday evening, the Extreme Cup will host ATHLETOLOGY, a symposium for parents regarding their role in improving player performance, presented by Athletic Republic, a Park City-based athletic training company.

According to a press release, the symposium will start with remarks from John Brenkus, a six time Emmy-winning producer and host of ESPN’s “Sport Science.” He is also Athletic Republic’s new chief sport science officer.

His address will be followed by several short presentations on nutrition, psychology, reducing the risk of ACL injury and other topics. Among the presenters are board-certified dietitian Ashley Hagensick, University of Utah professor Dr. Mark Williams, doctor of biomechanics at Intermountain Healthcare Bill McDermott, and former Park City Soccer Club president Lisa Efinger.

The tournament’s finals will start Saturday afternoon around 3 p.m. at venues around Summit County.

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