Pickup soccer fest takes over Fort Missoula | Local News

Hundreds of Missoula soccer players hope to break a world record for most pickup games at an all-day competition on Saturday at Fort Missoula Regional Park.

Acknowledging the pickup-soccer world record “may or may not exist,” Soccer Day Missoula 2022 Organizer Charlie Vandam nevertheless expects about 600 participants of all ages and abilities to attend. Games begin at 2 pm across all 10 fields at the Fort. Following play, a party featuring live music, dancing, food and fun runs from 5 to 8 pm at the Fort complex pavilion.

The event is free to anyone, with games organized by age and levels of experience.

Soccer Alliance Missoula is organizing the event.

Due to its informal nature, no official pickup soccer world records exist. Organizers hope Soccer Day Missoula will bring together more pickup soccer players than have ever gathered before in one place. Playing in 136 locations in 2014, groups belonging to the American Youth Soccer Association claimed to have set a world pickup soccer record of nearly 15,000 players. But SAM organizers have not found a world record of pickup soccer players gathering in one place.

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The Griz soccer team will be on the fields as “Field Ambassadors” to guide players to the appropriate pickup game, to monitor for safe play, and ensure that all are having fun. The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula will have a display showing when soccer was first played in Missoula and how it has evolved over the past 100 years. The Peas Farm Old Boys will host a soccer ball juggling contest for teams and individuals. And both the University of Montana men’s soccer teams from 1965 through 1981 and the Sentinel High School Boys 2000 State Champions will have reunions at Soccer Day Missoula.

Soccer is already the most popular team sport in Missoula with nearly 3,500 Missoulians of all ages, girls and boys, women and men, playing soccer in youth leagues, adult recreational leagues, Intramural sports at UM and pickup soccer games.

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