SOCCER: Full house for Montana Indoor Championship

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The Daily Inter Lake

The Montana Indoor Soccer Championship, set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Flathead County Fairgrounds, will have 40 teams competing on three fields inside the 45,000-square foot Trade Center.

All teams are guaranteed three games with champions crowned in four divisions Sunday afternoon.

Medals will be presented to first- and second-place finishers.

“We have so many teams register, that we exceeded capacity,” Nate Evans of the Northwest Soccer Club of Montana said.

“We had to seek a third field.”

That third field will be on loan from Coast to Coast Turf of Spokane.

If this event continues to grow, Evans hinted that a fourth field could be added next year.

Teams attending are from Bozeman, Helena, Missoula, Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and Canada — Cranbrook, Nelson and Calgary.

“It was well attended, but not fully attended,” Evans said of this event last year.

“It pretty much was a last-minute thing. We had some teams come over from Idaho.”

He said 15 to 20 teams attended the inaugural tournament.

“It was a good tournament, a good launch,” he said.

“We were only six months old as an organization.”

NSC joined forces for this event with the Kalispell Chamber of Business Bureau and the Flathead County Fairgrounds.

“Mark Campbell, the manager (of the Flathead County Fairgrounds), and his crew have a tremendous amount of event planning experience,” Evans said.

“Huge kudos to them.

“The chamber took on all the marketing and advertising. They did a tremendous job. It’s been a neat community project.”

Play runs from 4-9 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.

There are four divisions for boys and girls — U12, U14, U16 and U19.

Teams will consist of four field players and a goalie.

The fields are approximately 40x20 meters, or 1/3 the width and 1/3 the length of a normal soccer field.

Games will last 44 minutes.

There is no admission charge.

“There will be 350-400 players in the tournament,” Evans said.

“We will have a raffle every hour on the hour. We had close to 150 items donated to give away to kids. One in four kids will walk away with a free gift.”

Evans will be coaching three teams this weekend, the NSC Montana 2003 boys and two NSC Montana 2000 girls.

Some volunteers are needed to serve as field marshals and help with the information center and hospitality. Volunteers will receive a souvenir T-shirt and refreshments in the VIP hospitality area.

Those wishing to volunteer should contact Vonnie at vonnie@discoverkalispell.com or call 758-2809.

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