Walt Hundley Playfield (6920 34th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126); just behind West Seattle Elementary School and High Point Community Center. Artificial grass turf.
Games played all day from 8:45am to 6:15pm on Saturday, June 14th (Kindergarten-2nd grade division) and Sunday, June 15th (3rd-5th grade division). Mid-day Ceremony on both days from 11:45am to 12:15pm.
- Games are self-refereed in spirit of cooperation; conflicts resolved by discussion
- Each team plays 3 games; no playoffs nor tournament winner
- Games are 30 minutes long (two 15-minute halves)
- Each team has 14 players (7 children and 7 parents)
- First half is Country A versus Country B, 8 a-side (equal number children and parents on the field at all times)
- Second half is Children versus Parents, 8 v. 6, respectively (parent captain from each team coaches children’s team)
- Small goals; no goalkeeper
- Size 4 balls
- Two fields host games simultaneously; time kept centrally by the MC. No extra time.
Here is how it works. Elementary-age children (5-11 years old) and their parents/legal guardians register for country teams with which they choose to identify: Ethiopia, USA, Vietnam, Mexico, etc. For some, this identification might be based on their recent emigration from that country. For others, their connection might be more indirect: a distant relative, a friend, or a travel experience. Each child and his or her parent (hereafter referred to as an inter-generational partnership) must register together for the same team, so that all teams have an equal number of children and parents.
In the weeks leading up to the tournament, each team, led by a child captain and a parent captain, comes together in a manner of their own design. This might be a soccer practice, a service project, a dinner potluck; in the spirit of community-building, it is self-determined and therefore will look different for each team. Through whatever forum they choose to unite, the team must complete these two requirements: all team members must meet in person at least once and all children, with the assistance of their parents, must prepare a 2-minute presentation about one aspect of the country they are representing. For example, the child might present information about the country’s people, location, language, history, culture, or government. Or, he or she might share a personal anecdote as it relates to that country. The preparation for this presentation will necessarily involve meaningful conversations between children and parents; it will promote identity exploration and encourage intergenerational understanding.
On the day of the tournament, each team plays three games. During the five minutes preceding each game, intergenerational partnerships from opposing teams spread out around the field and sit down in foursomes. For example, a Nigerian child and parent sit across from a Cambodian child and parent. The children exchange presentations, teaching each other about their countries, with the assistance of the parents as necessary. The strength of a diverse community depends on its people’s willingness to acknowledge and learn about each other’s differences. This kind of generous and humble listening is the foundation for any future cooperation across those differences.