10 May Wags Tournament Overview
As of 2014, the WAGS Tournament is the No. 1 ranked girls youth soccer tournament in Virginia, and the No. 9 ranked tournament nationally according to gotsoccer.com.
Since 1975, the WAGS Tournament has been played annually at various Northern Virginia locations, featuring hundreds of teams from throughout the East Coast and parts of the Midwest and Canada. The tournament’s eight age groups run from U11 through U19. WAGS Tournament is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s showcase series.
The 2013 edition hosted 404 total teams, with one or more coaches from 103 college programs in attendance. The 2014 tournament is scheduled for October 11-13, and will be played at 21 facilities located in Herndon, Clifton, Woodbridge, Fairfax, Centreville, Leesburg, Springfield, Reston, Franconia, Arlington, Haymarket, Oakton, Annandale, Chantilly and Woodbridge, Va.
Following the genesis of the Washington Area Girls Soccer League in 1974, one of the primary founders and inaugural President, Rael Vodicka, decided to implement an accompanying tournament sponsored by the league. The first annual WAGS Tournament was played in the fall of 1975, fulfilling Vodicka’s vision of creating a competition between the best teams from Virginia, Maryland and DC taking on teams from other parts of the U.S. and Canada. Vodicka organized the first WAGS Tournament by inviting her league contacts in New Jersey, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania and Canada.
Shortly after Vodicka’s death in 1980, the tournament was re-named the Rael Vodicka Memorial WAGS Tournament, along with the creation of the slogan “lasting friendships through soccer”. Over the course of the last 39 years, as the WAGS League has grown to over 600 teams in Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and West Virginia, the tournament has also advanced exponentially.
Each age group is broken up into flights, and each flight is divided into brackets. The top finishers in each bracket advance to the semifinals, and winners advance to the finals. College showcase division brackets play a true showcase format, with no championship matches.
The U11 age group is made up entirely of 8v8 competition, and features Red, White and Blue divisions.
The U12 age group is composed of two 11v11 flights, which are called the WAGS Cup and the A flight. It also has three 8v8 flights (A, B and C).
The U13 age group contains a Cup Flight, the highest competition level, as well as A, B and C flights. The U14s and U15s operate under the same format.
The U16-U19 age groups are the college showcase divisions, each containing flights I, II and III. Every four-team bracket, usually up to five per flight, plays three matches each with no championship rounds after the bracket play.
- Ron Vodicka 1975
- Joe Lucie 1976
- Cindy Liebow/Scott Newton 1977
- Joe Brooks 1978
- Norm Kyle/Mike Gardner/Gene Reiher 1979 – 1980
- Tom Rash 1981 – 1997
- Michelle Shircliff (administrator) 1998
- Louise Waxler 1999 – 2001
- Michelle Shircliff 2002 – 2011
- Michael Libber / Dominic Popolizio 2012 –
Every summer, prior to the announcement of the full list of accepted teams, the WAGS Qualifier offers a chance to earn guaranteed acceptance into the October tournament. The Qualifier is open to teams ranging from U12 (11v11) to U17, with the winner and runner-up from each age group getting a guaranteed spot in the WAGS Tournament. The Qualifier accepts up to 16 teams per age group.
The WAGS Tournament is one of the premier college recruiting venues in the country on the girls side. It regularly hosts more than 100 coaches in its showcase divisions. A few of the college programs that were represented at the 2013 WAGS Tournament include: American University, Auburn University, Coastal Carolina, George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, James Madison, La Salle, Longwood, Manhattan College, Radford, Saint Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, Temple, Towson, UCLA, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech.