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How Do I Become a Tournament Director?

Becoming a tournament director involves gaining experience in event planning, understanding the specific sport, and developing strong leadership skills. You may also need relevant certifications. Start by volunteering at local tournaments to learn the ropes. What steps are you willing to take to start this journey?
L.K. Blackburn
L.K. Blackburn

Tournaments are held in sporting events, hobbies, professional organizations, gaming, and school based extracurricular activities. Individuals who run the events can come directly from within the field, or they can be hired based on event manging experience. You can become a tournament director by completing coursework in events management, gaining experience planning events, specializing in a field that hosts tournaments, and working your way up through the tournament management hierarchy. Some tournaments will choose to hire a director from a events management consulting business.

If you would like to become a tournament director, it may be helpful to first earn a college degree in a related field such as management or business administration. While in school, you can join organizations and participate in events to gain experience administering group activities. It would be a good idea to take any coursework offered in events management, fundraising, accounting, and marketing as these are skills needed to become a tournament director.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Many times, tournament directors are chosen from among candidates prominent in the field such as long-time coaches, chairmen, and former prominent participants. To become a tournament director by this route you should choose an event that interests you, and begin working your way into the organization's framework through participating and volunteering. If you have substantial experience within a field that hosts tournaments as well as outside event planning experience you can increase your chances of becoming a tournament director.

This position can be a paid professional job or it can be a volunteer experience, depending on the type of event that is being held and the associated organizations that contribute to it. Volunteering in tournament management is one way to gain experience to eventually gain a paying position. Entry level experience in helping run a tournament includes handling participants, spreading marketing materials, and running booths and events.

Employment in tournament management may be seasonal, as not all events are held year round. If you would like to become a professional tournament director you can work full time for an events management company. Companies that specialize in running tournaments handle many varied events throughout the course of a year and manage all aspects of the tournament for the organization that hires them. To become a tournament director working for a management company, you would usually first need to be hired by the company as an assistant working underneath experienced individuals. You can begin working toward becoming a tournament manager directly after graduating from college.

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