The 27th edition of Cochrane's celebration of soccer, better known as the Cochrane Cup, will take place Sept. 13 to 15 with a twist from the usual format.
The tournament used to feature 20-plus teams and over 400 players both male and female from across Alberta including Banff, Canmore, Leduc, Olds, Edmonton, Airdrie, Red Deer and Calgary. There was an open division for both genders while also hosting the mainstay of the tournament men’s over 35 division that took place at four different pitches over the course of the weekend at Mitford Park, Rangers Field and Spray Lake Legacy Field. This year, the team format will be co-ed seven-on-seven.
"Unfortunately, due to bad weather last year we didn't have a Cochrane Cup," said organizer Jim Darby. "This year, we're doing a seven aside which allows more flexibility for soccer teams who are nearing the end of the season to put a squad together ... trying to put a full team together can be a bit of a struggle. So the seven-versus-seven allows more flexibility, more teams to enter and allows us to play all our games at the Cochrane Rangers soccer field. In the past, we had to play at other pitches as well but now we can split the field's in half and have everyone in the same location. It's not confirmed as of yet but we are also looking to name the two trophies for the tournament after Reiner Sattler, who sadly passed away last year."
Darby said the tournament as well as the second annual Awards Gala night on Sept. 21 are in need of volunteers. Those interested can contact Darby at 403-690-7740 or by his email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The Cochrane Cup in particular banks heavily on the work of volunteers. We are looking for planners, designers, people that are happy to sell items throughout the weekend and people that are willing to get their hands dirty by moving equipment around the pitches," Darby said. "We haven't gotten much interest yet which is slightly concerning because we'll need a core of eight to 10 volunteers in order to pull this off. You don't necessarily need a soccer background, we're just looking for people to help out. We have referees, we're just looking for volunteers who are willing to man an information table, put results up on a scoreboard, just doing the little things to ensure this tournament runs smoothly."
While the official registration date has yet to be decided, Darby said it should be released in the near future and suggests keeping an eye out on the Cochrane Rangers Facebook page for all the latest information.
"Registration should be out next week, just have a few more meetings to finalize it. Once it's finalized, it will be posted on our webiste and all over social media for teams interested in participating in this wonderful tournament."