The 21st Annual Tucson Association of Realtors® Shootout has grown to more than 5,000 participants plus their coaches, team officials, families and friends, making it one of Tucson’s major events.

Presented by Fort Lowell Soccer Club, it has generated millions of dollars for the Tucson economy and will add more than $2.5 million when it takes place Jan. 14-16 at Fort Lowell Park as well as soccer fields around town.

This year’s TAR Shootout has attracted more than 300 teams, more than half of whom are traveling here from as far away as California, New Mexico, and Texas.

“As we celebrate our 21st year, it is really amazing to think how many children who are now adults have played in the Shootout, and how many thousands of volunteer hours have been given to make the tournament possible,” said Diana Cannon, TAR Shootout tournament director. “Best of all, it is still amazing to look at the smiles on the faces of the players and realize how much our teams still look forward to coming back to the Tucson Association of Realtors® Shootout year after year.” The tournament kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with the parade of athletes followed by the Pizza Hut Soccer Olympics, where U11-U16 players compete in dribbling, juggling, accuracy and shootout events.

Dribbling challenges a relay team to speed through cones while keeping the ball under control. Juggling is all about using every part of the body — except hands — to move and control the ball. In the accuracy shoot, four-player teams compete to win the most points while taking shots at a target.

The Shootout — the tournament namesake and the traditional soccer tiebreaker — has five-member teams competing against each other to score the most goals while youth goalies try to block the shots.

Tournament play begins at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Complete field schedules are available online at Saturday’s events start at noon with the Dick Giebner Highlight games. Special events for the U9 and U10 players include the Spirit Cup from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and U9 and U10 Soccer Olympics from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The event also honors volunteers for their contributions. Curt Cannon, the recipient of the 2010 Founder’s Award, has been involved with the tournament since its inception. Cannon is the backbone of the tournament, taking on all the hard jobs and making sure they get done. The recipient of this year’s Matt McManaman Volunteer Award is Tucson Police Department Sgt. Frank Solis. He coordinates services provided by his fellow volunteers and the City of Tucson.

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