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Tournament Review: Hopewell Cup

The Hopewell Cup is an annual tournament held in Newark, Ohio at the Newark Area Soccer Association's Alford-Reese Park. Newark may seem worlds away but it is only an hour's drive from most points in Greater Columbus. The tournament attracts mid-level teams from all over Ohio including well trained teams from smaller markets including Mansfield, Athens and Hocking.

The tournament director was very easy to deal with and communication was excellent. Team check-in was simply e-mailing the tournament director with your documents. The tournament was very responsive to questions and when placing teams in brackets they work with the clubs to assure the best fit.

All games are played over 2 days at Alford-Reese park and with this being a smaller tournament there is generally just one bracket per age group. There was a robust U15 bracket for the boys and girls giving trapped 8th graders an opportunity to participate in an event against good competition. The fields are well spaced and well maintained especially considering the warm weather and lack of rain these past few months.

Referees were excellent. We can always identify times when we disagree with a call here or there. I found that, at the Hopewell Cup 2019 the referees were courteous and even after two long days in the 90 degree heat they were still kind and consistent.

Tips and Tricks

There is plenty of parking but it is slow moving up and down the long narrow drive way. If you think you are going to need to rush out you might consider just parking in the Kroger parking lot at the end of the entrance of the drive way.

There isn't a lot of shade and tents are allowed so I suggest you bring them. Parents should consider bringing umbrellas for the shade and in case of rain (especially if you park in the Kroger Parking lot).

There are a lot of restaurants you can visit in between games. We tried Dickey's Barbecue Pit which is less than a mile south of the fields. The service was friendly, food was great and they had plenty of room for big groups and didn't mind us just hanging out. They have two full service bars for the parent and free ice cream for the kids. If you are planning ahead, call and ask for Josh, they have a second bar and game room along with a room for bigger groups.

I definitely recommend the Hopewell Cup as a fall tournament and suggest you also consider their spring event as well, the Buckeye Cup.

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