The Palm Beach County Sports Commission and Keiser University are partnering to host the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Men’s Soccer National Championship in the Palm Beaches for the fourth consecutive year. The NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship will take place at Hilltopper Stadium and the adjoining Seacrest Soccer Complex in Delray Beach from November 27 to December 2. This event features a total of 16 teams competing in 15 games in pursuit of a national title.
The 59th Annual NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship will feature the top 16 teams in the NAIA. To make the tournament, 32 teams participate in qualifying (opening round) games held on campus at participating schools. These 32 teams are comprised of 24 automatic qualifiers awarded to conference and regular-season champions, and eight at-large teams selected by the NAIA Men’s Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index. The 16 winning teams in the qualifiers advance to Palm Beach County as the National Championship host site. The opening championship rounds and quarterfinal games will take place on November 27 – November 29. The semifinal games are scheduled for December 1st. The NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship game will take place on December 2nd.
The NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship will provide a significant tourism impact to Palm Beach County. The 16 teams will bring over 480 soccer players and coaches along with thousands of students, alumni, and soccer enthusiasts from across the nation. The tourism impact will be felt countywide as the event will generate a significant level of visitor spending and hotel rooms throughout Palm Beach County. Last year, the event generated 1,668 hotel room nights and more than $1 million in direct visitor spending.
The NAIA has sponsored men’s soccer since 1959, when its inaugural championship in the sport was held in Slippery Rock, Pa. Currently, 198 institutions sponsor the sport of men’s soccer. Delray Beach is the first destination to host the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship four (4) years in a row.
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose of enhancing the character-building aspects of sports through the Champions of Character program. The NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Schedule:
Saturday, November 25: Teams/NAIA officials begin arriving, practicing
Sunday, November 26: Registration and Opening Banquet
Monday, November 27: Opening Round Games at 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm & 6:30pm
Tuesday, November 28: Second Round Games at 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm & 6:30pm
Wednesday, November 29: Quarterfinal Games at 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm & 6:30pm
Thursday, November 30: Celebration for Final Four Teams at the Lake Worth Pier
Friday, December 1: Semifinal Games at 4pm and 6:30pm
Saturday, December 2: NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship game at 4pm
*NAIA Champions of Character events for the athletes are scheduled for November 29-30