The Tucson Aztecs U-11 players enter the field in style at last year’s event. This year’s Shootout will feature 303 teams.

It’s 2019, so it’s time to get with the program. Or better yet, ditch the program and go with an app.

That’s what the Tucson Association of Realtors Shootout did. Competitors and parents attending this year’s city-wide soccer tournament can track schedules, scores, standings and more using the RSL-AZ Southern Arizona app. It’s free and available for download on Apple and Android devices.

The Shootout kicks off with Friday night’s opening ceremonies and runs throughout the weekend and Kino, Golf Links and Udall Park Fields.

Tournament director Billy Mordka said he wanted a way to share tournament info more efficiently. One of the Shootout’s board members is technologically savvy, so it didn’t take long to come up with the app idea.

The app will deliver all the pertinent information to the Shootout’s 303 teams, half of which hail from outside of Tucson. Ten of this year’s teams will travel from Mexico for the three-day event.

“It was definitely something that we wanted to bring into this day and age, the tournament,” Mordka said. “Printing schedules and everything else is too difficult, so we decided to go digital on it.”

For the second consecutive year, tournament organizers will use social media to push out highlights. The event will have personalized Snapchat and Instagram filters, which should become popular among the Shootout’s estimated 4,200 participants.

Participation numbers increased slightly from last year due to older age brackets. The Arizona Interscholastic Association dictates that high school soccer athletes, whose season runs from November until February, aren’t allowed to play club soccer during the season. Instead, out-of-state teams will take their place.

Mordka said there are approximately 2,000 hotel nights booked in the area. The numbers do not include those who are using Airbnb to find a place to stay or those who will stay with family or friends in the area. The tournament is expected to generate an economic impact of $4 million to Tucson and Pima County.

With so many people coming to Tucson for the Shootout, Mordka had a suggestion to those who will not be participating or coming out to watch: Avoid the Kino Parkway and Ajo Way areas.

“If you’re not planning on coming, I would definitely tell you to avoid that area — especially Friday night,” Mordka said. “As I tell everyone every year, there’s going to be an influx of people … just have a little patience with the out-of-towners, be nice at the stop lights and just let everyone have a great welcome to Tucson.”

Contact reporter Norma Gonzalez at 520-262-3265 or ngonzalez@tucson.com.

Sports reporter

Norma started at the Star in 2017. She's a sports reporter covering all types of beats. She graduated from the University of Texas–Pan American in 2014 and recently graduated from the Associated Press Sports Editors Diversity Fellowship program.