Percy Park 2018-2019 Chairman


Soccer History in the United States
There has been some debate about the origins of modern soccer in America. It has long been held that the modern game entered the States through Ellis Island in the 1860s. However, 2013 research has shown that soccer entered America through the port of New Orleans, as Irish, English, Scottish, Italian and German immigrants brought the game with them. It was in New Orleans that many of the first games of soccer in America were held. The origins of the game in general trace back to ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, or China. It is difficult to say for sure which country was the true origin.

Knights of Columbus Youth Activities
Since the early days of its founding through its protection of the orphans of its members, the Knights of Columbus has worked to provide for the welfare of young people. Through sponsoring sports activities and championships, youth groups, educational programs, scholarships, and a variety of other initiatives, the Order looks to foster development of young people as they follow their paths to adulthood.

Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge

Since 2005, councils have sponsored the Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge program designed for players to demonstrate their skills in the penalty kick. The competition is open to all children ages 9-14, boys and girls, where each player will be allowed 3 practice kicks followed by 15 kicks at the soccer goal from the penalty line, 12 yards from the goal. Winners from the Council level competition progress to their local district, chapter, and then state levels.


Suggested Time Frame for the Soccer Challenge Program and Competition

Council Level Competition – Early September at your local Council

District Level Competition – Early October at your local District and associated Councils

Chapter Level Competition – Late October at your local Chapter and associated Districts

State Level Competition – November 10, 2018, simultaneously in the Northern and Southern Regional areas of our State Council

To view a short video of Bishop Barres of Rockville Centre, NY discussing the virtues of both the Free Throw Championship and the Soccer Challenge, click here.


Soccer Challenge Contest Levels

Council level- Each contestant receives three practice kicks followed by 15 consecutive kicks from the 12-yard penalty line.  In the event a tie breaker is necessary, it should be conducted as follows: each contestant will have the opportunity to take 3 kicks from apposition three yards behind the penalty kick line, until a winner emerges.

Council officials (Grand Knight, Financial Secretary and/or Council Soccer Coordinator) should order their Soccer Challenge program kit (#SC-Kit) by calling (203)752-4270 or visiting , a minimum of 60 days prior to your selected date, times and location, please “promote” this contest and contact your local schools to participate.


District level-

The district level of the contest occurs ONLY if more than one council in the district participates in the Soccer Challenge. Check with your District Deputy to see if this is the case in your area. At the District level each contestant receives three practice kicks followed by 25 consecutive kicks from the 12-yard penalty line.  In the event a tie breaker is necessary, each contest receives 3 kicks from a position three yards behind the penalty line until a winner emerges.

The winners in this level will compete in the Chapter and/or State competition, if there is no Chapter competition. Check with your local Chapter Soccer coordinator and/or your State Regional Soccer Coordinator regarding this.


Chapter level-

The Chapter level of competition usually only takes place in larger jurisdictions, there are 16 Chapters in our California State Council. At the Chapter level each contestant receives three practice kicks followed by 25 consecutive kicks from the 12-yard penalty line.  In the event a tie breaker is necessary, each contest receives 3 kicks from a position three yards behind the penalty line until a winner emerges.


State level-

At the Chapter and State levels each contestant receives three practice kicks followed by 25 consecutive kicks from the 12-yard penalty line.  In the event a tie breaker is necessary, each contest receives 3 kicks from a position three yards behind the penalty line until a winner emerges.

Because of the size of our great State Council, along with 16 Chapters, we generally run two State level Soccer Challenge competitions, one in the Northern and the other in the Southern regions of our State Council.


State Chairman Soccer Challenge Program 2018-2019


Percy Park
123 Ponderosa Court
Folsom, Ca. 95630-4835


Northern State Soccer Challenge Coordinator 2018-2019


William Manos
4501 Wawona Circle
Fair Oaks, Ca. 95628

Northern State Chapters


  1. Northern California Chapter (1-14)
  2. Redwood Chapter(15-21)
  3. St. Francis Chapter(22-27)
  4. San Jose Chapter(28-32)
  5. Oakland Chapter(33-45)
  6. San Joaquin Chapter(46-52)
  7. Junipero Serra Chapter (53-59)
  8. Central Chapter(60-70)
  9. Kern-Inyo (71-74)


Southern State Soccer Challenge Coordinator 2018-2019


Luigi V. Zoni
7873 Highwood Ave.
La Mesa, Ca. 91941-6349

Southern State Chapters


  1. Los Padres Chapter(75-79)
  2. Mission High Desert Chapter (80-82)
  3. Southern California Chapter (83-99)
  4. San Gabriel Valley Chapter (100-109)
  5. Diocese of Orange Chapter 110-120)
  6. Arrowhead-Desert Valley Chapter (121-133)
  7. San Diego Diocese Chapter (134-150)

Action Steps

Implement these tips and guidelines into your Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge to ensure fun, fairness, and success!

  1. Set a time and place. Contact schools, community centers or youth centers and reserve a soccer field. Ask sports teams, colleges or universities to work with your council on the Soccer Challenge as part of their community outreach program.
  2. Contact the schools in your area to explain the program. Seek permission from the principals, athletic directors and superintendents to conduct the program as part of their physical education or intramural programs.
  3. Display Soccer Challenge posters prominently to generate attention and participation. Ask to display posters in elementary schools, middle or high schools, youth centers, Church halls and vestibules, libraries, Boys & Girls clubs, shopping centers, YMCA and YWCA buildings, and Columbian Squire meeting places. On the poster indicate the name of the contact person; the date, time and location of the competition; and a telephone number to call for additional information.
  4. Pre-registration of athletes will boost the number of participants and save time at the actual event. Distribute entry forms/score sheets to approved locations. Personally deliver entry forms/score sheets to physical education teachers and coaches when possible. Have an announcement made in schools or send out a reminder of the competition immediately before the event. Be ready to accept entry forms/scores sheets from walk-in participants on the day or the competition.
  5. Build public interest. Use the sample press release to announce the competition in local newspapers and through radio announcements. Always use the program’s official name: Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge.
  6. Present Participation Certificates (#4573) to all participants, and Council Champion Certificates (#4575) to the winners at the end of the competition. The Soccer Challenge Kit(#SC-KIT) contains 75 certificates for competitors (including 10 for champions).
  7. The Supreme Council Supply Department has plaques, prizes, and promotional items available which are suitable for council champions. These items include regulation-size soccer balls, glow-in-the-dark miniature balls, plaques and trophies – all bearing the K of C logo. Cash or bonds must not be awarded at any level of competition since that may compromise the amateur status of the contestant.
  8. Use the Soccer Challenge Report Form(#4567) to report the results of your competition.
  9. Provide the entry form/score sheets and the proof of age for the council winners to the district deputy for the district competition. Inform council competition winners of the date, time and location of the district competition and any other levels of competition to which they are advancing.
  10. For more information on how to conduct a council competition, please to refer to our Soccer Challenge Program Guide(#SC-4576)

The importance of helping today’s youth become tomorrow’s leaders is also a huge focus of our Order. Through activities as the Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest, the Substance Abuse Poster Contest, the annual Soccer Challenge and Free Throw Championship programs. The Knights of Columbus assists youth in building a strong sense of civic and religious responsibility, along with good competition and sportsmanship. Recognizing that our youth are a precious gift, the Knights of Columbus has always made their safety and well-being the highest priority in the Order’s programs and activities.

And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you do this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do it to me.” Matthew 25:40


Percy Park
Soccer Challenge Program
California State Chairman