Basketball Tournament Checklist

Learn what essentials you should pack for your upcoming basketball tournaments with this Pro Tips checklist.

November 04, 2019
Women basketball players laughing in the locker room.

If your team is playing in a tournament, you’re looking at an exciting trip packed with competition. Being prepared can give you top chances for playing at your best. But what do you need to succeed? Should you bring compression shorts? Are mouthguards necessary? Why do you need an extra pair of shoelaces?

Know what to pack for your upcoming competition with this Pro Tips basketball tournament checklist.


Being surrounded by people who love the game is icing on the cake. It makes for a fun, action-packed few days. However, compared to a single game, tournaments require extra preparation.

Of course, you’ll need to pack gameday essentials like your uniform and basketball shoes. If you normally wear arm sleeves or insoles, don’t forget those either. An extra pair of shoelaces may come in handy, as shoelaces can wear out over time. You may want to also bring your own basketball to dribble during downtime or practice fundamentals with your teammates.


When you have an hour or less until your next game, you can hardly go through a full preparation routine. That quick pace of play is one of the things that makes a tournament so exciting.

But there are a few steps to take that can help improve your experience.

Have snacks like power bars or protein bars on hand in your basketball bag. You don’t want anything too filling, but you’ll need fuel. Wash that down with a sports drink or water. Remember to stay focused so you’re ready to face your next opponent.

The excitement of that first tournament game might cause you to work up a sweat. Freshen up with some baby wipes for a nice, clean feel. For basic comfort, consider changing your socks and your undershirt or tank top. Slip out of your shoes and into slides or sandals. These things can help you avoid heading into the next game damp.

Having a foam roller handy can help you massage your muscles after a game. Don’t know where to start? Check out our Pro Tips guide on how to use a foam roller.


Basketball tournaments are all-day events, but you won’t always be playing games. When you have time to relax between games, there are a few ways you can spend it.

One way to utilize your downtime is by watching other games. The courts are likely to be in constant use, so you can always catch a game and scope out the competition.

If you have a good chunk of time before your next game, it’s a good idea to grab a bite to eat. The tournaments will often have your typical concession foods like pizza and hotdogs, but if you want a healthier option or more variety, take this time to eat a packed lunch from home.


The main difference between what you need for a regular game and what you need for a tournament comes from the longer format of the competition.

Basketball tournaments can be some distance from your home and will take place over the course of several days. Bring a pillow and blanket for long car rides or to use during your downtime. You’ll need to pack casual clothes and an extra pair of sneakers or sliders for time off the court. Don’t forget any personal care items you’ll need, including toiletries and medications.

It’s also a good idea to bring something to help you unwind after a day of competition and excitement. A tablet, cards or book can keep you busy in your spare time or help you relax before getting a good night’s sleep.

Now that you’ve gathered your gear, you’re ready to travel and take on the competition. Want your kicks to look spotless on the court? Be sure to check out our Pro Tips guide on how to clean your basketball shoes.

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