Frequently Asked Questions
Why AYSO soccer different from club soccer or other programs?
Soccer is a wonderful sport for children, and they should have a good experience with any soccer program. AYSO soccer is designed to be SAFE, FUN and FAIR. There are no “try-outs” or “cuts”. Everyone who signs up will get to play in every game, where the goal is to learn and have a great time with no pressure to “just win”. In comparison, most “club” teams are highly competitive with more aggressive play, and players are expected to already know how to play soccer well. On “Club” teams, there are no guarantees that your kid will play 10 minutes or longer. In AYSO, every one should be three quarters of a match.
When is the AYSO soccer season?
The primary AYSO playing season is in the fall from September through the end of November. Competitive Divisions (u10 – u14) will participate in a playoff system during the first two weeks of December. There is a follow-on season in the spring (for players who played in the fall) that runs from APRIL through May.
Should I volunteer to help?
OF COURSE!! Our AYSO program is a totally volunteer organization run by the parents of players (and often the parents of former players who have moved on but the parents still enjoy helping). There are projects you can help with that take two hours one time up to jobs that require a couple of hours each week. Something for everyone with no experience necessary. Additionally, there is a mandatory two-hour snack bar shift per team for the U10 – U14 divisions. Teams will be assigned times during the playing season and the shift will be posted in the newsletter. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
When is registration?
We typically have registration day events in March, April and June for the Fall Season. We hold registration very early so that we have time to organize teams and train a sufficient number of coaches and referees before games start in September. Registration for the spring season occurs in late fall. Go to the Registration page to get all of the details on the process, dates and times.
How do I register my child to play?
Go to the Registration page to get all of the details on the process, dates and times.
What if I missed registration?
Check the Registration page for instructions for late registration. The child will most likely be put onto the waiting list pending final team organization.
What are the age “divisions”?
As part of making balanced team that will allow for safe, fair and fun play, AYSO divides players into groups based on their ages as of July 31 of the fall season year. A child that turned 7 in March will be in the Under 8 (U8) division, while a child who turns 8 in September will play in the Under 7 (U7) division.
What if my child drops out and I would like to request a refund?
Go to the Registration page for Refund Policies details and instructions.
What other expenses will there be?
The registration covers all player expenses, including the basic picture package, and supplemental accident insurance for AYSO-sponsored activities. Players need shin guards, appropriate shoes, and a ball. Additional expenses may include cost to cover the expenses of a team banner, a gift for the coaches, and occasional team snacks. There will also be one mandatory fundraiser for the U6-U14 divisions which will involve selling candy.
Who will be my child’s coach?
AYSO teams are coached by volunteers from the community, many of them parents with children in the program. Coaches are required to complete age appropriate training, as well as safe haven training. Teams are reformed every season to keep them balanced, and coaches are randomly assigned to teams so that play will be safe, fair and fun.
What if my child wants to play for a different coach?
In order to ensure teams are balanced and fair, we cannot allow players to request specific coaches or coaches to request specific players. The only exception is that coaches can coach their own kids if they wish. Therefore, if your child wants to play for a specific coach, that coach needs to be you (so volunteer! You’ll love it.).
Can my child play on the same team as her best friend?
For the U5/6/7/8 divisions, we try to honor requests to play with friends. That said we cannot always honor that request. For the U10 and above divisions, we do not allow players to request specific teams or matching with specific players.
What are “ratings”?
At the end of each season, division coaches assign a rating for each player based on their observations over the season. These ratings are used in subsequent seasons to help build balanced teams. All ratings are kept strictly confidential.
When do practices start in the fall season?
Most coaches start practices in mid-August.
Where are practices held?
At our local field, Assignments at made by the Coach Administrator based on the numbers of teams in each division. Your coach will inform you of practice locations when he contacts you before the start of the season.
How often are practices held?
U5, U6 and U7 divisions practice once a week. All other divisions may practice up to two times per week.
How long are practices?
Typically, practices are between 60 and 90 minutes long, but individual coaches can vary their schedule.
What do players wear to practice?
Typical practice attire is shorts and a tee shirt (or sweatshirt if it’s chilly). Players should wear their cleats and MUST wear their shin guards with socks pulled up to completely cover the shin guards. What do players wear to games? The required uniform is the “five esses”: shirt, shorts, socks, shoes and shin guards. Players may wear long sleeve plain tee shirts under their shirts if it is cool, and may wear compression shorts under their soccer shorts.
Where (and when) do we get a uniform?
Uniforms are distributed by the coaches one to two weeks before Opening Day.
Where do we get a ball, cleats and shin guards? Sport Chalet, Sport Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods are all good places to find equipment. Each carries a range of excellent choices.
What size ball do we need?
U5 | U6 | U7 | U8 divisions: Size #3
U10 | U11 | U12 divisions: Size #4
U14 | U16 | U19 divisions: Size #5
How early before a game should players arrive?
Most coaches want their players to arrive 30 minutes before a game to warm up and get checked in by the referee.
What if it is (or has been) raining before a game?
Soccer is played in the rain, but cleats on muddy fields tear up the grass. If it is wet or raining before a match, check the region web site for field status, since they may get closed for the day.
What is your heat policy?
Please click the following link for more information: AYSO Region 174 Heat Policy
What if a game is cancelled?
There is no official make-up game policy. Your coach will notify you if a cancelled game can be rescheduled.
What if a player cannot make it to a game?
Your coach would really appreciate a call or a text message as soon as you know a player is not going to be at a game so that they can adjust their lineup. A team must have a minimum of seven players for a match to be played.
Can players wear earrings?
No, under no circumstances can players (girls or boys) wear earrings during practices or games. It is a major safety hazard. If a young girl has just had her ears pierced and cannot take out her studs, she must sit out the game. Taping over earrings is not acceptable.
Can players wear any jewelry?
No. A standard referee safety check speech goes: “check for no finger rings, no earrings, no nose rings, no belly button rings, no necklaces, no bracelets, no watches and no metal clips in the hair.” Nothing that could injury someone.
Can players wear medical alert bracelets?
Yes, but they must be secured with tape except for the alert medal so that nothing can get caught.
Can girls wear hair clips?
Metal and plastic hair clips are not allowed on the field for practice or during a game. Players with long hair may wish to wear soft hair ties such as “Scrunchies”. The referee shall decide if an article of clothing is unsafe.
Is wearing glasses safe?
The wearing of prescription glasses is allowed. It is strongly recommended that the lenses and frames be made of materials designed for sports safety, and that eyeglass holder or other sports straps be used.
Can players wear sunglasses?
No, non-prescription sunglasses are not allowed for safety reasons.
Can my child play wearing a cast or splint?
No, for two reasons. The first is that if a doctor says that the cast or splint is still required for healing then the player should not risk additional injury. The second reason is that casts and splints are dangerous for other players. Soft support wraps are allowed if the referee deems them to be safe.
Can my child play wearing a knee brace?
Yes, knee braces and other soft support wraps are allowed if the referee deems them to be safe.
What if we don’t like our coach?
You are urged to talk with the coach in a calm manner and try to work out the problems like adults, away from the players (preferably this meeting will be done outside of practice or games). If no solution can be reached, parents may contact the appropriate Division Manager listed on the Board page.
What should I do if I see something happen during a game that seems wrong?
Depending on the situation, you can talk to the coach. You may also contact the appropriate regional board member listed on our Board page. For instance, if you have a concern about a referee, you should not confront the referee at the game. Instead, let your child’s coach know, or contact our referee administrator.
What do I do if the referee is making bad calls?
Two answers. One is that the referee is a volunteer who is doing the best job they can, so it’s really important that parents, coaches and players treat them with respect. Criticizing them during a game is highly discouraged. However, the second answer is that some referees try to officiate in games where they are not really qualified based on the level of play. You can share any concerns or experiences with the Regional Referee Administrator and they will be investigated. Please send an appropriate email to one of the regional board members listed on the Board page.
The fall season is approaching. When will I find out what team my child is on?
Your coach will be contacting you within a few weeks of the start of the season to introduce him or herself. Although email is a preferred method of communication for most of our coaches, make sure to get their current phone number when they call. If you’ve not heard from your coach toward the end of August, PLEASE BE PATIENT. He or she may be on vacation. However, if you do not get a phone call or email by August 31, you may contact your Division Rep.
Where can I get the AYSO Tax ID number?
For yearbook sponsors, please click here to download the Acknowledgment of Contribution Form which includes the AYSO Tax ID number.