American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is a non-profit soccer organization that provides youth soccer programs for children aged 4 through 19 with its six philosophies as a North Star.
Established in 1964 in Torrance, California, AYSO has grown to become one of the largest youth sports organizations in the world, with more than 60,000 teams and approximately 600,000 players in nearly 1,000 Regions across the United States.
AYSO is committed to providing a safe, fun, and fair environment for all players, regardless of their skill level or experience.
AYSO is a great organization for children who want to learn and play soccer in a safe, fun, and supportive environment.
Is it the most competitive soccer program? No, but this is what makes it appealing.
Structure of AYSO Soccer
AYSO Soccer is structured in a way that provides a safe, fair, and fun environment for children to play soccer. The organization is divided into Sections, Areas, and Regions.
Based on player population, AYSO divides the country into 14 geographic Sections. Section Directors are responsible for activities in their respective Sections, ensuring that smaller Areas and Regions comply with all rules, philosophies, and quality of the programs.
As we go down a level, a group of AYSO Regions combine to form an Area. AYSO has close to 100 Areas nationwide. Area Directors are trained to support and mentor each of their Regions and are responsible for overseeing a list of activities within their respective Regions.
Lastly, AYSO’s grassroots soccer programs begin with a community-based league, called a Region. A Region can range in size from under a hundred to several thousand players. Each of the Regions is managed by a volunteer Commissioner and a Regional Board.
Origins of AYSO Soccer
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) was founded in 1964 by a group of soccer enthusiasts in Torrance, California. The organization was established with only nine teams and a handful of volunteers.
The ultimate goal was to introduce American kids to the game of soccer and provide them with a safe and fun environment to play in. And, over the decades, I think they’ve accomplished this (and more)!
AYSO’s founders believed that soccer was a great way to promote physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship among children. They wanted to create a program that was accessible to all kids, regardless of their skill level or background.
Since its founding, AYSO has grown into a national organization with over 60,000 teams and over 600,000 participants. The organization has expanded its programs to include various age groups, from 4-year-olds to adults.
AYSO’s programs are designed to promote the development of soccer skills, as well as to teach important life skills such as leadership, communication, and problem-solving. The organization’s philosophy is based on the belief that every child should be given the opportunity to play soccer in a positive and supportive environment
Overall, AYSO has had a significant impact on youth soccer in the United States. Its commitment to providing a safe and fun environment for kids to play soccer has helped to promote the sport and develop the skills of countless young players.
AYSO Soccer Competitions
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) regular season runs from September to November and from March to May. During this time, teams play a set number of games against other teams in their region. The regular season is an opportunity for players to develop their skills, build teamwork, and have fun playing the game.
AYSO also offers tournaments for players who want to compete at a higher level. Tournaments are held throughout the year and provide players with the opportunity to play against teams from other regions and even other countries.
Tournaments offer players a chance to showcase their skills and compete against talented players in their age group. They also provide an opportunity for players to travel and experience soccer at a higher level.
AYSO Six Philosophies
AYSO has six core philosophies that guide the organization’s mission and values. These six philosophies are:
- Everyone Plays®: AYSO’s goal is for every child to have the opportunity to play soccer. To achieve this goal, AYSO mandates that every player on every team must play at least 50 percent of every game.
- Balanced Teams: At the start of each season, AYSO tries to set up teams as evenly as possible. This ensures that games are more fun for the kids when teams are of equal ability.
- Open Registration: AYSO believes that every child should have the opportunity to play soccer regardless of their ability or financial situation. AYSO has an open registration policy, which means that anyone who wants to play can sign up.
- Positive Coaching: AYSO believes that coaches should be positive and encouraging. AYSO provides training and resources to help coaches create a positive and supportive environment for their players.
- Good Sportsmanship: AYSO emphasizes good sportsmanship and fair play. AYSO expects players, coaches, and parents to be respectful and courteous to each other and to the referees.
- Player Development: AYSO believes that soccer is more than just winning and losing. AYSO focuses on developing players’ skills, teamwork, and confidence. AYSO provides training and resources to help coaches and players improve their skills and knowledge of the game.
How to Get Involved in AYSO Soccer
Getting involved in AYSO soccer is easy and straightforward. Here are the steps to follow:
- Find a Local AYSO Region: The first step to getting involved in AYSO soccer is to find a local AYSO region near you. You can use the AYSO website to locate a region near you. Once you find a region, you can contact them to learn more about their programs and how to register.
- Register Your Child: AYSO soccer is open to all children between the ages of 4 and 18. To register your child, you will need to provide some basic information such as your child’s name, date of birth, and contact information. You may also need to pay a registration fee, which varies depending on the region.
- Volunteer: AYSO soccer relies on volunteers to run the program. As such, parents are encouraged to volunteer in various capacities such as coaching, refereeing, or helping team communication. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your child’s soccer experience and to give back to the community.
- Get Your Child Equipped: To participate in AYSO soccer, your child will need a few basic pieces of equipment such as soccer cleats, shin guards, and a soccer ball.
By following these steps, you can get your child involved in AYSO soccer and help them develop their soccer skills while having fun and making new friends!