Information for Parents

Important Links to the basics of soccer are below. Please take time to review.

SHIN GUARDS — Parents, coaches and referees are reminded that all soccer players must wear their shin guards so that the shin guards are completely covered by socks. Players may not fold their socks over the top of the shin guards. Instead, the shin guards must be worn under the socks. If the shin guards cause too much discomfort, simply have the child wear a thin under-sock. This is for the safety of all players.

The Six AYSO Core Philosophies

Everyone Plays

Our goal is for kids to play soccer. So we mandate that every player on every team must play at least half of every game.

Balanced Teams

We set up teams as evenly balanced as possible – because it’s more fun when teams of equal ability play.

Positive Coaching

The way to make winning kids is by building them up, not down. We train and encourage our coaches to make the extra effort to understand and offer positive help to our players, rather than negative criticism.

Open Registration

Our programs are open to all children between the ages of 5 and 18 who want to register and play soccer. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria for playing.

Good Sportsmanship

We desire to create a positive environment based on mutual respect, rather than a win-at-all-costs attitude. All our programs must be designed to instill good sportsmanship in every facet of AYSO.

Player Development

We believe all children should be able to develop to the best of their ability as a individual and as part of a team.

Concussion Policy

All coaches must follow this policy if during either practice or a game a player concussion is suspected: i) the player is done for the day; ii) the player must have a signed release form in order to return to game or practice; iii) an injury report shall be filled out and sent to the Safety Director and to AYSO National; In short: “if in doubt, sit them out.”  No parent, coach, or referee can overrule the sitting out policy if a concussion is suspected.  For any questions about either the heading rule or the concussion policy above, please contact me.

U12 & Younger Heading Banned, Concussion Awareness

Please review this information on concussion awareness and use it so that you can be informed in case a player concussion is suspected. As a result of raised concussion awareness and certain litigation, there is a major change taking place in U.S. Youth Soccer- no heading of the ball is permitted for ages 10 and below in games or practices. This is not exclusively an AYSO rule, but one that all recreational and club youth soccer organizations in the U.S. are implementing effective immediately.  For this reason, in Core AYSO 300 games in the U12 division and every division below U12, any intentional header should be called by the referee as a penalty resulting in an indirect kick for the opposing team. Read the complete description of the AYSO rule for “Heading the Ball” in games and practices. This new rule will take time for coaches, parents, referees, and most particularly players to get used to.  The league asks that we all exhibit patience and understanding as everyone adjusts to this new rule.  But this rule is in effect immediately.

The AYSO Team

AYSO is an organization devoted to child development in a soccer environment that is Safe, Fair, and Fun . The kids are the focus of our program, and the program depends on the efforts of all involved adults for its success. Three groups of people, working together, form the AYSO Team, which creates the environment in which our children develop. Here’s a way to look at it:

The coaches are the foundation of the AYSO Team. They spend hours with the players every week, at practices and at the game, teaching them how to win, how to lose, how to work for an objective, how to cooperate, how to be a team, all through the vehicle of the game of soccer. In this way, they become role models for the players, and so influence the players’ values and behaviors.

The referees watch over the game , helping younger children with the rules and making sure that the game is safe and fair for all. The referees set the tone of the competition, protect the players throughout the match, and provide the necessary authority on game day.

The spectators support the players’ activities in a positive and encouraging way . They create the environment in which the players, coaches, and referees work. They also help to interpret the lessons of the game for the players after the match. When these three groups work together, they create the necessary environment for our children to develop through soccer.  Whatever role you play, keep the AYSO Team in mind. Remember, it’s for the kids!

Know the Game!

Soccer is a simple game, but you and the players will enjoy it more if you know a few of the Laws (not “rules”) that are frequently misunderstood.  Soccer is intended to be a continuous action sport. Whenever possible, the referee will let play continue. Thus, when a player falls, and the referee judges that the player is not at immediate risk, (s)he will generally let the game proceed until a natural stoppage. Of course, the referee will stop play if a player needs immediate attention or would be endangered by continuing play.

Players cannot deliberately play the ball with their hands or arms, except for the goalkeeper within his/her own penalty-area. However, accidental contact between hands or arms and the ball occurs frequently, especially with younger players, and is not an infringement. In such cases, the referee will not stop play, since no breach of the Laws has occurred. A spectator who yells “Handball!” in such circumstances merely reveals his ignorance of the Laws.

throw-in must be taken with part of each foot on or behind the touch-line (side line) at the moment the ball is released. The ball must be thrown from behind and over the head, using both hands. This motion is sometimes difficult for young players to master, and referees in younger divisions may, at their discretion, allow retakes in order to help the players learn this skill.

Unlike basketball and gridiron football, the boundary lines are part of the field of play. The ball is not out of play until it has completely crossed the goal line or touch line. This implies that a goal is not scored unless the ball has wholly crossed the goal line between the goal posts and beneath the crossbar.

Soccer is a sport designed to give skill the advantage over force. The Laws permit physical contact , but limit it to non-dangerous forms. Other kinds of contact are illegal and are penalized by the referee. Careless, reckless, or unnecessarily hard contact by a player on his opponent does not become legal simply because the ball was struck in the process. This point is frequently misunderstood by spectators and players, who again exhibit their ignorance by yelling “But he got the ball, ref!”

Referees penalize only clear infringements. In fact, they are specifically instructed not to penalize doubtful or trifling breaches of the Laws. In other words, the game is supposed to “flow”, and the referee is expected to interfere only to protect the safety of the players or to ensure equity according to the Laws. The referee is explicitly given broad latitude to judge when his/her interference is needed. This is in sharp contrast with many sports popular in the United States, in which spectators expect the referee to stop play for all sorts of trifling violations. A knowledgeable spectator will understand and appreciate why, for example, a referee ignores inconsequential jostling between opponents and allows the game to proceed uninterrupted.

When the referee stops the game, (s)he does not signal the reason for the stoppage. Instead, arm signals are used to indicate how the game is to be restarted. In unusual circumstances, the referee may explain a particular decision to the players. A spectator who finds the lack of explanatory signals frustrating may wish to ask a referee or other knowledgeable person for a more detailed explanation.