A Description of Our Program
AYSO is a national soccer organization that is child-first and child focused.
We strive to deliver a quality youth soccer program which promotes a fun, family environment based on AYSO's Six Philosophies.
Every girl and boy stepping on a field for the first time can have fun while they develop soccer skills and learn to enjoy the world's most popular sport.
It's also a game you can play and enjoy for the rest of your life.
AYSO starts with a non-competitive, purely fun experience at the earliest ages, and continues with age-appropriate small-sided games as players grow. Smaller-sided teams for younger children allow more touches on the ball and a more successful soccer learning environment. We do not introduce full-field, 11 players-per-team soccer until kids reach 12 years of age. We focus on positive messages, and ensure that each child plays more than half of each game (usually 3/4 or more). A more detailed description of each level of our program follows:
Girls Under-5 Jamboree: The Jamboree program is designed to be a pressure-free introduction to soccer that allows 4-year olds to experience fun activities and games that require no practice or prior experience. An AYSO Advanced Coach will lead the weekly session in which parents and kids are introduced to a game or activity that involves a soccer-related skill. When the players are ready for it, they are divided into 3-player teams for short games that simply for fun. The objectives of this clinic-style program are to introduce the game to the youngest kids (and their parents) in a stress-free environment.
Boys U5 and U6 & Girls U6: The U6 program introduces teams (boys U5 is a separate division, which is also follows this model). Players are part of an 8-9 player team, which plays a weekly game on Saturdays. Each team practices in the first half of its scheduled game period, and then plays a 25 minute game against another team in the second half of the time. Games are generally 3v3 on a small (30x20 yd) field, with each team divided in half so that two games can take place simultaneously. This maximizes playing time for each child, and allows the coaches to balance the team strengths as much as possible. Games are purely for fun; we don't keep score and we don't have standings.
Boys U7 and U8 & Girls U7 and U8: Starting in 2012, we are separating the U7 and U8 divisions in both girls' and boys' play in order to allow the younger 6-year olds to develop at their own pace. The U7 and U8 program introduces weekly practices in addition to the Saturday games. Practices are generally one hour in length on a weekday afternoon or early evening. Games are 40 minutes in length, and are played 5v5 on a small (45x30 yd) field with proportionally small nets and no goalkeepers. Experience shows that 6 and 7-year olds lack the physical development and psychological focus to play the goalkeeper position, and that eliminating the keepers opens up the game and makes it more free-flowing. The small-sided experience allows each player to fully participate in the game. U7 and U8 play is still purely for fun; we don't keep score and we don't have standings.
Boys U10 & Girls U10: In the U10 division (for players age 8 and 9), we introduce goalkeeping and competitive play. Weekly games are 50 minutes long, and are played 7v7 on a 75x40 yard field. This is the first division in which we maintain scores and keep standings. A playoff is held in December to determine the division champion.
Boys U12 & Girls U12: In the U12 division (for players 10 and 11), games are 60 minutes long, and are played 9v9 on a field that is 90-100 yards long, and 45-50 yards wide. Goals are now full-size. With the larger team size, players are introduced to positional play that approximates full soccer. Yet the 9-player teams allow greater space on the field and more involvement by each player.
Boys U14 & Girls U14: In the U14 division, we introduce full-size 11v11 play. Games are 70 minutes long, yet we continue to ensure that all players participate for at least 3/4 of a game.
Boys U16 and U19 & Girls U16 and U19: In the oldest divisions, the season is shortened in order to allow players to participate on their high-school teams. Games are sometimes played on Sunday, and the season will end prior to Thanksgiving. All play is against other regions in our area.