are some common questions about AYSO as an organization.
Q: What makes AYSO different?
Our mission is to provide quality youth soccer programs where everyone builds positive character through participation in a safe, fun, family-oriented soccer environment. AYSO's six philosophies separate us from the pack:
Q: How does AYSO protect its athletes?
Safe Haven is a program designed to address a growing need for child and volunteer protection.
The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997
This law grants immunity from certain types of prosecution for volunteers who meet its requirements. In order to receive full protection under the law, AYSO volunteers need four things.
1. They must be currently registered in the database.
2. They must be properly trained and certified.
3. They must be performing duties as laid out in a position description.
4. They must act within the scope of AYSO's Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines.
Kids Zone is a dynamic program targeted to eliminate negative sideline behavior. Kids Zone buttons and signs are distributed throughout the Region and parents are asked to sign the Kids Zone Pledge promising to behave within the guidelines of the program.
Play It Safe
Safety is a big part of keeping things fun. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
Advise your child never to leave a practice or game alone. Walk with a buddy whenever possible.
NEVER let your children play on soccer goals. Portable goals have been known to tip over when people play on them, resulting in serious injury and even death.
If you normally pick your child up from the field, but have to send someone else, use a code word. That way, if someone comes up and says "Your mother sent me to pick you up," but they don't have the code word you and your child have established, your child knows not to go with the stranger.
Q: What is Safe Haven?
Safe Haven certification program was developed by AYSO to provide protection for the children and volunteers in AYSO. It is a class that presents measures which volunteers should follow to promote a healthy and positive environment.
Q: Who runs San Marcos AYSO (AYSO Region 127)?
Volunteers - AYSO National is an all-volunteer organization with more than 220,000 parents and friends working as coaches, referees and administrators. San Marcos is no different and it's not unusual to find two, three or more children in the same family playing AYSO soccer - while Dad serves as referee and Mom as coach. A coach, a referee, a registrar, a fundraiser, a field marker, a publicist, a treasurer - many people, all contributing their time and efforts to make AYSO a great program for our soccer-playing kids.
AYSO works because the volunteers work. Please check out all of our volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer page or send a message to our registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How did AYSO begin?
AYSO National was founded in 1964 in Torrance, Calif. with about 125 players. Today that number has grown to more than 600,000 nationwide. AYSO's founders based its formation on community involvement. See a more detailed History of San Marcos AYSO on our About Us page.
Q: How is AYSO organized?
In our case the Region refers to San Marcos AYSO 127. The foundation of AYSO is the "Region", or basic community program. Each Region is headed by a Regional Commissioner who, with the help of a Regional board, conducts business within the framework of AYSO's philosophies, Rules and Regulations and Bylaws. Depending on its stage of development, a Region may have as few as 200 players or as many as 5,000, grouped into boys and girls divisions based on age.
Regional Commissioners report to Area Directors.
San Marcos AYSO is in Area "R". Several bordering Regions compose an "Area." Each Area is headed by an Area Director who is responsible for performance and growth of the Area.
Area Directors report to Section Directors.
San Marcos AYSO is in Section 11. Section Directors are responsible for the general welfare and administration of a "Section." A Section is composed of several bordering Areas and may cover a portion of a state, an entire state, or several states.
The Board of Directors
A National Board of Directors governs the overall AYSO organization. Regional Commissioners, Area and Section Directors, along with the National Board Members, serve as executive members with voting rights.
The National Staff
The staff at AYSO's national headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. works closely with these volunteer executive members and interfaces directly with each Region. The headquarters, called the National Support & Training Center or NSTC, provides many services: computerized registration; publications; liability and accident insurance; training for coaches, referees and administrators, and more.
Q: What's a Region?
Our San Marcos 127 AYSO Region is one of nearly 1,000 local programs in communities nationwide. Each AYSO Region is the same, yet different. The Bylaws and Rules and Regulations are the same but because community needs and characteristics may be different, regions have the flexibility to accommodate their own unique needs.
Each region is identified by its own number. Your Regional Commissioner and Regional Board of Directors will usually meet once a month during the season and perhaps more often for pre-season planning. You are welcome to attend any of these meetings. Many Regions give out a Region Handbook at registration, with their policies fully defined. San Marcos AYSO has handbooks for coaches, parents and referees. You may obtain a handbook at any time. We'll be happy to pass one along to you.
Q: What am I expected to do as an AYSO parent?
Support Your Child!
Take your child to practices and games with the proper equipment. Support your child by giving encouragement and showing an interest in his or her team. Help your child learn soccer skills and good sportsmanship. Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are often more important than victory.
One of AYSO's guiding principles is Good Sportsmanship. We firmly believe that sportsmanship should be shown by everyone involved with AYSO, from our Regional Commissioner and board members, to our coaches and referees, to our parents. Much of your child's experience will depend on the attitude shown by parents. If a parent is a poor sport, then there is a high likelihood that the player will be as well. So please encourage good sportsmanship in your child.
Let children set their own goals and play the game for themselves. Don't put too heavy a burden on your child to win games.
Everyone can do something, and everyone is needed to do their part. Let us know your talents and we will match you with a job you enjoy.
You are not on the team, but you have strong influence on the team's environment. Applaud good plays by your child's team and by the opposing team. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sporting activities.
Reinforce Positive Behavior
The best way to help a child to achieve goals and reduce the natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. No one likes to make a mistake. If your child does make one, remember that he or she is still learning. Encourage your child's efforts and point out the good things your child accomplished.
Let Coaches Coach And Referees Ref!
Coaches and referees are usually parents. They volunteer their time to help make your child's youth soccer experience a positive one. They need your support, too. What coaches and referees don't need is your help in coaching from the sidelines. So please refrain from coaching during games and practices. Referees are not the "bad guys." Treat them and their calls fairly and respectfully.
Q: Volunteer? But I don't know anything about soccer!
Volunteering is crucial to the success of AYSO as it is 100% volunteer-based. It is also awesome to be an integral part of your child's youth soccer experience. AYSO provides all the training and support, at no cost to you, for each volunteer position. Our region holds clinics for coaching at all levels, referee and assistant referee clinics, safe haven courses. Check out our calendar page for upcoming classes.
Q: How do I become an AYSO volunteer?
It's easy. Talk to your child's coach, contact your Regional Commissioner or any of our region board members. They will be most helpful - and happy - to find the right job for you. Or visit our Volunteers page for a list of positions in San Marcos AYSO.
Don't see something that fits your interests but you still want to help out? Or, do you have an idea that would help our league be better? Great! We'd love to hear from you. Just send an email to our Registrar at email@example.com
and let us know!
Q: When is the AYSO soccer season?
The largest season is in the fall with registration taking place in the spring. Fall season will start the end of July. We have additional programs to run year round. Please contact our Registrar for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: When are practices and games?
Each region schedules its own practices and games. When your child has been registered and placed on a team, your child's coach will contact you with practice day(s) and time(s), and a schedule of games. If you have not been contacted by a coach, please contact our Registrar at email@example.com
. Be sure to include your name, and your child's name, age and gender in your message. We'll do our very best to get in touch with your coach, but please be aware that many times coaches are on vacation or otherwise unavailable before the season begins.