San Marcos AYSO

Questions and Answers About Players and Equipment

These are some common questions about soccer players and the equipment necessary to play soccer.

Q: What other soccer expenses can I anticipate this year?
Not included in the registration fees are the required shin guards, appropriate shoes, and a ball. It is strongly recommended that each player have his/her own ball. In addition, the team parents will possibly request a small amount to cover the expenses of a team banner, hair pieces (for the girls), end of season team party, and a small gift for the coach. Also, each family is often requested to bring snacks for the team at one game during the season.

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Q: What equipment is needed?
Soccer has limited equipment requirements. Shin guards are mandatory during practice and games. Full-coverage shoes are required, and it is advisable to use shoes designed specifically for soccer. No shoes may have a "toe cleat". Players wearing shoes with toe cleats will be asked to change into different shoes before being allowed to play.

San Marcos AYSO teams play in uniforms (jersey, shorts and socks) supplied by the region which is included in the registration fee. San Marcos AYSO also provides the  field equipment, such as goals, nets and flags. Every child should have their own soccer ball for practicing and playing on their own.

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Q: Do I have to get soccer shoes for my child to play?
Soccer shoes are not mandatory but are highly recommended. Regular athletic or running shoes with no cleats are a ready alternative. When buying soccer shoes, they cannot have a toe cleat. Many baseball and (American) football shoes have a toe cleat. Shoes with toe cleats are not allowed in soccer and players wearing shoes with toe cleats will be required to change shoes before being allowed to play.

Generally speaking, nearly all players at all age levels use soccer shoes for practices and games.

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Q: What size soccer ball should I get for my child?
Divisions U5 through U8 use a Size 3 ball.
Divisions U10 and U12 use a Size 4 ball.
Divisions U14 and above use a Size 5 ball.

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Q: Why are the children required to wear their soccer socks over their shin guards?
Safety is the primary reason. Some types of shin guards are hard shell instead of soft, and may have sharp edges that could cut a player. By wearing their socks over the shin guards, players protect each other. Also, wearing the socks over the shin guards prevent the shin guards from shifting during running or when being kicked, which allow the shin guards to protect the areas they are supposed to.

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Q: What should I bring to my child’s practices and games? What should my child have for practices and games?
Shin guards (required), soccer shoes, a soccer ball, uniform (games only) and water. Also, bringing a well rested, well hydrated, nutritionally balanced child with a positive attitude and willingness to learn is highly recommended!

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Q: Is it OK for players to wear jewelry during practice and game?
No. Jewelry of any kind (necklaces, watches, earrings, rings, bracelets, etc.) cannot be worn during practice or games. There is an exception for Med-Alert bracelets, but they must be completely covered with tape or a soft cloth band for the safety of your child and all the other players.

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Q: The doctor said that my child can play with his arm in a splint. Will AYSO allow him/her to play?
No. While the doctor may be representing your son's interest appropriately, the risk to other players mandates that he limit his participation to that of moral support on the sidelines. Players may not wear casts or splints which could possibly cause injury to himself/herself or another player. NO EXCEPTIONS. This applies at the games as well as at practices.

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Q: What about eyeglasses and hearing aids?
Glasses, hearing aids, and med-alert bracelets may be worn to practices and games. The use of an eyeglass holder/strap or sports-glasses is recommended. As stated above, Med-Alert bracelets must be completely covered with tape or a soft cloth band as a safety measure.

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Q: What kinds of hair accessories are acceptable?
Any hair accessories should not be made of metal or plastic, and should not be rigid. Soft hair accessories such as "scrunchies" and soft rubber bands are recommended and acceptable. Feathers and other items are not allowed.

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Q: It can be cold during early morning fall season games. Can my child wear a sweatshirt during the games?
Any extra articles of clothing must be worn under the uniform so you can still determine which team a player is associated with. It is recommended that any extra articles of clothing be limited to undershirts or turtle necks that are worn under the uniform. Try to coordinate with your team’s colors if possible. Any extra articles cannot have any zippers, or any plastic or metal components of any kind.

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Q: What is good sportsmanship?
AYSO has always encouraged good sportsmanship in its programs. In fact, "Good Sportsmanship" is one of the philosophies listed in the AYSO National Bylaws. San Marcos AYSO strongly supports good sportsmanship through dynamic programs. Elements of these programs may vary, but all define the conduct of players, coaches, referees and even parents. They explain the fundamentals of good behavior, which is simply showing courtesy and respect for all involved in the game.

When players, volunteers and parents understand what is expected of them when it comes to good sportsmanship, that is how they will act. AYSO is proud of its many good sports, but understands that good sportsmanship doesn't just happen. It needs to be taught, encouraged and demonstrated.

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