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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

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FAQs and General Info

Core Program FAQs

Please see the Core Program Information for details on the season, schedule, divisions, fees, and other program details.

Can't find the answer to your question? Email [email protected].

General Questions

Is my child the right age for AYSO soccer?

Children born between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2017 can play AYSO soccer during the 2021-2022 year. No exceptions.

What if my child changes his/her mind about playing? Can I get a refund?

Please see our Refund Policy.

Who are the coaches?

Coaches are all volunteers who have undergone a background check, general AYSO training, and training for the age they will be coaching. You do not need to have prior experience to volunteer as a coach. We always need additional coaches! 

How long are the games? What are the rules?

The length of the game, size of the ball, and number of players all increase with the players' age. See Core Program Rules for details. 
 

Registration Questions

When and where do I register?

Registration happens each year in mid-May through June. You will need to LOGIN to this site with a Sports Connect account to register.  If you do not yet have an account, you can create one by clicking on the REGISTER NOW button in the upper right hand corner.

After you're logged in, go to My Account and find your player(s).  Click on the available programs, which will include Core 2021-2022, to complete the registration for 2021-2022.

Registration for the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 season will close June 30, 2021.

What if I missed the June 30th registration deadline?  Can I register for Spring only?

After June 30th, we open a waitlist for the coming season.  You can register for the waitlist through this website under My Account.  If spots are available, we'll notify you to register.  We do not have a separate registration for Spring, but you can join the waitlist to be notified if spots open up over the winter. 

Do I need to provide my child's birth certificate when registering?

No. The registration system includes an option to attach a birth certificate, but this is not required.

What do I do if I'm having trouble registering, remembering my log-in information or having other system troubles?

Contact Sports Connect Technical Support.

How much does it cost and do you prorate fees if I join late?

Registration fees for 2021-2022 are $140, which covers both fall and spring.  We do not prorate fees as our costs per player are the same regardless of how many games in which a player participates.  In addition, players will need to purchase a uniform kit from soccer.com.  The cost of the uniform will be less than $35 per player. 

I'm registered, so now what? When will I hear from a coach?

It takes a few weeks after registration closes for teams to be formed and players to be matched with coaches. Expect to hear from your coach a few weeks before the season starts in the fall.

Pandemic Safety Precautions

What measures are being taken to maintain player, coach, and spectator safety?

For the Spring 2021 season:

  • Everyone in attendance at practices or games (players, coaches, parents, etc.) must wear a mask for all practices and games.
    Additional masks will be available for anyone needing a mask. 
  • Caregivers are required to complete a health screening for each player via the Game Changer app prior to each practice and game. Player temperatures will be checked and logged prior to each practice and game.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for parents, coaches, and players.
  • Individuals who travel out of state, will be asked to quarantine for 10 days before returning to play, staying mindful of other families.  Alternatively, players will be asked to quarantine for 7 days if they test negative for Covid-19 five days after returning from traveling out of state.
  • Contact Tracing is mandated and must be reported to [email protected] and Tim Schmitt, Safety Director.
  • Players who are not well, or have any Covid-19 symptoms will be asked to stay home (inclusive of siblings).

What can I expect for the Fall 2021 season?

Assuming local conditions permit us to do so safely, we intend to return to a normal game schedule where teams play a different opponent each week. Additional safety precautions will depend on national and local recommendations/policies and community infection rates.  We are also planning on resuming EXTRA and Inter-Regional (IR) play in Fall 2021. 

 

General Safety and Equipment

What should I bring to my child's practices and games?

Mask, shin guards (required), soccer shoes, a soccer ball, uniform (games only - bring both jerseys) and water. Also, bringing a well-rested, well-hydrated, nutritionally-balanced child with a positive attitude and willingness to learn is highly recommended!

Do I have to get soccer shoes for my child to play?

Soccer shoes are not mandatory but are highly recommended (regular athletic shoes with no cleats are the alternative). When buying soccer shoes, they cannot have a toe cleat (baseball shoes have a toe cleat). Generally speaking, nearly all players at all age levels use soccer shoes for practices and games.

What equipment is included with my registration fee and what do I need to purchase?

The registration fee does not include the uniform or any equipment.  After registration closes, players will need to purchase a uniform kit directly from soccer.com.  The uniform kit includes a home jersey, away jersey, shorts, and socks.  The total cost per player will be under $35.  Players can also purchase balls, bags, shin guards, and other equipment they may need.  There will be an AYSO Evanston gear page as well for parents and fans.  You will get email reminders to order your uniforms, and they will be shipped directly to your home.  

In addition to the uniform kit, players will also need shin guards (required), soccer shoes (preferred but not required), and a ball (see Rules for the ball size for your player).  We often organize a cleat exchange before the season, which is an opportunity to pick up a used pair of cleats for free or share an outgrown pair with others.

Why are players 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.

Is it OK for players to wear jewelry during practices and games?

No. Jewelry of any kind (necklaces, watches, earrings, rings, friendship bracelets, Live Strong wrist bands, 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.

The doctor said that my child can play with his arm 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.

What about eyeglasses and hearing aids?

Glasses, hearing aids, and med-alerts may be worn to practices and games. The use of an eyeglass holder/strap or sports-glasses is recommended. As stated above, Med-Alerts must be completely covered with tape or a soft cloth band as a safety measure.

It can be cold during the early Fall season games and early Spring games. Can my child wear a sweatshirt during the game?

Any extra articles of clothing must be worn under the uniform (so you can still determine which team a player is associated with). HOODIES ARE NOT ALLOWED, even when tucked inside the jersey. It is recommended that any extra articles of clothing be limited to undershirts or turtle necks (under the uniform). Try to coordinate with your team’s colors if possible. Zippers and drawstrings are also not allowed.

What kinds of hair accessories are acceptable?

Any hair accessories should be soft and not made of metal or plastic. Soft hair accessories such as “scrunchies” and soft rubber bands are recommended and acceptable.

Game Cancellation Policy

AYSO games proceed in rain or shine or cold or heat (so always bring hydration and dress in layers as appropriate). Our experience is that kids generally have fun regardless of the weather (including rain and cold). We only cancel the full day’s games in the event of expected thunderstorms throughout the day or hazardous field conditions prompting either concern for player safety or damage to the fields. Therefore, all AYSO games are on unless cancelled by the Commissioner or with the notable game specific exceptions: Individual games may be cancelled by the Commissioner or by coaches/referees in isolated circumstances due to current weather or field conditions.

Team Formation and Schedules

In school, my child is with classmates who are [younger/older]. May my child “play down” in a younger division or “play up” in an older division to be on teams with kids with whom he/she goes to school?

No. AYSO is a national organization that determines the player divisions based on birth year. AYSO’s accident and liability insurance depends on the players placed in their age appropriate divisions. Many children are in “different” divisions than their school classmates. We encourage you to view this as a positive experience – it will allow your child to broaden his/her relationships outside of school and enjoy making new friends.

How are teams formed? Can I request my child be placed with a friend?

Our Registrar manages all aspects of team formation. This is different than some other youth sports programs where parents do the legwork of pulling together a group of kids to form their own team. We will accommodate 4 Volunteers who wish to coach together and place their kids on the same team. Beyond that, we do not form teams based on location, school attendance, or friendships.

When are the games and practices?

Games are once a week on Sunday afternoons.  Practices are scheduled by the coaches.  Most teams practice once a week on a week night at a field in Evanston.  Some teams have two practices a week or practice on Saturday mornings.  Choosing the practice schedule is a perk of volunteering to coach.  Expect to hear from your coach via email about practices and other details a few weeks before the start of the season.

We have a conflict with the practice day the coach picked. Can my player switch teams?

We do not transfer kids to different teams due to practice times. Rather, your coach will assist you in finding a different team with whom you can practice.


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Contact Us

Evanston AYSO

848 Dodge Ave PMB 392 
Evanston, Illinois 60202

Email Us: [email protected]
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