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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

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].

Core Program FAQs

Registration and Fees Ages and Team Assignments Teams and Logistics Equipment

Divisions and Teams

My child is young for their division. Can they play down?

No. With two year age divisions, next year your child will be in the middle in terms of age.  There are kids of all abilities and sizes in AYSO.

The one deviation we make to the birth year alignment is to give kids with birthdays that would typically be starting Kindergarten in the fall the option of playing in either 6U or 8U.

For players with significant developmental delays that prevent them from successfully participating in their age division, the EPIC (formerly VIP) program may be a good option.  

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?

Soccer aligns with birth year, not school year. 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.  While it is not our preference, highly skilled players with experience may play up under very limited circumstances (which do not include a preference for alignment with their friends/classmates); contact [email protected] to discuss your player's situation.  

Why is my 7 year old in the 10U division? (or 9 year old in 12U, etc.)

Soccer divisions (internationally) are based on players birth years. Most of our divisions combine kids from two birth years. See the mapping from birthdate to division here. Divisions are named for the age the oldest players will be at the end of the season. For example, kids in 10U are all 9 years old or younger when the fall season starts. If you entered your child's birth date correctly during registration, they are in the correct division.

What if my player has a gender identity not available on the registration form or identifies with a gender other than what is on their birth certificate?

Short answer: They are welcome to play in the division of their choice.

Longer answer: We (Evanston AYSO) have limited control over the registration system, so the registration forms include some questions we do not use and would not choose to include. One required question over which we have no control is player gender. There are two options: Male and Female. The answer to this question, along with the player's birth date, determines which division they are eligible to register for. Please choose the gender that corresponds to the division in which your kid wants to play.

5U and 6U divisions are not divided by gender. 8U and older divisions are split into “G” (primarily girls, gender diverse players welcome; choose "Female" during registration) and “B” (primarily boys, gender diverse players welcome, choose "Male" during registration).

We also encourage you to provide any additional information that will help coaches support your player, such as pronouns or other gender identity information, during registration. Please reach out to [email protected] if you'd like to talk about which division would be most appropriate for your child.

We strive to be gender inclusive; if there are ways we can do better, please contact [email protected].

Birth certificates are not required for registration; please do not submit one.

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!

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 or locations. Your coach can assist you in finding a different team with whom you can practice if you are interested.

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

We will accommodate 3 volunteers (coaches, referees, team parents) who wish to lead a team together and place their kids on the same team. Beyond that, we do not form teams based on location, school attendance, or friendships. We do our best to balance skill levels across teams, and we have 1000+ kids to place on teams each year.

Can I request a specific coach for my child?

No.  We will accommodate 3 volunteers (coaches, referees, team parents) who wish to lead a team together and place their kids on the same team. Beyond that, we cannot accommodate any requests for team assignments.

My child's team lost most/all of their games?  What about balanced teams?

We do our best to create teams with balanced skill and experience levels and a balance of ages during the team formation process.  This is based on limited information we have from the players during registration and input from coaches from the previous season. We take this seriously, since having competitive teams helps support player development and give kids a good experience.

While we do our best, the principle of balanced teams during team formation does not always translate into balanced outcomes or balanced teams by the end of the season.  This is a recreational soccer league with a wide range of skill levels at each age group.  One strong player being present or absent for a team can make a big difference.  We don't know which kids will show up regularly, and which will quit mid-season.  And we don't know which players will rapidly increase in skill during a year.  

After the fall session, we ask for input from the coaches on their team's skill level.  When possible, we adjust the spring schedule to try to pair teams of similar levels and add any experienced players on the waitlist to weaker teams.  But we have limited options for addressing skill disparities between teams.  We also train coaches on strategies for addressing unbalanced skill levels between teams during games.  


Can my child switch teams for the spring season?

Generally no.  If there is an issue that the board should know about or may need to address with the team, please contact [email protected].  


I registered before June 30th but my kid is on the waitlist. Why?

We have a waitlist because we do not have enough volunteer coaches to form additional teams. If your child is on the waitlist and you are willing to coach, please email [email protected] to get set up as a volunteer. Our main limiting factor is volunteer coaches; if you can coach, we'll have a spot for your kids.

Our 19U teams only have a waitlist option until we can determine whether we have enough kids to form a team.

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

No. The registration system includes an option to attach a birth certificate and/or photo, but this is not required. A photo can be helpful to coaches, but we do not need birth certificates.

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

Contact Sports Connect Technical Support.

If you think it's an issue specific to Evanston AYSO and not the website system, please contact [email protected].

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

You'll need a uniform and other equipment.

It takes us several weeks in late July and early August to make the teams. Expect to hear from your coach a few weeks before the season starts in the fall.

All of our league communications are over email. Most messages will come from [email protected] or [email protected] (our registration system's emails), so please make sure these aren't going to your spam folder.

Other Logistics

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

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!

Soccer cleats/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 in 8U and above use soccer shoes for practices and games.

Why are players required to wear their soccer socks over their shin guards?

That's how it's done in soccer.  The socks help hold the shin guards in place. Safety is also a factor. Other kids shoes could catch an open shin guard.  Some types of shin guards are hard shell instead of soft, and may have sharp edges that could scratch a player. By wearing their socks over the shin guards, players protect each other.

If you kid doesn't like the feel of shin guards on their skin, it is common to wear a smaller pair of thin socks under the shin guards.  

National Partners

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Contact Us

Evanston AYSO

848 Dodge Ave PMB 392 
Evanston, Illinois 60202

Email Us: [email protected]
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