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AYSO National Rules & Regulations

The American Youth Soccer Organization (“AYSO”) within its operating framework of Sections, Areas and Regions, offers a variety of player program options for delivering a quality soccer experience to all participants. Additionally, alternative soccer play programming may include indoor soccer, futsal, AYSO Playground Soccer, AYSO Schoolyard Soccer, jamboree format or monitored pick-up play, Soccerfest, camps, technical training, skills clinics and other offerings across the Organization.

AYSO primarily delivers outdoor soccer match play. The following Rules & Regulations shall be used for Region, Area, Section and tournament play within AYSO. Some flexibility in these rules may be allowed for other forms of match play with the approval of the Area Director and Section Director.

Download the 2019 AYSO National Rules & Regulations as a PDF »

Coaches

APPLY TO COACH

Follow ALL OF the steps below to apply to coach, and click Learn about Volunteering with eAYSO to learn more.

1. Submit your volunteer application via the Register link on the top right.

2. Obtain the REQUIRED AYSO Safe Haven Certification

3. Obtain Required Level-Specific Training

ALL coaches and assistant coaches are required to attend an AYSO coach training session for their division (unless you have previously received such training).

These training sessions are geared for all ability levels and deal with such matters as AYSO’s core philosophies (especially the importance of POSITIVE coaching), team management, the laws of the game (which vary considerably by division), age appropriate skills and techniques, game strategy, and how to run an effective practice.

Ensuring that all of our coaches have the same basic training is not only a good practice, it is required by AYSO National.

 

COACHES TOOLKIT

Rules

AYSO Coach Guides

Comprehensive guide to team preparation, game management and player development specific for each age division.

Drills and Player Development

Where to Start?

Training drills are great for practices!

The AYSO Coach Guides listed in the section below contain many drills and games targeted to your age division.  They can be downloaded, printed and brought to practice.

If you have any other drills that you think would be worth posting, please pass them our way and we will post right here.

  • SoccerClinics.com – Drills, tactics and products for the soccer coach.
  • NSCAA – National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Look for the link to Coaching Tips . . . and more.

POSITIVE COACHING

Positive Coaching is One of the Five Philosophies of AYSO

This is what we mean when we say positive coaching:

Setting the Tone

Good sportsmanship and team spirit begins with you.

You are teaching these kids much more than just soccer, so always be aware of you behavior, because your players will be watching.

At Practices

Set the right example for the kids.

  • Always be the first one to practice and the last one to leave.
  • It is okay to expect kids (and their parents) to come on time, too. They should respect your time.

Come prepared with a sense of what drills you want to run and what you want to accomplish
Kids get easily distracted when standing around.

  • If you are fumbling and stumbling about what to do at practice, you are more likely to lose your attention.
  • Focus on drills that involve most or all of the kids at the same time.
  • Understand the level of your players. You can’t teach the whole thing in one season. Focus on one or two skills that are age appropriate. Reinforce and praise good performance. Be patient when correcting a player
  • We are a teaching league, but we have limited time. Only one practice a week!
  • We want to advance the skills of all players, not just the stars. This is the reward of being a coach: seeing all your players shine after a season of hard work.
  • If you are running out of ideas, download player development drills.

Games

The coach wins if the kids learned something about soccer and sportsmanship, regardless of the score!

  • Sure, everyone wants to win
    but NOT at the expense of excluding a player. We are here for the kids and to help them play the game.
  • Limit your teaching during the game
    That’s what practices are for. Give encouragement and take notes so you can work on skills at the next practice.
  • It is the kids’ game.
    We want each kid to say they had fun at the end of a game and practice.  They should work hard to win.

Here are some rules to follow:

  • Come to the game with your roster and positions already set for each period of play.  It will eliminate 90% of all squabbling, lobbying or complaining about positions.
  • Say Hello to the refs and opposing coaches before the game. We are all part of the same soccer family
  • Players should play all positions during the regular season. Even your star goalie should play out of goal at least half of each game. Kids who love defense need to play as Forwards, and vice versa.  Players should learn the skills and strategies of all positions. As they get older and involved in more competitive play, they will have plenty of opportunity to focus on one particular position.
  • Substitutions are made between quarters, never during the quarter (unless there is an injury). The clock does not stop at quarter breaks, so do this quickly.
  • Players should be in the game at least three quarters. If you have too many players, you are required to balance it our. No player should play three or four quarters every week while others are playing two.
  • Make sure that you alternate your starting line-up and your fourth quarter line-up. Players should not be sensing that there are certain times of the game when they are not as welcome on the field.
  • Make sure your players have proper equipment.
  • NEVER EVER BERATE THE REFEREE.
    They are volunteers, just like you, doing the best they can. You undermine their authority and set a horrible example for the kids when you cannot control your emotions. Rolling of the eyes, complaining to parents or players on the sidelines is equally poor conduct. Refs will blow calls. It happens, get over it. IF you want to talk to the ref about specific or general issues, take him/her over to the side tat an opportune time and have a polite conversation about it. Perhaps you do not fully understand the Laws of the Game. Perhaps the ref just missed it.
  • NEVER EVER BERATE A KID FOR POOR PLAY.
    There is simply no excuse for criticizing players on the field, or barking instructions at them every two seconds. Let the kids play. Take notes. Use those notes to teach at the half and the end of the game. Most players know very well when they commit a bonehead play; there is no need to remind them.
  • ALWAYS LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO PRAISE.
    A good pass. A good shot. Good hustle. Good teamwork. A good defensive play. A nice save. A good kick. Use of the whole field. Nice dribbling. Good positional play. There are dozens of opportunities to praise your players and your team every game, win or lose. Take advantage of some of them.
  • NEVER PUT WINNING ABOVE GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP.
    Never run up the score. If your team has a victory well in hand, think about putting your goal scorers on defense, and telling them not to go midfield. Or tell them to focus on possession, not scoring. There is not bright line rule as to when to ease up, but it usually isn’t to hard to figure out.
  • DO NOT TOLERATE POOR SPORTSMANSHIP BY PARENTS
    Whether towards the other team, the ref, or their own team or kid, be considerate, but firm, and remind them of the code of conduct that parents are expected to follow. It may be helpful to have one handy to show them. If a parent continues to be a problem, escalate to the Regional Coach Administrator and Commissioner
  • ALWAYS DISPLAY GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP AT THE END OF THE GAME.
    Thank the refs. Thank the opposing coaches and players. And encourage your players to thank the refs too.

Running Your Team

Always focus on positive coaching.

  • It is up to you to set a positive tone for your team.
  • Always be respectful of your players, opposing players, other coaches and refs.
  • Make sure your players and parents show the same respect at all times.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Work your team hard, but always have fun!

Get some help with your duties!

  • Get a co-coach and as many assistants as possible to help with practices.
  • Let your team parent handle phone calls to other parents.

National Partners

Contact Us

Evanston AYSO

848 Dodge Ave PMB 392 
Evanston, Illinois 60202

Email Us: [email protected]
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