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We forgot to signup, what do we do?

Yes, it is possible, depending on the numbers we have already signed up for each division. Please see the Registration page.

What are my options if my child is put on a Waiting List?

First of all, make sure you pre-register. See the Registration Page.

If you had to register late, you will then be notified where your child stands on the Waiting List. Many times, players drop out and your child will be added to a team. There are also other regions nearby if there is no space in Region 88.

Why do we need to sign up so early?

Here are just a few of the reasons signups are held in the spring.

  • So as many players who want to, can play. Other regions wait until summer to start registration, and many players are not able to sign up in time.
  • So we can secure field permits for practices and games. We compete with other groups for fields, so need to secure the permits months ahead of time.
  • So multiple clinics can be scheduled and coaches and referees can be certified.
  • So we purchase enough uniforms and other equipment.
  • So new players can be evaulated and balanced teams formed.
  • So we set up a schedule as soon as we can.

We found out we cannot play this season. How do I get a refund?

Please see the Refunds page.

To ensure balanced teams, no refund will be given after July 1.

What age group will my player be in this year?

Under-5 4 8/1/09 thru 7/31/10
Under-6 5 8/1/08 thru 7/31/09
Under-8 6-7 8/1/06 thru 7/31/08
Under-10 8-9 8/1/04 thru 7/31/06
Under-12 10-11 8/1/02 thru 7/31/04
Under-14 12-13 8/1/00 thru 7/31/02
Under-16 14-15 8/1/98 thru 7/31/00
Under-19 16-17-18 8/1/95 thru 7/31/98

How much is registration?

Before April 19 the fee is $100 for each player. After April 19, the fee is $120 per player (no exceptions). The fee covers uniform, pictures, trophy and yearbook (provided the team supplies a sponsor).

What is online pre-registration?

The online pre-registration system, e-AYSO, is set up by AYSO National and allows you to pre-register your children online for Region 88. This dramatically speeds up the Walk-Up Registration process and will help alleviate mistakes found in the handwritten forms.

What's the difference between "Pre-register" and "Register"?

There is 2-step process to allow your child to play in the upcoming season.

  1. Pre-registration is sort of like a waiting list for the next upcoming season. It gets you in the online system. Every player must pre-register online using the e-AYSO website.
  2. Registration is the official acceptance to the upcoming season. This is usually completed at the walk-up registration (or late registration process) where you turn in your printed pre-registration forms and pay the season fees.

How do I know if I pre-registered correctly and you have my information?

If you pre-registered correctly, we will have your information. If you are not sure, go to the e-AYSO website, log-in with your user-name and password, click on "Player" and you will see your child's name. If you do not see your child's name, your pre-regisatration is not complete and you need to make sure you pre-register correctly.

What do the fees cover?

The fees cover a uniform - jersey, shorts and socks - you must buy shinguards and shoes (sneakers OK but cleats are preferred). The fee also includes team and individual photos, buttons, trophies and a yearbook, PROVIDED the team supplies a sponsor which will help pay for other region costs.

Are there multiple player discounts?

No. The administrative costs per player do not decrease with additional players from a family.

When will we be notified about the team my child is on?

Team assignments will be notified by August. Contact your Division Coordinator ONLY AFTER SEPTEMBER 1 if you have not received a phone call from a coach.

When a coach does call you, please record the name and phone number of your coach and division coordinator. Coaches cannot change a player's team assignments and they cannot add players to their teams. (Violation of this rule will result in immediate removal from any involvement in our soccer program.) We reserve the right to adjust teams to maintain team balance.

When does the regular season begin and end?

The season for U6, U8, U16 and U19 runs from August to November.

The season for U10, U12 and U14 runs from August to December.

The season for U5 runs from September to November.

What time will my child practice?

Although practices may vary, expect your child to practice at the following times.

NOTE: In the Under-6 and Under-8 divisions, practices usually begin at 4:30 pm. Also, a parent (not a brother or sister) is required to stay at practice, so if you cannot stay with your child at this time, you may want to reconsider registering this year.

Likely Practice Times
8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Practice combined
with games on Saturdays

Will my two children be on the same team?

Yes, if they are in the same division. Sometimes a parent may decide that it is not a good idea for their children to play together, which will also be honored whenever possible. Please e-mail the Registrar if you would like to request these arrangements.

Can my child be on a team with his/her best friend?

NO. To make teams as balanced as possible, Region 88 builds teams through a balanced draft. Only exception is in the Under 5 and 6 divisions, when reasonable.

I would like my child to play, but honestly cannot afford the program. What can I do?

Our region wants to make sure to that every child who wants to play... can. Please direct this situation directly to the Registrar.

I'll be attending high school in September. What AYSO division do I play in?

In the rare case where the player falls in the Under-14 division, but will be attending high school, Region 88 strongly recommends that your child play up in the Under-16 Division. Any exceptions must be made directly to the Region Commissioner.

Why? CIF ("high school") rules do not allow a player to play on both a high school team and a AYSO or club team at the same time. The Under-16 division ends before the high school season starts so there is no conflict. However, in the Under-14 division, the high school season overlaps with the end of the Under-14 season and its playoffs. According to CIF rules, if a player makes the high school team, the player is not allowed to play on an AYSO team anymore, and the AYSO team will lose one of its players, and create an imbalance in the teams, thus violating one of the AYSO tenants. For the player, violations of this rule could result in a forfeiture of high school games and cause a player to be ineligible for high school play.

This is specifically why the Under-16 and Under-19 season must end just as the high school season begins.

Can my child move up to the next higher division (next lower division)?

Besides the Under-14/high school rule stated elsewhere in these FAQs, Region 88 builds divisions by birth date as shown above. On very rare occasions, it may be acceptable to move a player to a different division based on special needs. Formal requests, however, must be made directly to the Region Commissioner.

Kids seem to be playing soccer all the time. When is the real season?

The Fall Season, which is the AYSO regular season, runs between September and November. Practices can start in August and playoffs may run into December. Region 88 Champions may play in January and February against other cities.

An All-Star and Winter Season runs in January and February and a Spring Season may run in April and May. Some teams even have tournament teams which play throughout the summer. These all have different costs. Sign-ups are at a different time than the Fall Season registration.

Are there evaluation for new players?

Yes, in divisions u10, u12, u14, u16 and u19, ALL NEW players must be evaluated. That also includes any player from a different region outside Region 88. These are not try-outs as every registered player will be placed on a team.

When and where are the evaluations held?

If you are a new player, you will be notified of the locations of evaluations. These evaluations are usually held the Sunday prior and the Sunday after Father’s Day. Please check back on the website calendar during June and July.

Other Questions?

For other questions, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page, our Parent FAQ page, and other page sof our web site. If a question has still not been answered, try to find the appropriate Board Member to answer the question, or please e-mail our Webmaster and the question will be directed to the correct person.

What does a Team Coordinator do?

Go to the Team Coordinator page for everything you'll need to know.

When will my child be placed on a team?

In late July, teams for all divisions will be chosen.

The coach should be calling you by August 1. If you do not receive a call by August 1st, please contact your coach through the email provided on the team list page. If you still do not hear from your coach by August 15th, contact the Division Coordinator of your child's age group.

Can my child move to another team?

Because teams are already carefully balanced out, except for extra-ordinary and rare circumstances, players cannot move to another team. Although it may seem simple, changing players to accommodate music practice, girl scouts, church or any other extra-curricular activity or sport, is not a reason we can move players. Please remember that we are working with over 3500 players, and each request has a impact on many families and teams. Please contact the Division Coordinator with any questions or concerns.

What if I can't make this practice time?

We know a lot is going on in all of our lives, but with over 3500 children registered, it is nearly impossible to make changes to teams once players are assigned. We unfortunately cannot make any changes to accommodate other events that conflict with your child's soccer practice. Before registering, please try to make sure you can bring your child to the typical practice time (see

For the Under-5 through Under-8 divisions ONLY, make it clear on your registration sheets if you would like to be with another player or with a specific coach. There are no guarantees, as we try to keep teams balanced, but we will try to accommodate the reasonable requests before the teams are chosen. After the teams are chosen it is very difficult to change teams.

For Under-10 and above, to maintain balanced teams, NO accommodations or requests for coaches or teammates are honored.

In case you are unable to make the practices, and you cannot find a solution to the conflict, you can always ask for a refund. It is possible to miss practice, but attend the games only, but that would be unfair to your child, the teammates and the coach. In this unfortunate situation, please feel free to use the Refund Request form, as there are usually other children who are on the waiting list who would like to play. Refunds must be requested by July 15.

What size ball size should my child use?

It is recommended (but check with your coach) to bring a soccer ball to EVERY practice session. Soccer ball sizes vary according to division:

Ball Size
Under 14 - Under 19 Size 5
Under 10 - Under 12 Size 4
Under 5 - Under 8 Size 3

Make sure to bring the ball to every practice. Use a water-proof felt pen to put your last name and phone number on it.

What about team uniforms?

A uniform (jersey, shorts and socks) is provided by the Region before the season starts. The family is responsible for these items throughout the year and only needs to wear the uniform to games, not to practices. Do not wash the uniform in HOT water. We recommend that teams turn in their uniforms at the end of the year so they can be donated to other soccer organizations.

Note: Jewelry, watches, necklaces, bracelets, hats or other objects which could hurt another player are not permitted during the games. No exceptions!

We repeat, NO earrings allowed during practice or games. No exceptions!

Do I need to go to the uniform distribution meeting to get a uniform?

No, this meeting is solely for the coaches who will give your child a uniform at one of the next practices.

What do the players wear at practice?

Wear some type of loose fitting shorts, preferably soccer shorts, and wear a white t-shirt to the practice sessions. This helps the coach when organizing the team into small teams. Make sure that your child does not come to practice wearing jeans, long pants or other clothes that your child would not be able to run in. On cold nights, make sure a sweatshirt is brought for your child to wear after practice.

Players should also wear shinguards, soccer cleats and always bring a ball with their name on it.

Can a player wear jewelry?

A playing member must not wear anything dangerous to another playing member. This includes all jewelry, watches, plaster casts, etc.

We repeat, NO earrings allowed during practice or games. No exceptions!

NOTE: If ears were just pierced, and the earrings are not allowed to be removed so the ear may heal, the child will not be allowed to play. The child will be permitted to play again when the earrings can be removed from the ear.

Are shinguards mandatory?

Shinguards are mandatory at every practice and game. A child will not be allowed to play without proper shinguards. Make sure the sock completely covers the shinguard when playing.

Are soccer cleats mandatory?

Soccer cleats are not required but are recommended for all age levels mainly for good traction on sometimes very wet fields. (No baseball, golf, football or shoes that have a toe cleat are allowed). Ask your local soccer store or sporting goods store for the correct cleats to wear.

When are practices and games?

There will usually be one game each weekend, although on a few weekends throughout the season, there may be a game on Saturday and Sunday, especially during the playoffs.

Divisions u12-u19 have one mandatory practice and can have one "voluntary" practice a week. Divisions u6-u10 are only allowed one practice a week.

Under-5 practices will be on Saturdays only just before their game.


What if my child misses practice or games?

Parents should contact the coach if their child cannot make a practice or game. It is unfair to the other players for one teammate to consistently miss practice. A player may be dropped from the program if three (3) successive practices or games are missed without a valid excuse. This is necessary because each year we have children on the waiting list who want to play.

Should we bring water?

Soccer players end up running many miles during games and practices, so make sure to bring water to the games and EVERY practice session!

What if my child gets hurt in a game or practice?

Although there are very few serious injuries in soccer, AYSO does have an Accident Reimbursement Program. This program will cover expenses not covered by your own individual insurance plans, after the deductible has been satisfied and only after a proper claim has been filed by your insurance carrier. To file a claim, contact the Insurance/Safety Commissioner.

What if it rains?

Soccer is played in all types of conditions. Do not assume that games or practices are cancelled because of a slight drizzle. Unless notified, all teams must appear at the field at their scheduled time, regardless of weather conditions.

If you do not hear from your coach, and are still unsure, call the AYSO Region 88 hotline at (818) 957-AYSO.

What other special events are there during the season?

Picture Day
Photographs of the team and individual players will be taken on Saturday or Sunday, usually on one of the first few weeks of the season. Check with your coach for the team's picture schedule, which will also be on this website as the season begins.

How can I volunteer?

There are many opportunities for you, as a parent, to get involved in the AYSO program. If interested in any of these opportunities, see our Volunteer Page, talk to your coach, Division Commissioner or the Volunteer Coordinator. We encourage all parents to volunteer sometime during the year.

  • Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Referee, Team Coordinator, Sponsor, Board Member
  • Assist with Opening Day, Picture Day, Year Book, Fund-raising, Website Updating, Registration, etc.
  • Field Set-up, telephoning, mailings, Year Book Ad Sales, Booster Club, etc.

How can I sponsor a team?

To help keep this volunteer non-profit program financially sound, and to try to keep the registration fee low, Region 88 requires that each team have a sponsor. If interested, please see the Sponsorship Page.

Registration questions?

For questions about registration, see the Registration FAQ page.

What should coaches and assistant coaches wear?

In order to help keep the touchlines in order, we require that ONLY the team coaches (and their players) are allowed in the technical area (coaches’ box). Coaches and assistant coaches in all divisions must wear an official Region 88 shirt and badge.

What does the coach need to do for the team zone?

The username and passwords will be sent in mid-August. When you receive your account, please try to update your Team Info right away. (Team Zone Instructions for Coaches) . If you did not receive an account, please see the Team Zone FAQ list.

In the Team Zone area, for your unique team, each coach will be able to:

  1. Edit your team information, such as team name, colors, contact info, etc.
  2. Editing your parent's email list NEED THIS TO CREATE THE SNACKLIST
  3. Create a Snacklist for your team's schedule
  4. Print a Team Schedule
  5. Add a "News Item" to your Team web page
  6. Add a "Game Summary" to your Team web page
  7. Delete a News Item or Game Summary
  8. SCORELINE : Easily send in game scores

What if I did not receive my coach's shirt, badge or need some field equipment?

Please email your Division Coordinator with what you need, and they will contact the Purchasing Coordinator. Do not contact the Purchasing Coordinator directly.

Do we have to have a team banner?

Region 88 strongly recommends that all teams have a banner to show off during the opening parade and throughout the season.

Do Asst. Coaches need to submit a volunteer form and go to the Safe Haven and other clinics?

Yes, they need to fulfill the same requirments as the Head Coach. See Coaching requirements.

I sent in my scores to Scoreline, but don't see the updates in the team zone. Why not?

If you do not set it up by the Wedensday after your game, please contact your Division Coordinator. They update the scores when they receive score confirmation from both coaches.

That password I received is crazy. Can I change it to something I can remember?

YES. After you log-in with your "crazy" password, you can click on the "Change your Password" link to create a new password that you can remember better. Remember it, keep in a safe place, don't pass around, and DON'T FORGET IT!

I never received an email with my username and password. What should I do?

Theres' a few things you need to try.

  1. First, check your spam filter in case the email was directed there. This especially applies to sbcglobal, Earthlink & Yahoo users.
  2. Second, look on your division list at http://schedule.ayso88.org/divisions.php and make sure we have your correct email. If the email is incorrect on the list, email the correct email address to the webmaster and we will send a Team Zone account to the updated email.
  3. Third, If the email IS correct, it may just have gotten stuck in email cyberworld somewhere. To try one more time, go to the "Forgot Password" link on the log-in page (http://schedule.ayso88.org/login.php) and put your email in the "forgot password" box. This will resend to you a username and password.

If this still doesn't work, then email the webmaster.

My Team Coordinator and I share the same email address. Why can't we both use it?

The Team zone system requires that each team contact name must have a "unique" email address. If you do not want to create a new email address, such as a free Google email address, then your team web page will show only the name only, but will not show an email link.

It is required that the coach must have an email address.

I have no access to a computer or printer.

Have your Assistant Coach or Team Coordinator do it for you. Just give them your username and password. But do so only to people you can trust, as you are ultimately responsible for what goes up on your team's page.

I can see the teams, but I can't see the edit button.

DO NOT use AOL to try to edit the team page. Use another browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari. You may still have to log in as a AOL user, then minimize the AOL screen, and open up one of the other browsers.

Make sure you went to the correct web page. (http://schedule.ayso88.org/login.php)

Why can't I use AOL?

YOU CAN. Any AOL user can "VIEW" the Team Zone pages. But you "CANNOT EDIT" the Team Zone data using AOL. AOL has some restrictions that will not allow us to do this. Sorry. You must use another browser, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari. You may have still have to log in as a AOL user, then minimize the AOL screen, and open up one of the other browsers.

My password is not working.

Passwords are case-sensitive so be very careful in how you type it in. If you are positive what you are typing is correct and it is still not working, go to the log-in page, click on the "Forgot your Password" link. Just type in your email that you are using for the Team Zone. A new User Name and Password will be sent to you. And remember to store it in a safe place.

I forgot my username and password.

At the log-in page, click on the "Forgot your Password" link. Just type in your email that you are using for the Team Zone. A new User Name and Password will be sent to you. And remember to store it in a safe place.

I changed my email address.

Go to the Update Email page to give Region 88 your new email address. When we receive this request, we will send a new account Team Zone "User Name" and "Password" within a day.

I have my username and password and can login, but I can't get past my division name to my team.

The only time we have seen this happen is when your company has a firewall not allowing interaction with another computer. You will have to try at home. If it isn't working at home, give your User Name and Password to your Team Coordinator or Assistant Coach and have them try at their own home computer.

I don't know all the information for the team page.

Fill in as much as you can right away. As long as you have your User Name and Password, you can go back and update the team page at any time.

How can I add a second Asst. Coach or Team Coordinator?

Only way right now is a band-aid fix.

When editing the Assistant Coach, after First Name, type the first Assistant Coach's "full name" and "and" (or a slash) and for Last Name, type the 2nd Assistant Coach's "full name".

EXAMPLE 1: First Name: Aldo Mascheroni and
Last Name: Frank Bagheri

Result: On the team page, it will look like
Assistant Coach: Aldo Mascheroni and Frank Bagheri

EXAMPLE 2: First Name: Aldo Mascheroni/
Last Name: Frank Bagheri

Result: On the team page, it will look like
Assistant Coach: Aldo Mascheroni/Frank Bagheri

Why can't I edit all the information?

Some sensitive information is related to other information on the website such as team schedules. These are updated by other AYSO representatives. If any of the information that you can't change is incorrect, please email the webmaster. Specify exactly where the mistake is. Include the coach's name of the page it is on.

How do I add a snack list to the schedule?

How do I edit the parents' email list?

How do I print a schedule for my team?

How do I add a news item to my team web page?

How do I send a news item to my team email list?

How do I add a new email address to my team email list?

How does Scoreline work?

Please see the Scoreline page.

I don't understand the standings? I'm sure I scored more goals than that!

Please see the Scoreline page.

How do I lodge a complaint about the referee at my child's game?

Referees are volunteers, trying their best just like the players and the coaches.

During a game, there is no reason for any coach, parent or player to show disrespect or any dissent towards a referee. No matter how horrible you thought the call was, there is never any intent to make a bad call against your team. However, even certified referees can sometimes make mistakes and can always use mentoring. Our region is always trying to improve its referee pool.

At the last World Cup Graham Poll, one of the best referees in world, showed three yellow cards to the same player before sending him off. Was it a mistake? Of course it was.

If you have specific incidents or situations that you feel can help us improve our program, please send an email to the referee administrator at ref88@ayso88.org. Please be specific. Include the date, the time, the field, and the division. In details, describe the situation and tell us which Law violation, in your opinion, was not called by the referee. Also, please make sure YOU review and understand the Laws of the Game before you send in your concerns. You can always look up the Laws by going to http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/lawsofthegame/index.html.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you are not yet a certified referee, please attend our next referee clinic as we are always looking for good volunteers.

Who provides referees for the games in the competitive divisions (U10-U19)?

There are approximately 90 games every week in U10-U19, each requiring a 3-person crew.

Each team provides certified referees for the game following theirs. The HOME team must provide two "certified" referees, and the VISITING (or AWAY) team must provide 1 properly "certified" referee. The referee assignments for the first game of the day on that field is covered by the teams playing the last game of the day on that field.

In order to be a coach or an assistant coach in our region, one must also be a certified referee. That gives each team at least two certified referees. We strongly suggest that coaches recruit other volunteers to be certified and help with the referee assignments.

Who provides referees for the U5-U8 games?

U5-U8 teams provide referees for their own games.

For U5, the region recommends that the U5 coaches "monitor" their own games. Someone other than the coaches referee these games.

For U6-U8, the region recommends that someone other than the coaches referee these games. If that is not possible, then the coaches should referee the games, but give fair guidance to BOTH teams.

Although we encourage all coaches to attend the appropriate referee clinics, at this time, only the U8 coaches are mandated to be certified U8 referees. Certification can be obtained by attending a U8 referee clinic.

What happens if I miss my referee assignment?

You will be suspended for one game and will not be allowed to coach your next game. Although you will not be allowed to coach the next game, you must still fulfill your referee obligation for the game following your game or you will be suspended from coaching. When serving a suspension, you are not allowed ANY contact with the players from Start to Finish INCLUDING the half time break.

Where do referees get their badges and uniforms?

Contact the referee administrator at ref88@ayso88.org. Include the referee clinic you took, (and when, if you remember) and the size uniform you need.

What are the "Official" game times for each division?

Four 5 minute quarters with quarter breaks
One 5 minute half time

Four 8 minute quarters with quarter breaks
One 5 minute half time

Four 10 minute quarters with quarter breaks
One 5-10 minute half time

Four 12.5 minute quarters with quarter breaks
One 5-10 minute half time

Four 15 minute quarters with quarter breaks
One 5-10 minute half time

Four 17.5 minute quarters with quarter breaks
Two minutes between quarters
One 5 minute half time

Four 20 minute quarters with quarter breaks
One 5 minute half time

Two 45 minutes halves
One 5-10 minute half time

What is Safe Haven?

Safe Haven is a child and volunteer protection program.

What are the child protection components?

Child Protection has two key components: A Cycle of Intervention and a Cycle of Prevention.

What are the elements of the cycle of intervention?

There are four elements in the Safe Haven Intervention Cycle. These are intended to stop child abuse, educate or remove its perpetrators and screen out predators before they get into the program.

  • Promote Education and Awareness
  • Create Policies
  • Screen Volunteers
  • Train volunteers

What are the elements of the cycle of prevention?

There are eight elements in the Safe Haven Prevention Cycle. These are proactive steps which provide the medium for positive, healthy child development. These steps preclude the outbreak of child abuse in a weak, unfocused, nonempowering environment.

  • Foster Meaningful Relationships
  • Make Kids Full Participants
  • Promote Ethical Behavior
  • Model and Teach Conflict Resolution
  • Encourage Kids to Speak Out
  • Cultivate Kids' Self-Images
  • Implant Excellence in Individual Achievement
  • Keep Things FUN

What are the volunteer protection components?

Volunteer protection has three key components: accreditation, education and records.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation by an authorizing agency attests to and approves our programs as meeting a prescribed standard. Accreditation applies to our programs, the way that they are delivered, and who delivers them. Through accreditation, an outside, credentialed institution grants recognition that we maintain reputable standards. Currently, we are working with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) to ensure that our programs meet the standards approved by institutions of learning across the nation.

What do you mean by education?

Education applies to people and really comes in three distinct, but related activities. There is training, which is job specific; certification, which is AYSO Safe Haven specific; and continuing education, which is standards specific.

What do you mean training is job specific?

Liken it to learning to be a plumber, a teacher, or an attorney. You first go to school to learn your vocation. When you are finished, you are considered trained in your field. However, you still may not practice in most jurisdictions until you have the proper paperwork, permissions, and proof of competence.

What do you mean certification is Safe Haven specific?

As in the above example, the legal or professional group that authorizes you to practice your trade requires you to prove that you know the local codes, restrictions, standards, practices, and policies. This proof is offered through the additional activity of certification. This comes through some specialized, jurisdictional education that is followed by testing or confirmation. This specialized education will vary by vocation; that is, plumbers, teachers, and attorneys are tested and certified by different criteria. In addition, taking the teacher’s certification does not make one qualified to be a plumber or attorney.

What do you mean continuing education is standards specific?

In order to maintain a credential, plumbers, teachers, and attorneys must keep up to date on the standards of their professions. For as codes, restrictions, standards, practices, and policies change, these new criteria will be the performance expectations for which they will be held responsible. As standards change, so must practitioners.

Why do we focus so much on the Volunteer Protection Act?

We don’t. We focus on using both the Volunteer Protection Act and the Child Protection Act to protect both children and volunteers. In tandem, they provide us with the three layers of protection that volunteers need: training, certification and continuing education.

When I read the Volunteer Protection Act, I don't see a lot of the elements put into Safe Haven. Where do you come up with your criteria?

Our goal is to protect both children and volunteers, not volunteers alone. Therefore, we have to look at the requirements of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974, the Child Protection Act of 1993, the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997, amendments to all these acts, Good Samaritan Laws, the results of trial law, legal opinion and analysis, requirements of insurers, the core philosophies of the organization, and the input of volunteer task forces that have met on these subjects.

Why isn't there just one risk management class for everyone instead of three or four different certification classes?

In the example of plumbers, teachers, and lawyers above, it's clear that different roles require different types of certification. Additionally, traditional risk management generally focuses on loss prevention, safety, and liability exclusion. Safe Haven certification is a lot more than that, and we don’t want our efforts to be misconstrued by giving them incorrect names. We are in fact certifying a minimum level of competence in the awareness of AYSO job related standards.

Give me the bottom line here. What do we really have to do?

In order to receive full protection under the law and to protect children fully, AYSO volunteers need five things.

  • They must be trained, certified, and current on standards (through continuing education);
  • They must be performing duties as laid out in a job description;
  • They must act within the scope of AYSO's Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines;
  • They must be properly authorized (appointed) to do a job; and
  • They need a good paper trail.

How many players on each team?

11 players (1 goalkeeper and 10 field players) on each full sided team. Short sided games use fewer players depending on the age group.

A full sided game may not be played if there are less than 7 players on any team.

What are the positions on a soccer team?

There are four main positions:

  • Forwards (you may also hear the terms striker, attacker, wings or target players). These players usually score the most goals.
  • Midfielders (also called half-backs). These players work the hardest as they need to support their forwards up front and help to protect the goal on defense.
  • Defenders (certain defenders may also be called sweeper, stopper, left or right back, full back and sometimes even the goalie-helper). These players are usually the last line of defense for their team but they also help start the attack toward the opponent's goal.
  • Goalkeeper (sometimes called the goalie or the keeper). This is the last defender to beat but this player gets to use his hands. All the goalkeeper has to do is stop all shots on goal, risk his body against flying cleats, organize the team on offense and defense, distribute the ball well and start an attack against the other team.

How long are the games?

In AYSO, each game is split into four (4) quarters to guarantee that each player gets to play at least one half of the game. The referee stops the game approximately half way through each half to allow for substitutions.

U-19 * 90 minutes (45 minute halves)
U-16 *
80 minutes (40 minute halves)
U-14 70 minutes (35 minute halves)
U-12 60 minutes (30 minute halves)
U-10 50 minutes (25 minute halves)
U-8 40 minutes (20 minute halves)
U-6 32 minutes (16 minute halves)
U-5 30 minutes (15 minute halves)???

*Due to High School, U-16 and U-19 follow slightly diifferent rules for substitutions. (See your coach for specifics.)

When can a player use his/her hands?

As most people know, the goalkeeper is the only player who can touch the ball with his hands when the ball in the penalty area that he is defending.

The keeper can not use his hands outside the penalty area and must abide by the regular rules when outside the penalty area.

That sounds simple, but there are other conditions:

  • a goalkeeper can not use his hands if his teammate intentionally kicks the ball back to him.
  • a goalkeeper can not use his hands if his teammate throws the ball to him on a throw-in.
  • a goalkeeper must release the ball within 6 seconds after controlling the ball. The keeper will be cautioned if time is wasted.

The other field players can use their hands only when the ball is out of play, such as for a throw-in, or to set up a goal kick, a corner kick or a free kick. If a player touches the ball with his hands at any other time, the opponent will be given a direct kick.

When is a goal actually scored?

A goal is scored when the entire ball crosses the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar.

When is the ball out of bounds?

The ball is out of bounds when the ball goes completely over the sideline (touch-line) or the end-line (goal-line). If the ball is touching the line even a little bit, it is still in play.

(Note: A player may be out of bounds as he plays the ball but the ball must still be in bounds.)

Who get the ball when it goes out of bounds?

The team that last touched the ball as it goes completely over the touch-line, or goal-line, must give the ball up to the other team for the throw-in, goal kick or corner kick.

Touch-line: If the ball goes out at the side-lines, the ball is thrown in by a player of the team opposite the player who last touched the ball as it went out of bounds.


For a throw-in to be legal, both feet must remain on the ground during the throw and the throw must be delivered completely over the head with both hands (one on each side of the ball) in a smooth motion without twisting the ball. The thrower can not throw the ball to himself.

Goal Kicks

Goal-line: If the ball is put over the end-line by the team attacking, such as by a shot on goal that missed, the team that was defending gets to take a goal kick from within the goal area.

Corner Kicks

If the ball is last touched by the team defending as it goes over the goal-line, such as by a deflection by a defender or from a goalkeeper save, the team that was attacking gets to take a corner kick.

Is hitting the ball with your head dangerous?

In the past few years, there has been some concern about the dangers of heading a soccer ball.

There has been no proof whatsoever that heading a soccer ball correctly can cause serious damage to your head. But definitely have the coach show your child where to head the ball correctly.

The front of the skull is one of the strongest bones in the body (as it protects your brain). The top of the head is the incorrect place to head the ball!

For more detailed info, see Is Heading Safe?

How long are the games?

The length of each match is determined by the age group.

Age Level Game Length
U5 20 minutes
U6 32 minutes
U8 40 minutes
U10 50 minutes
U12 60 minutes
U14 70 minutes
U16 80 minutes
U19 90 minutes

Home team sits on the North and west side of the field? Or is it east side?

In Region 88 the home team sits on the north or east side of the field depending on the field's orientation.

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