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

Elmwood Park AYSO Region 1303

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

1. Is my child the right age for AYSO soccer?

2. What makes AYSO different?

3. What other soccer expenses can I anticipate this year?

4. My child does not meet the minimum age range for the AYSO season, but he/she is very [big/strong/athletic/coordinated] for his/her age. Can we still sign up for the upcoming Fall season?

5. 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?

6. What is the duration of the games?

1. Is my child the right age for AYSO soccer?

Children between the ages of 4 and 18 as of the start of our season can play AYSO soccer. We break our ages into divisions (where U stands for Under , but divided by grade as of September 1). We have boys / girls together for U6 & U8 for all seasons and U10, U12 & U14 for Spring and Winter seasons.  We separate Boys and Girls for divisions U10 through U14 in the Fall season .  We also have an Express team for players Under 19.

2. What makes AYSO different?

Our mission is to provide quality youth soccer programs where everyone builds positive character through participation in a safe, fun, family-oriented soccer environment. AYSO’s six philosophies separate us from the pack:

• Everyone Plays

• Balanced Teams

• Open Registration

• Positive Coaching

• Good Sportsmanship

• Player Development

3. What other soccer expenses can I anticipate this year?

The registration fee includes your child’s uniform, participation award, AYSO membership, supplemental accident insurance, and positive coaching. Not included in the registration fees are the required shin guards, appropriate shoes, and a strongly recommended practice ball. Also, each family is often requested to bring snacks for the team at one game during the season.

4. My child does not meet the minimum age range for the AYSO season, but he/she is very [big/strong/athletic/coordinated] for his/her age. Can we still sign up for the upcoming Fall season?

No. AYSO is a national organization with very strict guidelines regarding age requirements. AYSO’s accident and liability insurance depends on the players being the proper age to play and being placed in their age appropriate divisions. Children who do not meet the age requirement are not permitted to play. Be patient – they’ll grow up before you know it!

5. 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 birthdates. 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.

6. What is the duration of the games?

Games run about 1 hour. The game time will change weekly according to the posted schedule, unless your child is assigned to a team with a standing game time. The actual time played may be less than an hour depending on the age division.  You should arrive at least 15 minutes before game time to allow for proper warm up.

7. What should I bring to my child’s 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!

8. 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.

9.  What size soccer ball should I get for my child?

Divisions U6 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. It can be cold during the early morning spring and 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 (under the uniform). Try to coordinate with your team’s colors if possible. Any extra articles cannot have any zippers or any plastic/metal components of any kind.

15. 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. Girls with beaded braids should play with their hair covered so that the beads are not a safety risk.

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Elmwood Park AYSO

PO BOX 350047 
Elmwood Park, Illinois 60707

Email Us: [email protected]
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