AYSO R213 - About AYSO and Region 213

About AYSO

The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) was established in 1964 with nine teams and the dream to bring soccer to American children. Today, AYSO has more than 60,000 teams and approximately 600,000 players in nearly 1,000 Regions. Thanks to the efforts of over 250,000 volunteers and the vision of the founding members, AYSO continues to be a leader in providing quality youth soccer programs.

AYSO Vision

To provide world class youth soccer programs that enrich children’s lives.


AYSO Mission

To develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs which promote a fun, family environment based on AYSO’s six philosophies:

  1. Everyone Plays®: Our program’s goal is for kids to play soccer so we mandate that every player on every team must play at least 50 percent of every game. It’s no fun to spend the game on the bench…and that’s no way to learn soccer!
  2. Balanced Teams: Each year we form new teams as evenly balanced as possible because it’s more fun and a better learning experience when teams of similar ability play. It allows for each player to gain the experience of a wide variety of teammates of different skill levels.
  3. Open Registration: Our program is open to all children between 4 and 19 years of age who want to register and play soccer. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria for playing. There are no elimination try-outs and nobody gets cut.
  4. Positive Coaching: Encouragement of player effort provides for greater enjoyment for the players and leads to better-skilled and better-motivated players. A coach can be one of the most influential people in a child’s life, so AYSO requires they create a positive experience for every boy and girl.
  5. Good Sportsmanship: We strive to create a positive environment based on mutual respect rather than a win-at-all-costs attitude, and our program is designed to instill good sportsmanship in every facet of AYSO.
  6. Player Development: We believe that all players should be able to develop their soccer skills and knowledge to the best of their abilities, both individually and as members of a team, in order to maximize their enjoyment of the game.



Everyone Plays® - At least half of every game
Open Registration - no tryouts, no cuts
Balanced Teams - no stacked teams
Positive Coaching - Building confidence
Good Sportsmanship - Winning and losing gracefully
Player Development - improving skills 


Everyone Helps Out

AYSO is a volunteer organization with more than 250,000 parents and friends, many of them helping as coaches, referees and administrators. It’s not unusual to find two, three or more children in the same family playing AYSO soccer–while dad serves as referee and mom as coach. It can be a total family experience.

Safe Haven®

Safe Haven® is a program designed to address a growing need for child and volunteer protection.

Child Protection

There are four elements in the Safe Haven® intervention cycle. These are intended to stop child abuse and its agents before they get into the program.

  1. Create Policies
  2. Screen Volunteers
  3. Train Volunteers
  4. Promote Education and Awareness


Volunteer Protection Act of 1997

This law grants immunity from certain types of prosecution for volunteers who meet its requirements. In order to receive full protection under the law, AYSO volunteers need three things.

  1. They must be properly trained and certified.
  2. They must be performing duties as laid out in aposition description.
  3. They must act within the scope of AYSO’s Policies,Procedures and Guidelines.


AYSO Certification

AYSO’s goal is to provide certification training for all its volunteers. Certification offers the hope that every AYSO child will be treated with understanding, compassion and respect.

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The Growth of AYSO

AYSO was founded in 1964 in Torrance, Calif., with about 125 players. Today that number has grown to approximately 600,000 nationwide.


Why AYSO Works

AYSO works because our volunteers work. The volunteers work because they believe in the AYSO philosophies. Our phenomenal growth underscores AYSO’s commitment to a healthy competitive atmosphere for youth soccer players, combined with dedication toward the development of responsible individuals.


What Makes AYSO Tick

AYSO was founded on community involvement. Volunteer staff members are encouraged to organize in ways best suited to their needs. The foundation of AYSO is the "Region," or basic community program. Each Region is headed by a Regional Commissioner who, with the help of a Region Board, conducts business within the framework of AYSO’s philosophies, Rules & Regulations and Bylaws. Depending on its stage of development, a Region may have as few as 100 players or as many as 5,000, grouped into boys and girls divisions based on age.

Several bordering Regions compose an “Area.” Each Area is headed by an Area Director who is responsible for performance and development of the Area.

Area Directors report to Section Directors, who are responsible for the general welfare and administration of a “Section.” A Section may cover a portion of a state, an entire state or several states.

The National Board of Directors governs the overall AYSO organization. Regional Commissioners, Area and Section Directors, along with the National Board Members, serve as Executive Members with voting rights.

The staff at AYSO’s national headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., works closely with these volunteer Executive Members and interfaces directly with each Region. The headquarters, called the National Support & Training Center (NSTC), provides many services: computerized registration; publications; liability and accident insurance; training programs for coaches, referees and administrators and more.


What is a Region?

Whether you are a veteran AYSO volunteer or you’re new at this soccer business, you may be wondering just what is this thing called an AYSO Region and how it works.

AYSO Region 213 is one of approximately 1,000 local programs in communities nationwide. Each AYSO Region is the same, yet different.

That means AYSO Bylaws and Policies and Protocols standardize operational procedures and playing rules. But because community needs and characteristics may be different, Regions have flexibility to satisfy their unique needs.

Your Region is identified by its own number. We are Region 213 and our charter includes residents in and near the city of Irvine north of Irvine Center Drive.

The Region is managed by parent volunteers just like yourself. In fact, you may be one of those dedicated volunteers working to ensure the program is run effectively and AYSO philosophies are upheld.

Your Regional Commissioner and Region Board will usually meet once a month during the season and perhaps more often for pre-season planning. You are welcome to attend any of these meetings.

Our Regions posts all of our news, information, policies and guidelines online. You can always contact the Regional Commissioner if you cannot find what you are looking for.

Get to know your child’s soccer coach and other parents. Volunteer your time, skills and energies to make your AYSO Region run well. This way, both your child and you benefit from the AYSO experience.


Here’s what you can expect from your Region:

  • A fun soccer experience for your child during games and practices.
  • Coaches and referees who understand the AYSO philosophies and support them.
  • Training for coaches, referees and administrators.
  • Caring volunteers to manage the “business” of the Region.
  • A national organization for support and guidance.
  • Fiscal responsibility via a financial statement, published yearly.


Kids Zone®

The national media has focused on the negative, even violent, behavior of players, coaches and parents involved in youth sports. As part of AYSO’s education agenda, Kids Zone® is a dynamic program targeted to eliminate negative sideline behavior. It is aimed toward producing a thoroughly positive impact on everyone involved in youth soccer. To execute this program, several basic elements are involved:

  1. The Button. This is a pin-on button bearing the program’s logo. This will be worn by program supporters at games, and will serve as a reminder of the importance of positive sideline behavior.
  2. The Sign. A large sign, which lists positive behaviorstandards, will be posted at the entrance ofparticipating fields. Parents and spectators who willabide by these standards are welcome–all others are not.
  3. The Pledge. We request AYSO parents to sign a pledgethat holds them to the Kids Zone® standards.
  4. The Video. This is a 12 minute documentary thatintroduces AYSO’s principles and its Kids Zone® actionplan to new participants. Viewers will also watchanother parent intervene to change another parent’snegative behavior.

As a support to these elements, we also have a special Kids Zone® Promise. It’s a simple pledge, but we encourage all AYSO members to consider these words: I promise to Honor the Game. I will respect all participants, encourage good sportsmanship and keep soccer fun.

Finally, we encourage all AYSO members to help Kids Zone® grow. Let your Region know that you support Kids Zone®. AYSO depends on you to keep youth soccer safe, fun and fair. So spread the word!