What is the American Youth Soccer Organization? (AYSO)

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The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is a national non-profit youth soccer organization based in the United States. AYSO was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Torrance, California. AYSO’s stated mission is:

“To develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs which promote a fun, family environment based on AYSO’s Six Philosophies: Everyone Plays, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship, and Player Development.”

AYSO is one of the largest youth soccer organizations in the world, let alone the United States, with over 650,000 players and 150,000 volunteers nationwide. AYSO is a member of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the governing body of soccer in the United States. AYSO is also a member of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of soccer.

The Founding of the American Youth Soccer Organization

AYSO was founded in the summer of 1964 in Torrance, California. The first AYSO Region was Region 6 in Torrance. AYSO’s first national office was located in a garage in Redondo Beach, California. AYSO’s first Executive Director was Karl Stenerud, who served from 1964 to 1968. In 2024, AYSO will celebrated its 60th anniversary.

ayso everyone plays soccer

AYSO’s 6 Philosophies

AYSO’s Everyone Plays® philosophy ensures that all players, regardless of skill level, experience level, or background, get to play. The Balanced Teams philosophy ensures that teams are balanced so that games are competitive and fun for all. An Open Registration philosophy ensures that anyone who wants to play can sign up and be placed on a team. The Positive Coaching philosophy ensures that coaches focus on developing players’ individual skills and abilities, rather than winning. Negative reinforcement is not permitted. A Good Sportsmanship philosophy ensures that players, coaches, and parents behave in a respectful and sportsmanlike manner at all times. Lastly, the Player Development philosophy ensures that players have the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities to the best of their abilities.

Get your Child Involved with the American Youth Soccer Organization

How can this junior soccer program benefit your children? Here are the events and services the platform provides:

  • Afterschool recreational and competitive youth leagues
  • Seasonal soccer camps
  • Volunteer opportunities for soccer parents
  • Access to local tournaments
  • Educational resources for coaches and young players alike

AYSO’s programs are designed to give all players a positive soccer experience. The youth soccer programs are open to all players, regardless of skill level or experience level. To learn more about the American Youth Soccer Organization, visit their website here.