1. When do they practice and when do they play their games?
Practices are arranged with your child's coach. Since the volunteer coach will be devoting a significant amount of time to the program, the players and their parents need to work around their coach's availability. Practices are generally held twice a week except for U5/U6, which may be held once a week. In general games are played on Saturdays but there may be some weeknight games.
2. My kid can't make it to practices on the days the coach has chosen. What can I do?
If the problem is transportation, just speak to the coach or team parents. There is always someone who will be available and willing to give your child a ride. If there are other activities (such as lessons of some kind), maybe it would be possible to adjust the schedule. Please try to make it to practice. Your child is involved in a team sport. The team cannot learn to work together if there are players who consistently miss practices.
3. When does the season start and when does it end?
Practice for the fall season can begin August 1. The team coach will determine the exact date and time. The first game will be played on the 2nd Saturday of September. The regular season ends the Saturday before Thanksgiving. For players in U10 to U14 (and Extra program), the season may extend further if they qualify for playoffs. A few teams in U10-U14 are eligible for post-season area play. In this case the season will continue to March depending on the outcome of the play-offs.
4. Where are the games played?
All home games are at Fountain Valley Sports Complex. Practices are at Fountain Valley Elementary schools, Gillespie Park, and Fountain Valley Sports Complex. Away games are in the local Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach area, except the upper divisions that will play in the local Orange County area.
5. What Division does my child belong to?
The assignment of your child to a Division depends on their age based on the calendar year. Please see the age chart on the home page. The age divisions are 5U, 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U,16 AND 19U. The U5 and U6 division is coed.
6. My child is a very good player, can he/she play in the next higher division?
A player can play "up" one division with the approval of the division director and the Regional Commissioner, this practice is however strongly discouraged and children develop better with other children their own age.
7. My child is very, very small. Can he/she play on a team with younger players?
No. A player can never "play-down" into a younger age group. Most players in this situation do quite well. Soccer is one game in which size is generally not a hindrance.
8. My child is not a strong player can he/she play in the next lower division?
No. Players are not allowed to play "down." Again, players develop better with children of their own age.
9. How are the teams formed? I would like my child to car pool with his friend, can they be on the same team?
The Balanced Teams philosophy of AYSO requires every region at the start of each Fall season to set up teams as evenly as possible. In u10 and above the region balances the team by a double blind draft. U5-U8 are grouped geographically and by requests when permissible. Also, remember that the U6 and U8 divisions do not keep scores or standings. You can request to play with a friend in the U6 and U8 divisions ONLY (2 max per coach). If both players request to play together, the Registrar will attempt to play them on the same team; it is never guaranteed that they will play together.
10. When will I find out what team my child is on?
The teams are formed and released to the Division Coordinators in the last week of July. The Coordinators will provide the team roster to the coaches. Each coach will contact the players. If you did not receive a call/email from the coach by the end of the first week of August, please contact the appropriate division coordinator as found at www.ayso5.org
11. Nick's coach has never coached a team. Can we ask for a new coach?
AYSO coaches are parents and members of our community who enjoy working with kids. If you have knowledge of the game or coaching techniques, this is great time to offer your help, or better yet, call the coach administratorbefore the season starts and take a team yourself.
12. My child doesn't get along with her coach. Can she change teams?
Discuss the problem with your child and the coach and try to resolve the problem between yourselves. It is impossible to move teams around after they're assembled.
13. What will AYSO Region 5 provide and what do I have to provide?
Each player will receive a uniform consisting of jersey, shorts, and socks. These are yours to keep. Wear them only for games and picture day. Each player must provide their own shoes, shin guards, and a soccer ball of the correct size (see table below).
14. Can I put my child's name on his uniform?
NO. AYSO national guidelines do not allow names, patches, or any other markings on the uniform unless authorized by the Region.
15. My child has baseball shoes, can they be used for soccer?
Baseball shoes are usually considered dangerous and are not allowed in a soccer game. Any shoe with a toe cleat or stud also is not allowed.
16. Is it true that my child will not be allowed to practice or play with any jewelry on? What about casts or splints?
That is correct. Regardless of what you see in the MLS, all jewelry must be removed prior to practices and games. Medical and ID bracelets that cannot be removed must be taped down. If your child intends to get their ears pierced, plan ahead and have it done early so that the earrings can be removed for practices and games. Also, watches, rings, and metal hair clips should be removed before practices and games. As for casts and splints, they are not allowed at practices or games. The doctor prescribed them for a reason and that reason is not so that they can continue to play a contact sport. After the cast or splint has been removed, your coach will require a release from the doctor authorizing your child's return to normal activities.
17. Does my child have to wear shin guards at practices?
All players must wear shin guards during practices and games. The shin guards must be completely covered by their socks. Wearing the shin guards over the socks and then folding the socks down on top of the shin guards is not acceptable.
18. What are Region, Area, and Section, and which of these do I belong to?
Region, Area, and Section refer to the organizational structure of AYSO. A Region belongs to an Area and an Area belongs to a Section. We are in Region 5. In turn, Region 5 belongs to Area K and Area K belongs to Section 11. Area K comprises all the Regions in the Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Westminster, and Santa Ana. Section 11 covers Orange County, parts of LA County and San Diego County.
19. What are the boundaries for Region 5?
There are none. One of the 6 philosophies of AYSO is Open Registration. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria.
20. How much do the Board Members, Coaches, and Referees get paid?
Board members gets the lowest pay, $0. Coaches are more important so they get paid double, $00. We are a volunteer organization. We do not receive any monetary incentives for being a board member, a coach, or a referee. Working with children and seeing them develop is our reward.
21. My child was on a losing team last year. How can I get him on a better team?
Before you seek out a better team, reflect on who places more importance on winning and losing. Is it you, your child, or the coach? In general, the player will mirror their views on winning and losing based on the role models around them, namely, their parents and coaches. A good coach will place the need to win a game far below the need to develop the players and letting them have fun. So instead of trying to put your child on a better team, make sure the coach is working toward developing the players and not just searching for the right formula for a winning season. At the end of the season, ignore the win/lost records and do a selfish analysis and ask yourself, "Did the coach help my child to be a better player?" The answer to this question is the true determination of whether your child won or lost this season.
22. What is this PIE I hear about and what does it mean?
PIE stands for Positive, Instructional, and Encouraging. It is a philosophy that we want all to abide by when dealing with players. This means no negative comments towards a player when they make a mistake or fail to perform to your standards. Referees do have the authority to eject parents, coaches, or spectators who verbally abuse a player. So please keep all comments PIE.
23. I see some real bad referees out there. What can we do?
Contact the Regional Referee Administrator and find out when the next referee class is. Then, come to class and become a certified referee. We need people that know the game and can make the calls as they see them. What you cannot do is harass the referee no matter how poorly you think he is performing. His poor performance may be the result of the lack of understanding of the laws on your part. Volunteers willing to referee games are difficult to come by.
24. I have never played soccer and I don't know anything about soccer. Can I still become a coach or a referee?
You sure can. AYSO will provide you with all the training for free. The only thing we as for are your time and commitment. Contact the Regional Coach Administrator or the Regional Referee Administrator to learn more. If coaching or refereeing is not for you, there are others way you can help. Talk to the Commissioner or a board member and ask how you can take part in bringing this quality soccer program to our community. You'll be glad you did.
25. As a spectator, I've been told that I cannot smoke or simulate smoking (electronic cigarettes) on or near the soccer field. Why is that?
All our fields have been declared "Smoke Free Zones" by their respective School Districts and City officials. When we obtain permits to use their fields, we have to agree to abide by their rules. Any violations may jeopardize our future use of these fields. Also, the players and coaches are working hard out there and they need oxygen and not second hand smoke.
26. Can my child play soccer in the Spring and Summer?
It depends on your child's age and availability of coaches. Region 5 does offer a Spring Soccer Season. The Spring Season is a select program in which the coaches will select the players they wish to be on their team (u10 and above only). Planning for the spring season will start in January with the season beginning in March. If your child is interested in spring soccer, talk to your coach or contact your Division Director to find out who is forming a spring team. Please keep in mind that there will be additional cost for the Spring Season and that traveling will be required. As for the Summer, a coach may elect to keep a team together for the purpose of playing in tournaments.
27. I don't know anything about the volunteer who will be coaching my child. How do I know my child will be safe?
That question should be on every parent's mind. AYSO has instituted a program requiring all volunteers to submit a volunteer application form, which authorizes AYSO to conduct a background check. It is important that all parents be attentive to their child's safety. Help your coach by making sure another adult is present at all practices and team functions.