Our History, Mission & Vision
Beginning with only nine teams and a handful of soccer enthusiasts, AYSO was established in 1964 out of a garage in Torrance, California. The goal was, and still is, to ensure that kids have the opportunity to be introduced to the beautiful game of soccer. More than 50 years later, AYSO now has thriving programs for kids and adults in nearly 900 communities all over the country as well as internationally in the Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. With over eight million AYSO alumni, we are a name that’s synonymous with excellence and recognized nationwide.
AYSO’s goal is for kids and adults to play soccer, so we mandate that every player on every team must play at least 50 percent of every game.
Each year we form new teams as evenly balanced as possible, providing a stronger learning experience for teams as they play teams comprised of similar ability. It also allows for each player to experience playing with a wide variety of teammates of different skill levels.
If you want to play soccer, AYSO welcomes you and gives all youth and adults the opportunity to register and play.
A coach can be one of the most influential people in a player’s life, so AYSO requires they create a positive experience for every player in AYSO. Additionally, encouraging player’s effort leads to greater enjoyment, improved skills and stronger motivation in players.
We strive to create a positive environment based on mutual respect rather than a win-at-all-costs attitude, and our programs are designed to instill good sportsmanship in every facet of AYSO.
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, to maximize their enjoyment of the game.
Located in Torrance, California, the AYSO Office provides support to Sections, Areas, and Regions and our National Board of Directors. Our outstanding staff is here to support AYSO programs and answer any questions AYSO families may have.
There are 14 geographic Sections based on player population. Section Directors ensure that Areas and Regions comply with all AYSO fundamentals and deliver quality youth athletics programs.
An Area is a group of AYSO Regions. AYSO has close to 100 Areas nationwide. Area Directors are trained to support and mentor each of their Regions, and are responsible for oversight of all activities within their Regions.
AYSO’s grassroots programs begin with a community-based league, called a Region. A Region can range in size from less than a hundred players to several thousand. Each Region is run by a volunteer Regional Commissioner and a volunteer Regional Board.
This means registered volunteers run the local AYSO programs all over the country. Additionally, our National Board of Directors, National President, as well as every coach, referee, and Regional Commissioner – the list goes on – is a volunteer.
Due to the thousands of volunteers throughout the U.S. donating their time every season, AYSO is as successful and far-reaching as it is today. To learn more about the different AYSO volunteer options, click here.