I Am New to AYSO
Celebrating 50 Years of AYSO and 100 Years Of US Soccer 



AYSO is supported by more than 250,000 volunteers. Parents are coaches, referees, team managers, administrators and sponsors.  AYSO provides a safe and healthy atmosphere for children.  AYSO is continually working to improve its programs in the fields of child development, community, and sports psychology.  A strong emphasis is placed on sportsmanship and the development of the whole child.

AYSO maintains relations with organizations such as the National Council of Youth Sports, Girls Scouts USA, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, People to People, Optimists International, Police Athletic Leagues, the National Alliance for Youth Sports, Positive Coaching Alliance, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YMCA, the United States Soccer Federation, and the Character Counts program.  


Overview of Soccer Programs:  HERE ! 

Kids Already Registered?    
For team information:  HERE !







Palo Alto AYSO is Region 26 of the national American Youth Soccer Organization.  The AYSO is the oldest, largest and most successful youth soccer organization, founded in 1964.  You can read about the AYSO on Wikipedia.  


All children may play, and are guaranteed to play at least 3/4 of every game in Palo Alto AYSO.  Children in each age group and gender form a Division spanning 2 years.  For example, U10 (under 10) includes 8 and 9 year olds.  Within a division, parents volunteer as coaches and referees, and teams are formed by assigning a parent coach and players to the team.  The Division Commissioner, another volunteer, operates the software that assigns coaches and players and forms the teams.  The Division Commissioner takes into account player skill level to balance the teams, and for the younger U8 divisions, keeps the kids in their neighborhood.  

Children from 3 to 18 are placed onto Instructional teams in Kicker (offered by our partners, US Soccer - u3 & u4), Kinder (u5 & u6), Olympic (u8), and older players into u10, u12, u14, u16 and u19.  For the U10 to U19 divisions, Palo Alto AYSO operates an additional competitive program with higher level instruction and competition, including tournament play.  The competitive programs are called Elite and Select, and players must tryout to be placed onto those teams.  The soccer season is fall and spring.  Programs operate year-round.















History of AYSO

The AYSO was established in the Los Angeles area in 1964 with nine teams. It was the dream of a group of devoted soccer enthusiasts who started the organization in a garage. Today, AYSO has more than 50,000 teams and more than 600,000 players. It also employs 50 management and administrative people at the AYSO National Office in Torrance, Calif. AYSO is a community service organization that enables family participation at every function of soccer, and for parents to coach and referee. From 2 years old to 18 years old, parents can "be in the game" to the extent they wish.

Over the years, AYSO has created many valuable programs and concepts. Most notably, AYSO revolutionized youth sports with its "Everyone Plays®" and "Balanced Teams" philosophies. In AYSO, each child who registers is guaranteed to play at least half of every game (3/4 in Palo Alto AYSO). To help create evenly matched games and the most fun and learning for every child, all AYSO players are placed on a "balanced" teams and schedule. These decisions are made based on each player's skill level and the overall ability of the team.


Since its establishment, AYSO has continued to grow and offer its membership relevant programs.
  • In 1971, the AYSO's first girls program was introduced. Currently, 40 percent of AYSO's players are girls.
  • In the mid 70s, an AYSO coach chartered new territory as he welcomed the organization's first player with Down Syndrome. As a result of this landmark union, soccer was introduced into the Special Olympics. Today, AYSO offers its membership the Very Important Player (VIP) program for kids with special needs. VIP boasts 75 programs and 1,500 players. 
  • In 1995, two AYSO parents established the first AYSO program in Moscow. Today, AYSO programs exists in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and interest continues from Americans abroad looking to bring the values and philosophies of AYSO to expatriates and local communities alike.AYSO is supported by more than 250,000 volunteers. Parents volunteer their time as coaches, referees, team parents, administrators or sponsors. In 1998, AYSO unveiled its new Coach Certification and Safe Haven programs. Each was designed to strengthen the organization's role in child protection. Although AYSO is primarily a youth sports organization, it realizes the importance of providing a safe and healthy atmosphere for children. AYSO is continually working to improve the education of its volunteers in the fields of child development, human behavior, and sports psychology. A strong emphasis is placed on ethics and sportsmanship and the development of the whole child.
  • US Soccer FederationAYSO is a National Association of the United States Soccer Federation. Through the years, the organization has also maintained relations with organizations such as the National Council of Youth Sports, Girls Scouts USA, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, People to People, Optimists International, Police Athletic Leagues, the National Alliance for Youth Sports, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, YMCA, the United States Soccer Federation, and the Character Counts program.