A Quick Introduction to Palo Alto AYSO

AYSO is a youth sports league like no other.  Focused on child, player, team and community development, AYSO upholds high character and sportsmanship standards, trains coaches, referees, administrative personnel and policy personnel, from parent volunteers.  AYSO is an all-volunteer non-profit, and more importantly, is a certified CSO (Community Services Organization) and a registered Charity.

Volunteering is not required, but is strongly encouraged both to ensure we can offer our programs to all children (2000 a year in Palo Alto), and to extend the fun to you.  Our volunteers have a great time.  We have over 200,000 volunteers across America to make it work.

Similar in organization to the Boy Scouts.  We have a small staff at National Headquarters to prepare programs and materials, but all the action is at the local level, supported by a hierarchy of sections, areas and regions of volunteers.

AYSO trains and assigns volunteer parents to coach the teams and referee the games.  AYSO takes care of all logistics for team formation, fields, equipment and uniforms.

All players in Palo Alto play at least 3/4 of every game.

Children from 18 months to 18 years may play.  Children are assigned to teams to ensure balanced competition in the instructional programs, and may tryout for the advanced teams.

Registration of players is performed on this site.  Be sure to read every detail on the registration pages, as you register

  • Instructional (recreational) programs run in 2 sessions, the Spring and Fall, all children may play
  • Competitive programs run year-round in 2 sessions, require trying out, and include bay area travel and tournaments
    • Winter-Spring (Spring Select) 
    • Summer-Fall (Elite)
  • Summer Camps are week-long sessions, all summer
  • Winter Break Camp and Spring Break Camp are week long and are during PAUSD school closings
  • Soccerfest pick-up games run during the summer on Saturday mornings
Volunteer to coach, referee, or help with team administration.  Start on this site under the Volunteering menu.  AYSO takes care of all training, certification and liability issues.  Coaches are placed on teams with their children.

AYSO has over 50 years experience to help you successfully coach or referee, and provides professional trainers to help during team training and preparation.  Parents find it great fun to be with their kids on the field.

There are many supporting volunteer functions, from field coordination, game scheduling, local board positions, registration support, and on and on.  To see the opportunities click on Volunteers on the top menu.

What is Safe Haven?
To ensure the safety of both children and volunteers, each volunteer is required to take a short in-person or online training session called Safe Haven™.  It focuses on safety and appropriate behavior with children, AYSO child-supervision policies, as well as first aid and other on-field issues.  Agreeing to a background check is also required of each volunteer.

What is Kids Zone?
In AYSO, fans are asked to be cheerleaders, not critics.  Kids Zone® is a unique program promoting our commitment to positive, encouraging behavior when watching the games.  

Key Help Links

How to Enjoy Your Experience the Most
  1. Volunteer and Participate
  2. Use the Parent menu to learn our goals, methods and special programs you can take advantage of
  3. Check out, 11 Smart Tips from Veteran AYSO Parents
  4. Review and use our snack guidelines
  5. Be sure to read every detail while registering a child