A Description of Our Program

West L.A. AYSO Soccer 

AYSO is a national soccer organization that is child-first and child focused. We strive to deliver a quality youth soccer program which promotes a fun, family environment based on AYSO's Six Philosophies. Every girl and boy stepping on a field for the first time can have fun while they develop soccer skills and learn to enjoy the world's most popular sport. It's also a game you can play and enjoy for the rest of your life.

AYSO starts with a non-competitive, purely fun experience at the earliest ages, and continues with age-appropriate small-sided games as players grow. Smaller-sided teams for younger children allow more touches on the ball and a more successful soccer learning environment. We do not introduce full-field, 11 players-per-team soccer until kids reach 12 years of age. We focus on positive messages, and ensure that each child plays more than half of each game (usually 3/4 or more). Requests to "play up" in a higher age level will be considered on a cae-by-case basis and must be approved by the Regional Commissioner. A more detailed description of each level of our program follows:

Boys U5 & Girls U5: The U5 program is a pressure-free introduction to soccer in a Jamboree format that allows 4-year olds to experience fun activities and games that require no practice or prior experience. Advanced Coaches lead weekly sessions in which parents and kids are introduced to a game or activity that involves a soccer-related skill. When the players are ready for it, they are divided into 3-player teams for short games that are designed simply for fun. The objective of this clinic-style program is to introduce the game to the youngest kids (and their parents) in a stress-free environment.

Boys U6 & Girls U6: The U6 program introduces teams. Players are part of a 6 player team, which plays a weekly game on Saturdays. Each team practices in the first half of its scheduled game period, and then plays a 25 minute game against another team in the second half of the time. Games are 4v4 on a small field. This maximizes playing time for each child. Games are purely for fun; we don't keep score and we don't have standings.

Boys U7 and U8 & Girls U7 and U8: The U7 and U8 programs introduce weekly practices in addition to the Saturday games. Practices are generally one hour in length on a weekday afternoon or early evening. Games are 40 minutes in length, and are played 4v4 on a small (45x30 yd) field with proportionally small nets and no goalkeepers. Experience shows that 6 and 7-year olds lack the physical development and psychological focus to play the goalkeeper position, and that eliminating the keepers opens up the game and makes it more free-flowing. The small-sided experience allows each player to fully participate in the game. U7 and U8 play is still purely for fun; we don't keep score and we don't have standings.

Boys U10 & Girls U10: In the U10 division (for players age 8 and 9), we introduce goalkeeping and competitive play. Weekly games are 50 minutes long, and are played 7v7 on a 75x40 yard field. This is the first division in which we maintain scores and keep standings. A playoff is held in December to determine the division champion.

Boys U12 & Girls U12: In the U12 division (for players 10 and 11), games are 60 minutes long, and are played 9v9 on a field that is 90-100 yards long, and 45-50 yards wide. Goals are now full-size. With the larger team size, players are introduced to positional play that approximates full soccer. Yet the 9-player teams allow greater space on the field and more involvement by each player.

Boys U14 & Girls U14: In the U14 division, we introduce full-size 11v11 play. Games are 70 minutes long, yet we continue to ensure that all players participate for at least 3/4 of a game. Teams play many of their games against teams from other local regions.

Boys U16 and U19 & Girls U16 and U19: In the oldest divisions, the season is shortened in order to allow players to participate on their high-school teams. Games are sometimes played on Sunday, and the season will end prior to Thanksgiving. All play is against other regions in our area.