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Bullhead City AYSO Region 397

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Importance of two aspects of AYSO philosophy: 1. Positive Coaching and 2. Good Sportsmanship

Attitude and Approach to Referees

Sportsmanship and positive coaching start with your interaction with the referees. Engaging in verbal challenges of a referee’s decision, as well as sideline conduct that demonstrates disrespect for the referees, is not an appropriate model of sportsmanship and positive behavior for the kids. The rules of soccer entrust the referee with almost complete discretion with respect to the application of the Laws of the Game [Law 5]. Showing of dissent in response to a call, by words or actions, is grounds for a caution by referee, and dismissal from the game if repeated [Law 12]. But this issue is more than just respect for the formal laws of the game – it is a fundamental requirement in an all-volunteer organization. The referees of our games are not professionals hired from the outside to adjudicate games; they are parents from our community who are volunteering their time in an effort to allow the games to be conducted, just like you. We cannot successfully conduct a soccer program with more than 50 games every Saturday unless our approach to referees is sufficiently positive to allow us to recruit enough referees for all the games.

Of course, referees will make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes will seem egregious to you. Please understand that the proper response is not to lose your temper at a referee, but rather to use this as a moment to demonstrate and teach sportsmanship. We recognize that American culture is deeply imbued with a combative attitude towards sports officials. The AYSO culture is designed to be different.

Positive Coaching from the Sideline

The other key aspect of positive coaching and sportsmanship is how you interact with the players. In the younger divisions especially, it is often tempting to shout instructions at players as if you were directing individual actions. For most players, however, trying to play the game and make decisions on the field fully taxes their ability to concentrate. Hearing loud shouting of instructions while they are in the midst of playing the ball is very distracting, and often reduces the quality of their play (as well as their enjoyment of the experience). You can often achieve better results by offering positive suggestions to a player after a sequence of play or when they are "off the ball." Indeed, making their own decisions and seeing the results is frequently the best way for players to learn.

Sportsmanship Towards the Other Team

It goes without saying that AYSO games are intended to be friendly competitions, and our attitude towards the other team should reflect this. Occasionally, you will be fortunate enough to coach a team that has a great deal more ability than the opponent. In these circumstances, good sportsmanship includes managing your team (through substitutions and player positioning) in a way that does not seek to humiliate an opponent by needlessly running up the score. When we see games with exceptionally large winning margins, we will examine the circumstances of the game to determine whether the winning coach employed appropriate team management in the spirit of good sportsmanship, and will take appropriate action if necessary.

The Regional Coach Administrator appreciates the effort that each of you have put in to make AYSO soccer such a great experience for the kids. Our reminder, above, is only intended to keep everyone focused on the AYSO philosophies as we enter into each season.

Q & A

Q: What programs does your AYSO region offer?
A:  Our regular (Core) program consists of a Fall Season, which runs approximately August-November. Spring Select "Challenge" is a competitive travel program that runs for approximately half a year, December-June. This is ideal for experienced players looking for a more competitive environment. 

Q: What is included with the registration fee?
A:  The AYSO National fee is also included in the registration price at checkout.  This is a non-refundable fee that every player pays once per AYSO year.  An AYSO year is Fall 2024-Spring 2025 (August 1st, 2024-July 31st, 2025).
For the fall season, teams in 10U-19U have a 10-game season, play on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
-10U and older will also have the opportunity to advance to extended play.
-6U-8U have an 8-game season, play on Saturday.
-Schoolyard have a 6 game season, play on Saturday.
The fee paid includes the full uniform kit (jersey, shorts and socks).

Q: What equipment does my child need?
A: All players are required to wear shin guards for both practices and games.  Cleats and an appropriate sized ball are strongly recommended.  
Ball sizes:  Size 3 for 4U through 8U.   Size 4 for 10U and 12U.  Size 5 for 14U and older.

Q: What days and times will my son/daughter have practice?
A: Each coach sets their own practice schedule including days, times, and location (one of the added benefits of volunteering to coach!)  Once teams are finalized and rosters are distributed, coaches will contact their families to communicate practice information.  In order to offer our coaches maximum flexibility to ensure their scheduling needs are met, we are unable to honor requests for specific practice schedules for our participating families.

Q: Can I request for my child to have a specific coach or play on a team with their friends?
A: Unfortunately, we do not honor special requests for teammates and coaches.  One of the AYSO philosophies is balanced teams, and we try our best to create balanced teams based on players ages, experience and player ratings.

Q: What happens if my child's team does not get a coach?
A: AYSO is an 100% volunteer-based organization and we rely on parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings (18 or older) and family friends to volunteer as coaches for your children's teams. If no one from a team steps up to volunteer as a team coach, then we are left with no alternative but to disband the team. This is a last resort, but without volunteers we cannot have teams. This is why it is so important for parents to step up to volunteer. Coaching is also a very rewarding experience; each volunteer coach plays a very important role as a role model and mentor to the children they coach.  We offer online and in person coaching courses.   If you are interested in coaching please email [email protected]

Q: I'm trying to register but there is a waitlist, what should I do?
A: Log in to your account and click on the available programs.  A waitlist may start in a division before the end of our regular registration time. This is due to needing to have an even number of teams.  When given the option, select waitlist registration and advance through all screens, including the payment screen (it will reflect a $0 balance).  You will know you've successfully added your son or daughter to the list when the system indicated that registration is completed an you have received an email confirmation.  If you would like to be a coach and you're on the waitlist, please email [email protected]. Your son or daughter will be moved off the list and placed on a team if there is a need for coaches in that particular division. If your son or daughter can be moved to a team, you will be contacted right away to complete the registration process and payment.  

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Bullhead City AYSO Region 397

2141 Clearwater Drive 
Bullhead City, Arizona 86442

Email Us: [email protected]
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