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Rivertowns AYSO (Region 324 New York)

Epic Registration Announcement Sent 9/6 for Fall 2020 AYSO Core

[This is a slight variation on an email that was sent to families who had players registered in our Fall 2019 recreational program, as well as new families who have inquired about our Fall 2020 recreational program.]

We are excited to announce that registration for our Fall 2020 Rivertowns AYSO Core (recreational) program is open.

This fall, the program will be structured differently so that it adheres to all necessary guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Rivertowns AYSO Board continues to monitor the information coming from the CDC, New York State, the Villages, AYSO, and other soccer governing bodies. We are fortunate to have NYCFC Youth Programs as our partner, and we have been working closely with them to develop a safe Fall 2020 program. A summary of some of the safety protocols are below. A complete set of protocols are being developed and will be communicated before soccer starts.

Format-wise, the main change is that there will be no assigned teams or scheduled games at any AYSO age level. Rather, players in first grade and up (who usually are on teams) will be in assigned groups with children of their age level. An NYCFC Coach (not a parent coach) will lead each group. While the groups will stay together throughout the season and have the feeling of a team, they will not compete as organized teams nor play against other groups. Players in PreK-4 and kindergarten (who usually meet in one big jamboree group on the field led by NYCFC Coaches) will be also be in assigned groups with children of their age level. An NYCFC Coach will lead each group as in past years, but the change is that they will be with the same group all season.

The new format will likely be met with relief by some, and disappointment to others. Our primary goal this fall is to provide the opportunity for safe, fun soccer skills development and teamwork. With limited resources and with safety in mind, we decided that providing more players with a chance to be on the field each weekend would be our approach (rather than fewer players meeting two times per weekend).

Should you decide to wait this season out given safety concerns or these structural changes, we completely understand and respect your decision. In the event that we are forced to terminate our season, we will offer a prorated reimbursement.

Before you register, please read the detailed information below so you are fully informed about our AYSO Core (recreational) program in Fall 2020.


Although the program will be different than the past, from the KID perspective, the differences will be minimal – get in car, go to field, run around and kick a ball with other kids, learn a thing or two, get in car, go home. The program will still be FUN and the players will be outdoors, exercising, and engaged in activities while they are learning. Sure, there will be masks and distancing, but they know the drill by now, and they will have supportive adults helping them stay safe while having a great experience.

We look forward to an exciting and safe soccer season with your players!

Yours in soccer,
Rivertowns AYSO Board
Region 324, New York



(please copy/paste any links that do not work)

Fall 2020 Registration is Just for Fall 2020 (not for Spring 2021, too)

In past years, when you signed up ahead of Fall, you were registering for both Fall and Spring soccer seasons. This year, with its uncertainties, your registration will be for Fall 2020 only. We will hold a separate registration for Spring 2021 ahead of that season.

Costs for Rivertowns Fall 2020 AYSO Core (Recreational) Program

$150 REGISTRATION FEE --The registration fee for Fall 2020 is $150, which includes the $130 local Rivertowns AYSO fee plus the $20 National AYSO fee. As of this year, there is a $2.75 non-refundable transaction fee tacked on at the end, courtesy of the registration software company.

Scholarships for the Rivertowns portion of the registration cost are available for families in need. Please contact [email protected]

$40 UNIFORM --The cost of the Rivertowns AYSO uniform (approx.. $40, all in) is not included in the registration fee. If your player does not already have a Rivertowns AYSO uniform, you need to buy one. The link to the uniform store will be in your registration receipt. The link to the uniform store, and FAQs, can always be found at under Uniforms. As always, have your player wear comfy sporty clothes until their uniform arrives, or if they for some reason object to the uniform as you are rushing to get ready for soccer, same.

GEAR -- You also need to buy shin guards for your player (if they don’t have them already) since that is required safety gear for all players. Cleats are recommended, especially for older players. (If you already have cleats and shin guards, now is a good time to see if they still fit.) Balls will be provided for use at each Core session, but we encourage players to have one at home!


Fall 2020 Weekend Dates

Please find the weekends that soccer will be held here: 

Fall 2020 AYSO (Core) Recreational Schedule

Take a Look at a Chart Highlighting Some of the Differences between
“Normal” Times and Fall 2020

NYCFC Coaches Will Lead All Core Sessions (Not Parent Volunteer Coaches)

For this fall, NYCFC Coaches will lead all sessions for all core age groups. This is a big change from how our recreational program usually operates; usually, NYCFC Coaches lead PreK and K groups and volunteer parents coach teams of players in first grade and older.

To our volunteer coaches: We know this will be met with disappointment by some, and a sense of relief by others (to not have to coach in the time of Covid-19). We look forward to the day when things are back to normal.

Having NYCFC Coaches Provides a Unique Opportunity for Players and Future Parent Coaches

NYCFC Coaches are licensed, trained, certified soccer coaches. Many of them have played soccer at a high level. They are subject-matter experts who play, watch, and teach soccer. They have special training to work with youth players, from beginners to experienced youth athletes.

There are a couple unique advantages to having all our Core sessions led by NYCFC Coaches:

·         For volunteer parent coaches:

o   Whether experienced parent coaches, or, considering it for the future -- observing from the sidelines offers a vantage for learning of techniques, drills, and so forth.

o   We encourage all current and future volunteer coaches to attend as many sessions as possible for this reason, and to sit back and enjoy the show for a change, rather than being the playmaker.

·         For our players:

o   There’s the “cool” factor of having a bona fide soccer coach lead the show (not Coach Mom or Coach Dad as wonderful as that is).

o   Having subject-matter experts teaching them will benefit their growth and development as players.

o   For those players who express an interest in joining our competitive travel program in the future, the NYCFC Coaches are uniquely positioned to assess players and provide honest feedback and advice to parents, if asked. The NYCFC Coaches always have the player’s best interest in mind, and can communicate the rational for continuing with recreational soccer versus trying out and/or joining a travel team.

There Will be No Teams or Scheduled Soccer Games for Older Players

Older players (first grade and up) will be divided into groups with children of their age level. The groups will have the feeling of a team since they will meet each week, but our usual routine -- Saturday practice / Sunday game – will not be in play. Within a group, there will be drills and scrimmages, but groups will not have a game schedule nor will they play against other groups.

With limited resources and with safety in mind, we decided that providing more players with a chance to be on the field each weekend would be our approach (rather than fewer players meeting two times per weekend).

For Now, All AYSO Core Session Will be At Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry

Because the Dobbs Ferry Recreation Department has generously approved our use of the Waterfront Field, we can plan for sessions at that field. Our hardworking, volunteer field liaisons are in communication with the schools and villages about using the other usual fields, but the approval process is quite different this year with a new set of concerns.

As we get approval to use other fields for soccer activities, we may open additional AYSO Core sessions up; this is contingent on having NYCFC Coaches available and enough interested players to make this viable.

Fewer Players and Family Members at the Field / Field Divided into Quadrants

In a normal soccer season, we have as many as 70 players on a field during a session, with family members on the sidelines. This fall, the maximum number of players on the field will be 32. The field will be divided into quadrants, with each player group meeting in one quadrant. There will be designated places for family members to stand, near their player’s quadrant. The player groups and quadrant assignments will be communicated before the first session.

As in past years, AYSO is not a drop-off and we need a parent or guardian on the field for each player to support that player as needed. This fall, we ask that the number of family members per player that remain on the sidelines be limited to two. We understand that there will be days that this is not possible. However, if two parents and several siblings accompany a player to the soccer field, we suggest that one parent stay on the sidelines, and that the other parent and siblings enjoy the other areas of the facility so that the sidelines are not overcrowded. We are already nostalgic for those days when soccer practices are a big social event/hang for all family members.

Limited Capacity – Here’s Why

Youth sports have seen lower registration numbers due to our current environment. Given the enthusiastic emails we have received, we are cautiously optimistic our Saturday and Sunday Waterfront Sessions will fill up. Because of the known phenomenon of lower registration, planned reduced density of players, and the fact that we have one field currently, officially approved (as of the date of this letter), the openings are quite limited compared to past seasons.

Please note, if there is not adequate enrollment in a given session, it may be combined with another session. This will be communicated if this is the case and you will be given a chance to decide if you want to remain registered.

Possible Phased Registration and Additional Sessions on Other Fields /
Sign Up on the Waitlist So We Know You are Interested in Another Session

There is a good possibility that we may open more AYSO Core sessions contingent upon additional field availability, NYCFC Coach availability, and expressed interest from families via signing up on the waitlist. We strongly encourage you to register for the waitlist if you don’t get a spot. The waitlist is a registration system feature that records your interest without collecting money. It is an extremely efficient and convenient way to track players who want to join if slots open up, and this is who we will reach out to first if we open additional sessions. In the past, we could sometimes beg a coach to take an additional player, but now, with the ratios we have to maintain to allow social distancing, adding another player to a session once full will not be possible unless someone drops out.

Sign Up Each Player for One Session Only

Even if your player is super enthusiastic and would play soccer all day, we ask that you sign each player up for one session only at this time, to allow all players chance to register. The system does not prevent you from signing up for two sessions, that is why we are asking and relying on the honor system. At the outset,  players signed up for two sessions will be unregistered from one of them. If there are additional openings in the future, we will share that information and give you an opportunity to sign up for another session.

Can I Use My Account Credit Coupon from the Cancelled Spring 2020 Season?

Yes, absolutely. And, even if you don’t register in Fall 2020 for any reason, the account credit can be used ahead of Spring 2021 season or even Fall 2021 season (as long as used before June 30, 2021). National AYSO sent the coupons directly to families who chose that form of refund – the email came from [email protected] if you need to find it in your inbox.

For more information and FAQs, please visit:

Each Group Needs a Parent Safety Manager --- Please Volunteer

For each group, we will need a volunteer Parent Safety Manager (a parent of one of the players). The Parent Safety Manager will be the point person for the Covid-19 safety protocols for your player's training session (take attendance each session, encourage compliance). Instructions are being developed and will be provided ahead of the first session.

How do I sign up? When you register your player, there is a place for parents to sign up as volunteers – that is where you sign up as Parent Safety Manager. If parents don’t register in advance, we will have to keep emailing until someone steps up for each group  (not a great use of our time or yours).

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

Covid-19 safety protocols for Rivertowns AYSO are being developed and will be communicated before soccer starts. The protocols will include state-mandated safety rules related to sports and guidelines specific to soccer. We will need all players and families to comply in earnest. Here are a few of the protocols that families are most concerned about, based on questions we have received. We want to be transparent up front so that families can decide if the program will be right for them.
>> Health questionnaire done before any players arrive at sessions and check in.

>> Participant attendance (players, family members) to be taken at each event for contact tracing purposes.

>> NYCFC Coaches will wear masks at all times.

>> NYCFC Coaches will disinfect all equipment between sessions (balls, cones, etc.).

>> Players/family members will wear masks when entering and exiting soccer activities. For PreK and K players, we encourage but understand if not possible.

>> In the designated family viewing areas, parents will wear masks at all times when not able to maintain distance of 6 feet from non-household members.

>> In the playing area, players can participate in the training session without a mask.

>> During many drills and exercises, the players will be socially distant from the other players in their group. However, during some activities, they will NOT be socially distant.

>> Reduced density on fields (compared to previous seasons). This means fewer players on the fields and fewer family members on the sidelines.

>> Clearly defined entering and exiting flow and 30-minute buffers between sessions.

>> Universal no-touch rule (no high fives, handshakes, sharing equipment, and so forth)

What To Do If ….

·       Your player doesn’t get a spot. Sign up for the waitlist so we know you are interested if more sessions open up.

·       You are convinced your player has to be in a group with friends to be able to enjoy soccer. Please join because the ACTIVITY is the priority. It is once a week only. To the degree possible, we have accommodated friend requests in past seasons, but this year it will not be possible given how the sessions are structured. By all means, arrange to meet friends at the playground before or after the session.

·      Your player’s uniform hasn’t arrived yet. Wear comfy, sport clothes until it does.

·      Your player is a little hesitant because they are new to soccer, or haven’t played in a while. Give it a little time. They can come over to you for a hug, and watch for a bit, if that makes them feel better.

·     You are uncomfortable with the safety protocols. We warmly welcome all families, but if you feel that there is too much risk in attending, or, if you feel that the protocols are too strict, please wait this one out, and come back when things are back to normal.

·      You think not having games is a dealbreaker. We warmly welcome all families, but if you feel that this will not serve the needs of your player, please wait this one out, and come back when things are back to normal.

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Rivertowns AYSO (Region 324 New York)

P.O Box 684 
Ardsley, New York 10502

Email Us: [email protected]
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