AYSO Mission Statement

To develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs which promote a fun, family environment based on our philosophies:

  • Player Development
  • Everyone Plays
  • Balanced Teams
  • Open Registration
  • Positive Coaching
  • Good Sportsmanship
The mission is accomplished by providing these essential services:
  • Quality education programs (coaching, instruction, management, and officiating)
  • Quality administrative and operational systems with a support network
  • Integrated volunteer network, supported by a national staff
  • Program research and development
  • Strong financial position

Brief History of AYSO

The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) was established in the Los Angeles area (Torrance) 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 650,000 players. It also employs 50 people at its National Support and Training Center in Hawthorne, California.

Karl Bizjak started AYSO here in 1968. This was the first group outside the original founding area of Los Angeles. Karl had a vinyard and winery in Portola Valley where he lived as well. Redwood City and Menlo Park were the heart of the initiative along with Portola Valley and Woodside. This was long before the concept of Sections, Areas and Regions we now know. Soon after, Jim Madison was the Southern Division director and xxxxx the Northern Division director.

Region 25 Portola Valley has the honor of being designated the founding location of AYSO soccer outside of Southern California. Region 1 Redwood City was the base of the Northern Division that would later become Areas 2B and then 2N after subdividing further. They received the distinctive Region 1 designation after the southern California cities where AYSO was founded could not settle who should receive the honor there. Region 109 Menlo Park / Atherton subdivided out of Region 25 Portola Valley / Woodside /La Honda very late. These two regions and cities south comprised the Southern Division that became Area 2A (and then 2J as well). The SF Peninsula activity was eventually designated Section 2 and became the cornerstone for growth in Northern California and eventually Nevada, Oregon and Washington State as well. When Region 25 was designated, Region 26 Palo Alto was split out at that time as was Region 27 Saratoga. 27 Eventually would grow to be 2J and everything east and south of highway 280. 26 would further subdivide out Regions 43, 44 and 45 of Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Mountain View; respectively.

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. To help create evenly matched games, all AYSO players are placed on new or "balanced" teams each year. These decisions are made based on each player's skill level and the overall ability of the team.

AYSO Structure

AYSO's grassroots program starts with a community based league, called a Region. A region can range in size from a few hundred players to several thousand. Each Region is supervised by a Regional Commissioner and a local board of directors.

A group of regions in close proximity make up an Area. Area Directors are responsible for activities of the Regions in their Area, as well as for Area-wide activities.

For administrative purposes, AYSO divides the country into 14 geographic Sections based on player population. Section Directors oversee activities in their respective Sections.

Section 99 is an administrative section designation for programs outside the United States.

There are currently over 1400 regions chartered.

Regions are assigned numbers chronologically with respect to when they were established. Sometimes after subdividing out of an earlier multi-city "region". For example, Sunnyvale is Region 44, Area A, Section 2. It, along with Region 45 Mt View and Region 43 Los Altos all subdivided out of Region 26 Palo Alto in 1973/1974. Menlo Park subdivided out of the founding Region 25. Region 25 still serves Portola Valley, Woodside and La Honda.