What is AYSO EXTRA™?
AYSO's National Board of Directors has authorized the development of the EXTRA program and its use on a pilot basis to provide options for players to play soccer at a more challenging level. EXTRA is designed to address declining enrollment and player retention without compromising the philosophies and commitment to enriching children's lives that make AYSO unique among all youth sports organizations. Set forth below are the guidelines and suggested best practices for the optional operation of EXTRA as part of the AYSO FLEX™ initiative.
AYSO's Strategic Plan, which supports creation of optional "extended play" opportunities for Regions and Areas that have a need, makes it clear that although the operation and structure of extended play programs will be determined by the local program organizers, they must incorporate these basic parameters:
- Everyone on a team plays. Every player plays at least 50% of each game.
- The teams must be constituted with the goal of creating competitive balance.
- Selection to the teams must be based on open and impartial evaluations.
- Administration and coordination of the program must run through the appropriate AYSO Region, Area or Section.
- The program must meet appropriate standards for coach and referee training and certification as established by AYSO.
- The extended play program may only be offered in conjunction with a standard primary program.
- No paid coaches, referees or administrators are permitted.
EXTRA is designed to provide a more challenging level of play for those players who possess the appropriate interest, skills and abilities and to enhance each player's experience and individual growth through the game of soccer while retaining the spirit and organization of AYSO. The goal of EXTRA is to strengthen AYSO by retaining players and volunteers in additional primary programs operated under the AYSO philosophies. EXTRA is not designed to overshadow or harm the standard primary program.
The AYSO Philosophies
EXTRA programs must comply with the Six Philosophies of AYSO:
Everyone Plays - Our programs' goal is for kids to play soccer - so we mandate that every player on every team must play at least a half of every game.
Balanced Teams - Each year we form new teams as evenly balanced as possible - because it is fair and more fun when teams of equal ability play. EXTRA requires regionally balanced division teams.
Open Registration - Our program is open to all children…who want to register and play soccer. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria for playing. EXTRA requires that any registered player is eligible to apply for EXTRA. Players not selected are guaranteed placement on a team in the standard primary program.
Positive Coaching - Encouragement of player effort provides for greater enjoyment by the players and ultimately leads to better-skilled and better-motivate players.
Good Sportsmanship - We strive to create a positive based on mutual respect rather than a win-at-all-costs attitude, and our program is designed to instill good sportsmanship in all facets of AYSO. All players, parents, coaches and other AYSO volunteers in the EXTRA program are expected to adhere to a high standard of conduct and sportsmanship.
Player Development - We believe that all players should be able to develop their soccer skills and knowledge to the best of their abilities, both individually and as members of a team, in order to maximize their enjoyment of the game.
Compliance With Existing Rules
EXTRA programs are primary programs and unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all EXTRA programs must comply with the AYSO Rules & Regulations, Bylaws and National Policies. Areas and Regions are required to maintain formal written guidelines and procedures for the operation of an EXTRA program that are (1) consistent with the National AYSO Rules & Regulations, Bylaws and National Policies and (2) these Guidelines. In case of conflict, the National AYSO Rules & Regulations, Bylaws and National Policies will take precedence. Basic operating guidelines and procedures for the pilot phase are set forth herein.
EXTRA programs may be established on a Region, Area or Section basis. Because it is expected that most programs will be operated at the Area level, with participation by some or all of the Regions in the Area, these guidelines will assume such a structure. However, to be approved, EXTRA programs run on a Section, Area, or Region basis will need to have a comparable structure. EXTRA programs can also be run on a multi-Area or Region basis, subject to supervision by the relevant Sections, Areas and Regions. For example, if an EXTRA program will be run on a multi-Area basis, a structure must be created to vest final oversight jurisdiction in a designated individual or committee, with appropriate supervision by the relevant Areas and Sections.
EXTRA programs must be operated in conjunction with a standard primary program. A Region may run a standard primary program only or a standard primary program and an EXTRA program, but may not run an EXTRA program only.
EXTRA programs may require that the players participating also participate in the standard primary program ("EXTRA Concurrent") or may not require such participation ("EXTRA Side-by-Side"). EXTRA Concurrent programs must establish guidelines for standard primary participation (for example, players may not participate in EXTRA play if they miss a certain amount of standard primary practices and games), and for the monitoring of compliance with these guidelines.
EXTRA Concurrent programs should be structured to limit the effects of requiring players to participate in practice and games for two teams during the season.
Annual reports, in a form to be determined, shall be provided to the NBOD by the EXTRA program and copied to the relevant Area Director and Section Director, with a copy provided to the National Office or other entity designated by the National Board of Directors. During the pilot phase, these reporting requirements will be set by the NBOD.
The sponsoring Area shall appoint an Area EXTRA Coordinator to coordinate all EXTRA activity in the Area. Each participating Region shall appoint a Region EXTRA Coordinator to coordinate all EXTRA activity in the participating Region.
It is expected that additional volunteers will be necessary to operate an EXTRA program. Depending on the size of the EXTRA program, Areas and Regions should consider the appointment of assistant Coach and Referee Administrators to help run the EXTRA program. Before deciding to apply for permission to operate an EXTRA program, strong consideration must be given to the ability to find sufficient volunteers without harming the standard primary program. Executive Members and EXTRA Coordinators will be required to complete an orientation course that is currently in development before approval is given to run an EXTRA program.
EXTRA programs are primary programs, and therefore, Region funds may be used to support EXTRA activities, but only to the extent that they are consistent with the funds expended for the standard primary program. Any additional costs needed to run the EXTRA program must be borne solely by the EXTRA players, and approved by the Regional Commissioner and Regional Board and in accordance with AYSO's Rules & Regulations, Bylaws and National Policies. EXTRA funds must be placed in the Area or Region's operating account segregated by separate NAP accounting codes from the standard primary program funds.
Financial reports, including budgets and other reports to be determined will be provided to the next higher executive member above the sponsoring entity. For example, reports for an Area-run program shall be provided to the Section Director. During the pilot phase reporting requirements will be set by the NBOD.
Each Regional Commissioner of a Region electing to participate in the EXTRA program is responsible for compliance with player eligibility requirements. Player eligibility and age requirements to participate in a specific age division shall be as defined in the AYSO National Rules and Regulations.
Eligible players must have registered with AYSO and have participated in a scheduled and appropriate evaluation process determined by the Region. The AYSO National Office player database shall be the source of determining the players' current registration status. There is no requirement that EXTRA players have previously played or registered as AYSO players
EXTRA programs may include U-10 through U-19 players. Divisions shall be created in accordance with AYSO Rules & Regulations Article III, including the ability to create single-year subdivisions in accordance with AYSO Rules & Regulations III.E, depending on local conditions and needs. Regions that create multiple teams in the same division shall make all reasonable efforts to create balanced teams. Creation of "major and minor" teams in the same division is prohibited by AYSO Rules & Regulations II.F.
Areas may limit the number of teams that participating Regions enter into a division. Regions may not have more teams in an EXTRA division than they do in a standard primary program division. The determination of the appropriate number of EXTRA teams in a division should be based on the population of a division in a Region, the effect the creation of the teams will have on the standard primary program, field availability, whether the program is an EXTRA Concurrent or EXTRA Side-by-Side program, whether it is Region-based or Area-based, and the effect on the program-wide team balancing.
At no time is inter-regional recruitment of players already registered in Regions allowed without the prior approval of each of the Regional Commissioners, Area Directors and the Section Director concerned.
Teams must be formed according to the approved selection procedures, as described below.
In accordance with AYSO Rules & Regulations I.H, it is strongly recommended that EXTRA teams in U-10 and U-12 divisions be formed in accordance with AYSO's Short Sided Games recommendations and roster sizes. In all cases, teams must comply with Article II of the National Rules & Regulations (or any amendments thereto).
Sponsoring Areas that operate EXTRA programs with single year age divisions must include guidelines for eligibility of players in the younger half of a two year division. For example, is a player who is U-11 also eligible to play in the U-12 age division?
Regions that submit multiple teams in a division must take all reasonable steps to balance the teams.
Teams must undergo new selections each membership year. There are no guaranteed roster positions for any player from one membership year to the next.
Player Selection Procedures
EXTRA programs shall use player selection procedures that are designed to be impartial, fair and are considerate of the players and their families. Multiple evaluation opportunities are strongly recommended. Using impartial, qualified evaluators, for team selection is required. Team coaches may act in an advisory capacity, but evaluators need to be totally impartial.
Player selection opportunities must be widely advertised to all potential players and must be spelled out in the Regional and Area operating guidelines.
Proposed player selection procedures, based on the best practices as determined by the National Coach Advisory Commission, will be developed and provided to EXTRA administrators and coordinators to assist in this process.
Any child whose playing age is between U-10 and U-19 is eligible for selection opportunities to an EXTRA team, should such a team exist. Each of these players must be a currently registered player in the Region before being permitted to participate in the selection process.
All players must be newly selected each membership year. Teams will be reformed and balanced each membership year. It is possible that not all players who apply will be selected to a team.
All players who participate in the player selection process will be notified promptly after the final selection date whether he or she was selected to a team. Notification must first be given to those players who were not selected with the assurance they will be placed on a standard primary program team in the normal Regional process.
Rosters and ID Cards
Before the season begins, teams participating in the EXTRA program must provide to the Region and/or Area EXTRA Coordinator documents generated by eAYSO that include:
- Region and division identification.
- Coach's and Assistant Coach's information: names, address, home and work phone numbers and e-mail addresses, AYSO ID numbers, AYSO coach training and AYSO Safe Haven certification information and dates.
- Player information: name, address, phone number, birth date, gender, AYSO Registration Number and date of registration.
- Team number, uniform colors, jersey number and team name (if available).
- Signature of the Regional Commissioner verifying player registrations and AYSO coach training and certifications.
No team without a properly completed and signed team roster generated from eAYSO and submitted to the appropriate EXTRA Coordinator shall be allowed to participate in EXTRA play.
Copies of all revised rosters shall be forwarded to the EXTRA Coordinator as soon as possible. Revisions shall occur when:
- A player drops from a team. Players who drop from the team will not be permitted to return during the membership season unless such return is authorized by the Regional Commissioner and Area Director for good cause shown, and only if the player's return does not violate roster limits or significantly affect team balancing.
- The total amount of player drops, for whatever reason, lowers the number of permanent rostered players to one more than the number of field players permitted in the division. At that point, the team will be allowed to add one (1) player. The additional player must be approved by the Regional Commissioner, the Area Director and/or the Region/Area EXTRA Coordinator.
Use of player and coach ID cards with information generated from eAYSO is mandatory in EXTRA, and the local EXTRA program should create a written policy concerning creation and use of ID cards. Templates and cards are available through the AYSO Registration Dept or`AYSO Store.
For each EXTRA team, the coach must have a team roster and original signature copies of AYSO Player Registration Forms (medical release forms) for each participating player and an ID card for the players and coach(es) at all AYSO sponsored or sanctioned events (games, practices, scrimmages, etc.)
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Each EXTRA program must have a stated policy for replacement of players to team rosters. No EXTRA player may be transferred from one EXTRA team to another once the season has started, without the consent of the player, the player's parents, both coaches involved and the Regional Commissioner and Area Director (or the Region and Area EXTRA Coordinators, if the responsibility is so delegated). Parental consent is not required if the player is of legal age.
Team balancing must be the paramount consideration in any such transfers, which are strongly discouraged.
In EXTRA Side-by-Side programs, replacement players may only be added through evaluation of new players, and not players in the standard primary program.
Coaches and Referees
Coaches and referees participating in EXTRA should be of the highest quality. At the minimum EXTRA coaches, assistant coaches and referees must:
- Have a current volunteer form on file at the National Office
- Be an AYSO trained and certified coach or referee as specified in these Guidelines
- Be Safe Haven certified with the appropriate course (Referee Safe Haven does not certify the coach)
- Be an active participant in the Region's standard primary program as an instructor, coach or referee mentor, or other volunteer service the Region determines adequate to fulfill this requirement
- Be in good standing with the Region, Area and/or Section and AYSO
- Be approved by the Region board
- Be evaluated and renewed each membership year.
For participation in the EXTRA program, coaches who desire to coach at the following levels must hold the following certifications: U-10 and U-12-U-12 Coach; U-14-Intermediate Coach; U-16 and U-19-Advanced Coach. Referees will be required to hold the following certifications to referee at the following levels: U-10--Regional Referee, U-12--Intermediate Referee, U-14-- Advanced Referee, U-16 and U-19--National Referee.
It is strongly recommended that EXTRA program coaches and referees be encouraged to be certified at least one level above the level he/she is intending to coach or referee (except as set forth above, U-10 coaches must be certified at the U-12 level). It is also strongly recommended that coaches and referees have continuing education each year as designed by the Region.
Prior to the start of the EXTRA season, it is strongly recommended that the Region and/or Area EXTRA Coordinator conduct mandatory EXTRA coach and referee meetings.
Regions must provide an adequate number of referees who are capable of supporting the various age divisions of teams entered. Hosting Regions and Areas are responsible for providing referee coverage for EXTRA games.
All EXTRA games shall be officiated using the Diagonal System of Control, i.e. one referee and two assistant referees. The use of "club linesmen" is encouraged when an insufficient number of assistant referees is available. The Dual (two-man) System of Control is not allowed.
Regional Referee Administrators shall not assign "neutral" referees-- volunteers who are parents/guardians of players nor coaches of the participating teams, nor have other close connections to the teams--of appropriate skill and ability to all EXTRA games assigned to their Region. Unless otherwise approved by the appropriate administrator, Referees shall be a minimum of two years older than the oldest players in the division to which they have been assigned.
Regions must provide an adequate number of fields for the number of teams entered. Fields and equipment need to be age appropriate as specified in the AYSO Coaching programs for short-sided play or in the FIFA Laws of the
Game. Participating Regions are responsible for properly preparing and maintaining all fields used. Field set-up and take down is the responsibility of the hosting Region.
Availability of fields must first service the needs of the standard primary programs. Additional charges for making available new fields or additional usage of currently held fields must be passed on to the teams participating in the EXTRA program.
Scheduling of Games and Standings
The schedule for EXTRA games should be established as early as possible and made available to all participants, including being posted on a Web site, if possible. EXTRA programs shall create written guidelines concerning game cancellations or forfeits due to weather, lack of available players, misconduct or other reasons, and game rescheduling, if any. If the EXTRA program desires to maintain and publish standings or give awards, written procedures must be created to ensure accurate reporting of results and fairness of tiebreaking procedures. All awards are to be consistent with the standard primary program practices and/or guidelines.
Use of paid trainers must be consistent with the existing National AYSO Policy Statement.
Misconduct, Discipline and Dispute Resolution
All EXTRA programs shall have written guidelines to deal with player, volunteer and spectator misconduct, and shall include procedures for submission of reports of misconduct, penalties and monitoring that are consistent programwide. During the pilot phase, recommended guidelines will be provided to ensure consistency in application for monitoring, measurement and reporting purposes to the National Board of Directors.
Relationship of EXTRA to All-Star and Secondary Play
All Stars is a defined AYSO program that is hosted by Areas and/or Sections (see National Policy Statement 2.7). Players participating in EXTRA Concurrent programs are eligible for All Star play. Regions must guarantee that the All Star selection process includes all EXTRA Concurrent players and all standard primary program players who do not participate in the EXTRA program.
Players participating in an EXTRA Side-by-Side program who do not also participate in the standard primary program shall not be eligible for participation in All-Star play with players participating in the standard primary program.
Sections, Areas and Regions that operate All Star programs are encouraged to create additional post-season play opportunities for players participating in an EXTRA Side-by-Side program, including separate or tiered All Star programs and/or tournaments.
Nothing herein prevents the inclusion of EXTRA teams in tournaments. Each tournament has its own rules of eligibility and those rules will determine which types of teams qualify for inclusion in their tournament. Typically, Open Invitationals and International tournaments have open or flighted opportunities for these types of teams.
The Extended Play Task Force and the National Tournament Advisory Commission will work together to expand the opportunity for EXTRA teams and players to participate in tournaments.
Currently, EXTRA programs are pilot programs. Because participants in EXTRA Concurrent programs also participate in the standard primary program, they are eligible for the AYSO National Games. Participants in EXTRA Side-by- Side programs are not eligible for the AYSO National Games at this time.