Player Eligibility Policy


The National Games (“Games”) shall offer an opportunity to bring together different Regions, Areas, and Sections to share in the diverse soccer culture of the AYSO family.  This occasion focuses on sportsmanship, team spirit and making new friends through the activities and events that are offered during this weeklong event. The Games will be held from June 30 to July 7, 2019.


The National Games consists of teams formed by Regions, Areas or Sections consisting of eligible players from within a Region, Area or Section, as described below;


To be eligible to participate in the National Games, a player must meet both a registration requirement and a primary program participation requirement. It is the intent of these rules that participants will not join the organization for the express or singular purpose of participating in the National Games and teams will not be formed with any participants thus joining.

Player Registration Requirement:

Eligible players must be registered in AYSO’ registration system of record for Membership Year 2018 on or before April 1, 2019.

The eligible player list in AYSO’S registration system of record WILL BE FROZEN as of April 1, 2019 and only those players on the list as of April 1, 2019, will be permitted to play in the National Games.

Player Participation Requirement:

Players meeting the registration requirement above must also be verified by the Regional Commissioner as having actively participated in a defined AYSO primary program during a Region’s split season (program which beings in fall, closes for a while and continues in spring), or in the fall season (when it is the only program offered) or in the spring season (if offered). For purposes of this determination the following definitions shall apply:

  1. “Actively participated in” means playing in at least 50% of the scheduled games of any complete AYSO-approved primary program that begins after January 1, For this purpose, only, a primary program that ends after Sunday, June 1, 2019 will be deemed “complete” on June 1, 2019.

See AYSO National Policy Statement 2.2, Participation in Secondary Programs, for allowed special circumstances that might prevent a registered player from completing a program – NOT prevent them from registering in a program:


“Special circumstances would include, but are not limited to, an illness; a soccer-related injury; change of address (moved to a new Region); parental custodial rights; conflict with secondary or high school rules of state which prevent the registered player from COMPLETING the primary program; If such special circumstance arises within a Region, the Regional Commissioner must request approval, in writing, from the Area Director and/or Section Director prior to adding the child to a secondary season roster.”

  1. “Scheduled games” shall mean games that were scheduled for play at the beginning of the season and available for play (excludes games not available for play due to field closures or similar).
  2. “Primary program” shall mean the entire set of scheduled games (including BOTH parts of split seasons) in a Region for which open registration is held, balanced teams are newly formed and all registrants It is acknowledged that some Regions may have more than one primary program under this definition. “Primary programs” include both standard primary and approved EXTRA™ programs. However, intact EXTRA teams are not allowed to participate.

Each Regional Commissioner, Area Director and Section Director is responsible for ensuring that the spirit of the eligibility rules is honored. The AYSO National Games Executive Board reserves the right to determine and administer any discipline that they deem appropriate should they find that the participation of any team or player violates this intent. Disciplinary sanctions can include, but are not limited to, removing or rejecting the offending team or player from participation in all or any part of the National Games.


Each Region (or Area if receiving an Area slot) shall determine the method it uses for team formation, provided that each team member is eligible following the rules listed below. All rostered team members must be eligible players as defined above.

A team roster may include up to two coaches, each of whom has met the Coaching Requirements described below. Only players and coaches listed on the approved roster may participate in the National Games.

Team Roster Sizes and Player Numbers on the Field

  1. The maximum roster size allowed in 16U/19U will be 18 and teams will play 11 v 11
  2. The maximum roster size allowed in 14U will be 15 and teams will play 11 v 11
  3. The maximum roster size allowed in 12U will be 12 and teams will play 9 v 9
  4. The maximum roster size allowed in 10U will be ten and teams will play 7 v 7

Age Divisions

The following age divisions participate in the AYSO National Games (DOBs for 2019 Games):

19U girls teams and boys teams        Birthdates January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2002

16U girls teams and boys teams        Birthdates January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2004

14U girls teams and boys teams        Birthdates January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2006

12U girls teams and boys teams        Birthdates January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2008

10U girls teams and boys teams        Birthdates January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2010

Teams with a mixture of boys and girls will be considered boys’ teams for purposes of the lottery draw and pool placement.

Team Formation Limitations – Regular Flight

Each team must be comprised of eligible players from the Region(s) that are age-appropriate for the age division selected in the Lottery Draw. (“Age appropriate” shall be judged solely by a player’s birth date and not by the player’s primary season division.) All eligible players from the hosting Region MUST have the first opportunity to participate or, if an Area team, only from the Regions stated in the lottery bid.

  • Exception 1: If the selected Region is unable to form a complete team from age appropriate eligible players in the Region’s primary program, the Region may, with permission from the Area Director, approach Regional Commissioners from other Regions in their own AYSO Area to seek additional eligible players, which requires each Regional Commissioner involved to sign off on the addendum Blue Sombrero team roster.
  • Exception 2: Extraordinary circumstances might indicate the need to go to a neighboring AYSO Area to find a team This requires agreement by each of the Regional Commissioners, Area Directors and Section Director(s) involved.
  • Exception 3: Team members will be allowed to be added to a team roster not in their age appropriate division only under circumstances as described in “Playing up.”

Playing Up

 “Playing up” a division by a team member into an older age bracket than his/her birth date indicated in Age Divisions, will be permitted only under one of the following circumstances:

  • Permitted in all of the age brackets (except 10U) provided that the player played up in the 2018-2019 primary program. Age appropriate team members should be given priority in the selection process and it is the responsibility of the Regional Commissioner to verify the eligibility of the “younger” team member to be playing in an older age bracket during the Region’s primary Regional Commissioners must NOT play younger children up for the express or singular purpose of participating in the National Games.

·          10U may not utilize players who played in 8U during the primary program

  • “Playing down” in a younger division than the player’s age is not


All AYSO coaches and assistant coaches (hereafter referred to collectively as coaches) who wish to coach in the AYSO National Games must, at a minimum:

  1. Be a registered volunteer in AYSO’S registration system of record for the current AYSO membership
  2. Have the new AYSO’s Safe Haven™ certification.
  3. Have completed CDC concussion awareness training
  4. Be trained per the National Coaching Program Guidelines at the age/skill level of the team they wish to enter/coach. Training must be completed and verified in AYSO’S registration system of record by March 1,

Following are the required certifications for each of the age levels:

Division Minimum Required Certification
10U 10U Coach (complete course)
12U 12U Coach
14U Intermediate Coach
16U & 19U Advanced Coach

Coaches are permitted to be the coach or assistant coach for one team, and one team only.

10U Coaches who have taken ONLY the online 10U course will NOT BE ELIGIBLE to coach. The field portion of that course must also be completed.

Coaches are responsible for checking Blue Sombrero to ensure that all completed courses have been properly credited prior to March 1, 2019.

Each team must have no more than two coaches. Each coach must be 18 years of age or older. Approved coaches are the only people permitted to coach and to be in the coaching areas on the fields. If a trainer is traveling with a team, he/she will not be permitted as a substitute coach for any reason and is not allowed in the coaching areas. The coaching area is a marked box located one yard off the touchline and centered on the halfway line. It is the length of the center circle and as wide as three yards depending upon the space available. No other persons, except for the assistant referee and a fourth official (if utilized), are permitted in the coaching area. Coaches, substitutes and spectators are not permitted to enter the field of play unless requested to do so by the referee.

Substitutes, coaches and spectators are to remain on their designated side of the field within the specified areas behind the coaches’ area during the game. Spectators are to remain in their designated areas, including between the outside edges of the penalty area for the duration of the game and are not permitted to enter the field of play.

Coaches are responsible for their conduct and the conduct of their players, spectators and guests. Only positive and encouraging coaching is permitted. Negative comments towards their own players, opposing players or the referees will not be tolerated. Such behavior will result in the loss of sportsmanship points and, if serious enough, in the expulsion of a team from the National Games.