Team Formation Policy

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 in the Player Eligibility Policy.

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.