AYSO does not protect the children/players they are charged with protecting. After filing complaints at the local & national levels with strong evidence, they will not communicate with us or remove the people who abused children in broad daylight with tons of witnesses. Countless of our teams parents, myself included complained & AYSO did not investigate. They protect their own adults & do not care about the very young children who were emotional scared after being assaulted by another teams coach & local coordinator. Even parents on that team complained about their coach & the girls coordinator. Still even with those complaints in hand AYSO ignored the complaints. We are alarmed by how little AYSO cares & how much they cover up any complaints against them. Parents online complaints are immediately erased and removed. Try for yourself to find a complaint against them. Shame on you AYSO - our children deserve better!
While most of the comments by the other reviewers are basically accurate with regards to the actual local programs, the organization as a non-profit leaves something to be desired. Executive salaries are too high when measured against budget and the board of directors has long been plagued with micromanaging the organization. The fact that over the past ten years or so the organization has gone through five or six executive directors shows the fickle nature of leadership.
Review from Guidestar
AYSO is an incredible volunteer organization that helps parents and communities teach their kids to be better team players, athletes, good sportspeople, and soccer players. Both parents and kids have great fun as well as learn life skills while enjoying the beautiful game of soccer. The biggest rewards are earned by those parents who are referees, board members, and especially coaches. The entire organization is extremely well run by a huge volunteer base. The organization's documentation and practices are excellent. AYSO exemplifies the best of the best in how to run a youth sports program efficiently, economically, and sustainably.
My son and daughter played for many years and enjoyed soccer. Volunteers are wonderful and keep coming back to make kids game and participation a life time experience. I have seen so many volunteers whos kids have gone to college however they still volunteer. Nice to see such dedication
The greatest experience is to see a kids eyes light up when they do something they have been practising and it final works. The look of awe is an insperation that keeps me coming back for more year after year
AYSO has been one of the most important things in my life since I started volunteering almost 15 years ago. I started out as a coach, and through that experience was able to relate to my children and their friends in a way that I otherwise never could have. I also began to make connections in the community through my interactions with the other parents and coaches. I became the regional commissioner, and through that experience met more and more people in the community, and began to have relationships with local school and village personnel, as well as begin to interact with my colleagues in other local AYSO programs. I became Area Director, which allowed me to meet and interact with more AYSO volunteers throughout the country. Now, I coach, help out in my local region, and act as the assistant chair of a national AYSO task force that is developing new programs for the organization. Through this all, my wife and kids have been involved, making it a great family shared experienc.
I have been involved with this program for 8 years. I started out as an assistant coach then and now I am Regional Commisioner. The simple beauty of our organazation is found within our 6 philosophies. The most important being, EVERYONE PLAYS ! Any child regard of ability or circumstance gets to play the game of soccer. Being part of various other organizations over the years, AYSO is in my opionon the best in breed.
I volunteer in many different ways for my community including vol. firefighter and emt. (2 separate services)...there is no other organization in town that supports their volunteers as effectively as AYSO - through training, time management and generally appreciating everything we do to make the program work. The Reg. Commissioner was more grateful when I ran an errand to the hardware store than most of my patients I treat on the ambulance. When the board asks for volunteers, they ask how much time we have available, and give out an appropriate task for that time span. We train the coaches in coaching, we train the referees (My older son played in a different competetive league wherein ref's were paid $200+ per game and their quality was highly variable and frequently in question...the free AYSO referees are pleasant, efficient, accurate and help teach the players as they make call - they do it for the love of the kids and the game!) - we also train our management members and even our 'green team' - the people who walk the field and pick up trash/debris so the kids will be safer. I've enjoyed my time with them so much I have committed to continuing to serve even after my children leave the program.
I first got involved in AYSO when my adult daughter was 9. What I found was an organization that was so totally different from the other sports organizations that she was involved in that I have been involved ever since. AYSO was the first youth sports organization to have a rule requiring significant playing time for all players (at least half of the game, in a lot of towns it's three-fourths of the game). This rule is so effective that it has been widely copied by other organization. The national organization provided pre-printed registration forms and training for coaches and referees and even local leadership. I have been involved as additional training was developed for volunteers involved in managing and administering the local units (we call them regions). The people involved in AYSO are, almost without exception, some of the best people I've ever met. They are totally concerned with making the playing experience the best it can be for all the kids involved.
I have been a volunteer with AYSO for over thirty years, long after my kids have grown up. Why? Because this is one youth sports organization that has its head screwed on right! They are truly more concerned with sport as youth development, rather than wins and losses. My first experience as an AYSO referee. I had previously paid considerable money to take a USSF referee course and the instructor was more concerned with telling war stories than teaching. I learned very little. Then I took an AYSO course. The training was excellent and it was taught be a dedicated volunteer! From that moment on I was hooked on AYSO. The people in leadership roles have been people that have been role models to me, and I in turn have tried to be a role model to others. So I look at AYSO as not only a youth organization but a developer of adult leaders. One of my greatest joys is when some adult comes up to me and says "You coached me in AYSO soccer. That was a lot of fun."