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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

Cedar Springs, MI & Surrounding Areas


AYSO Region 902 is proud to offer a very special program for athletes with disabilities. Our EPIC (formerly VIP) program provides a safe, fun environment with trained coaches, EPIC Buddies, and volunteers who facilitate an enriching experience that the players and their families will cherish forever.

Everyone Plays & Everyone Wins

The mission of the AYSO EPIC Program is to provide athletes with disabilities the additional support they need to fully participate in a quality soccer experience. The ultimate goal of the AYSO EPIC Program is to provide a holistic AYSO experience for players, families, and volunteers, from team uniforms, to playing on a team, to cheering from the sidelines, for all participants.

EPIC helps more than just the players. Buddies and other volunteers increase their appreciation and understanding of individuals with special needs. They find their lives greatly enriched by their involvement with their new EPIC friends. For parents thinking they would never see their children play a sport or make new friends, EPIC gives them joy and hope. They are able to relax and enjoy watching their children have fun playing soccer, perhaps for the first time! Teams can have as few as three players, may be co-ed, and can be put together based on mobility or ability.  Older and younger players can also be separated onto different teams when numbers allow.

EPIC Players in Action

EPIC Player Information Form

To ensure that our EPIC players have the best possible soccer experience every season, we ask that a parent or guardian please download and complete AYSO's VIP Player Information Form for their player. Completed forms should be emailed to [email protected] at least two weeks before the start of the season in which the player will participate. Thank you!

VIP Player Information Form


If you would like to become an EPIC Buddy or know someone who would, please let us know!
Register to volunteer as an "EPIC Buddy" or "Youth EPIC Buddy" through your account today.


What is the cost of the EPIC Program?
The cost for the program is $63.00/player.  This is made up of a $43.00 regional registration fee plus a $20 National Player Fee (NPF). The NPF is an annual fee, so if you sign up for the Fall and Spring seasons, your Spring registration fee would only be $43.00 per player.

Do EPIC players receive full uniforms?
Yes, EPIC players receive full uniforms, just like the Core and United AYSO programs. Uniforms consist of a numbered jersey, shorts, and socks.

When are practices/games?
Practices are one night a week during the soccer season. Historically, the night for EPIC activities was Wednesday, but that is determined by the EPIC Coach each season. When possible, we will schedule EPIC games with in-house Core teams as well as with neighboring EPIC soccer regions, allowing our EPIC players the opportunity to participate in games.

What is an EPIC Buddy?
EPIC Buddies assist during the games in which players learn soccer while meeting new friends, having fun and increasing skills and self-esteem.


The EPIC program uses AYSO-certified Buddies to serve as mentors to our players, whenever possible.  Buddies typically pair up with players on a 1:1 ratio. We believe the experience should be just like that of the Core program, which is why our EPIC coaches arrange weekly games along with regional referees.  EPIC teams play against each other, against our Core teams, and even travel to play against other region's EPIC teams, when the schedule permits. 

The Role of the EPIC Buddy

EPIC Buddies participate in practices and games to assist the players in learning soccer while also meeting new friends, having fun and increasing skills and self-esteem. Players and their families, along with our volunteers, enjoy the complete AYSO experience - team uniforms, scoring goals, cheering from the sidelines, and beyond! The vision of the AYSO EPIC Program is to create teams in every AYSO Region to maximize opportunities for EPIC player participation.

It is essential to have a number of buddies on hand for beginning EPIC players who will need them. The best buddies are peers of the players - older elementary, middle school, high school, and even college students - not parents.  There are several reasons why peers make good buddies: the players may respond better to peers; peer buddies begin to form friendships with the players; plus peer buddies learn and grow from performing a positive, affirming service.

We understand that some nervous parents will find it hard to “let go.” This is why it is essential for buddies to introduce themselves at the first practice or parent meeting and let parents know that their preferred role is a supportive – not active  – one.  Buddies assist our EPIC players, and parents get an opportunity to sit back and watch their children play.


The AYSO VIP Program was officially launched in 1991 for players with physical and/or mental disabilities. At that time, and for some years following its inception, participation in the program was limited to ambulatory children through the age of 18.  Several years later, the ambulatory restriction was removed and the age limit extended to the length of time the player remained in school, which varied from state to state. In 1999, recognizing a VIP player's need for ongoing fitness and leisure activities into adulthood, the AYSO National Board of Directors removed the upper age limit for VIP players entirely. The minimum age corresponds to AYSO's age eligibility – currently 4 years of age by July 31 prior to the start of the playing season or, in some Regions with permission of the Section Director, by the date of the Region's first organized activity – camp, practice or game.
In late 2022, AYSO rebranded its VIP program to EPIC, standing for Everyone Plays In our Community. The EPIC rebrand is designed to remind AYSO members and the surrounding community that AYSO is a place that everyone can play, no matter your ability.


Goal 1: Players will have fun playing soccer
- Introduce all skills by using games
- Allow players to set the pace
- Relax and be flexible
- Keep everything positive

Goal 2: Players will understand the fundamentals of the game
- Give each player plenty of opportunities to play the ball
- Build skills on the success of previously learned skills
- Involve family members in learning soccer fundamentals

Goal 3: Players will learn teamwork and fair play
- Build teamwork and fair play into practice sessions
- Encourage team identity by wearing uniforms and participating in team get togethers
- Reward positive effort when teamwork and fair play are observed

Goal 4: Players will increase their self-esteem
- Establish individual, realistic goals with players
- Encourage effort toward goals, no matter how small
- Recognize player effort and achievement

Goal 5: Players will become more physically fit
- Encourage max participation in physical movement for each player at their level
- Facilitate player participation in off-season physical activities or sports

Goal 6: Players will meet and be comfortable with new people
- Encourage parents to play a supportive, not active, role during games
- Facilitate the development of positive player relationships with buddies
- Utilize community helpers

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Contact Us

Cedar Springs AYSO Region 902

13440 Ritchie Avenue, PO Box 667
Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 616-255-1962
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