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

Cedar Springs, MI & Surrounding Areas

WELCOME

Welcome to AYSO Region 902 based in Cedar Springs, Michigan!

AYSO is more than just a soccer organization.  It is a community, a lifestyle, an adventure, a learning experience, a place to make memories, and a season of exciting and busy Saturdays, all wrapped up in color-coordinated jerseys and cleats.  We are honored that you chose our program for your child, and we hope that you stay with us for many years to come!

FIRST PRACTICE & TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SEASON

If you are new to soccer or new to our Region, welcome! We hope you and your child have a wonderful experience with AYSO. Here's some information on what to bring to your first practice:

Soccer ball:
Every child needs their own soccer ball at practice for drills. Ball size depends on your child's division.

Cleats:
Soccer cleats are required for all divisions except Playground, where a simple athletic shoe will suffice. Please make sure you get "soccer" cleats, not baseball or some other sport.  Keep in mind that most teams will practice and have games on grass. 

Shin Guards:
Required for safety at all games and practices.

Water bottle:
Make sure your player stays hydrated with a full water bottle.

Uniform:
The uniform is included in your registration fee for Schoolyard - 16/19U and is distributed by your coach before the first game. Uniforms consist of a numbered jersey, shorts, and soccer socks. Uniforms must be worn for all games. Coaches may specify whether uniforms must be worn at practice, although most do not require this. 

Tips for a successful season:
  • Please be punctual to all practices and games, both when arriving and leaving! Make a point to arrive early to practices and games, so you are ready to start on time. On the flip side, please be timely when picking up your player from practices and games. Our volunteer coaches are busy and are not free babysitting! 
  • If you would like your player to walk home or to get a ride with another parent, please provide your coach with a completed and signed AYSO General Release Form. 
  • As a courtesy, please notify your coach if you will miss or be late for practices or games. Our coaches put a great deal of time into planning activities and game line ups. Knowing in advance that a player will not be there or will be arriving late prevents the need for last minute changes.
  • You are welcome to watch the practice, but only certified coaches are allowed to actively work with the kids. If you want to help out, contact us at [email protected] to find out how to become a certified volunteer.
  • Remember, kids come first in AYSO. Please read and abide by the AYSO Kids Zone Pledge (see the "General Information" tab) at AYSO practices and games. If you cannot honor Kids Zone, then please do not attend practices or games.

GAME DAY SNACKS MADE EASY

If it is your turn to provide your team's Game Snacks, Region 902 has found a way to make it easy and convenient for you. 

1. Before your child's game, go to the Concession Stand and purchase a snack ticket for each member of your child's team ($2.00 per player).  Each snack ticket will allow a player to choose from a variety of snacks as well as receive either a small Gatorade or bottled water.

2. After the game, hand out one snack ticket to each player.  To receive their snacks, the players simply walk to the Concessions building and present their ticket at the counter.  A Concessions volunteer will take their tickets and exchange them for one snack and one drink per player.

FAQs

Q: What is the National Player Fee and how often do I need to pay that?
A: The player fee ($20.00 for Fall 2020/Spring 2021) goes directly to the National AYSO office.  This covers soccer accident insurance, and it acts as your player's membership fee.  It is an annual fee, so you only pay it once per Fall/Spring membership year.

Q. I am struggling to find the funds for my child to play soccer this season.  Is there any financial assistance available?
A. Yes, there is a scholarship program available for AYSO Core and United soccer players.  The scholarship was started to honor the memory of one of Region 902's own players, Cora Gonzales, who passed away way too soon.  For more information on the Cora Gonzales Memorial Scholarship fund, please see the Facebook page for the Cora Gonzales Memorial Scholarship fund.

Q: What does my child need to play soccer?

A: Soccer cleats, shin guards, a soccer ball (see below), and water at each practice & game.

Age Division Ball Size
Schoolyard 3
6U 3
8U 3
10U 4
12U 4
14U 5
16U 5
19U 5


Q: Can I request a coach for my child?
A: Because we adhere to the AYSO Philosophy "Balanced Teams," we do not accept coach requests.  If your child has specific needs, we will try to pair a coach that meets those needs.

Q: Can I have my child on the same team as his/her friends?
A: "Balanced Teams" means we place players on teams based on evaluated skill levels, player size, years of experience, etc.  Our goal is to have teams within each Age Division as closely matched in overall ability as possible. That is why we do not encourage or guarantee requests for players to be placed on the same team as their friends.   

Q: When will I know what team my child is on?
A: Once registration closes, we form teams.  After teams are formed and we know they are final, we have coaches contact players.  This typically happens a couple weeks before the first practice.

Q. What night(s) will my child have practice?
A. Each coach sets the night(s) for their practices, so the answer to this question will vary by team.  Practices for Region 902 are held Monday - Friday, with the earliest practices starting at 6:00 pm.  Most practices are over no later than 8:00 pm.

Q. Is my child allowed to wear jewelry while participating in AYSO soccer?
A. No - All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover jewelry is also not permitted.  These policies are in place for the safety of our players and are in accordance with FIFA's Laws of the Game.

Q. If my child injures themselves and must wear a cast or splint, can they still participate in practices and games?
A. The safety of our players is of utmost importance to our program. As such, we abide strictly by the AYSO National Rules & Regulations for player equipment and safety practices.  Those rules dictate that players are not allowed to practice or participate in any match with any type of cast or splint. In addition, removal of any type of cast or splint at the field or surrounding area in order to participate shall disqualify the team member from practice or match participation.

Q. If my child plays soccer in both the fall and spring seasons, will they receive a new uniform for each season?
A. As a rule, No*, if your player played in the fall season, they will not receive a new uniform for the spring soccer season.  We provide new uniforms to all of the players at the start of the new membership year, which is our fall season.  Returning players for the spring season will reuse their uniform, as we try to keep those teams together and add new players to those teams as needed.  Only the new players for the spring season will need a new uniform for whichever team they join, as they do not have a uniform from the fall. 

* The only exceptions to this rule are (1) if your player moves up to the next Age Division in the Spring season and needs a new jersey for their new team, or (2) if your player has outgrown their Fall uniform and you pay the $15 fee for a new uniform. 

PARENTS CODE OF CONDUCT

As a parent, you play a special role in contributing to the needs and development of youngsters.

Through your encouragement and good example, you can help all the boys and girls learn good sportsmanship and self-discipline. In AYSO, young people learn to work together, to sacrifice for the good of the team, to enjoy winning and deal appropriately with defeat - all while becoming physically fit and healthy. Best of all, they have fun.

Support Your Child 
Supporting your child by giving encouragement and showing interest in their team is very important.

Help your child work toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game. Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are often more important than victory - that way your child will always be a winner despite the outcome of the game!

Always Be Positive 
Parents serve as role models for their children. Be aware of this fact and work to be a positive role model. Applaud good plays by your child's team as well as good plays by the opposing team.

Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sports.

Remember: Your Child Wants To Have Fun 
Remember that your child is the one playing soccer, not you. It's very important to let children establish their own goals - to play the game for themselves. Take care not to impose your own standards and goals on them.

Don't put too heavy a burden on your child to win games. Surveys reveal that 72% of children would rather play for a losing team than ride the bench for a winning team.

Children play for the fun of playing.

Reinforce Positive Behavior 
Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your child achieve their goals and overcome their natural fear of failure. Nobody likes to make mistakes. If your child does make one, remember it's all part of learning, so encourage your child's efforts and point out the good things your child accomplished.

Don't Be A Sideline Coach Or Referee 
AYSO coaches and referees are usually parents just like you. They volunteer their time to help make your child's soccer experience a positive one. They need your support, too.

That means refrain from coaching or refereeing from the sidelines. In a volunteer organization like AYSO, there's always an opportunity to take your interest in coaching or refereeing to the next level and become one yourself!

HOW CAN I HELP?

My child's team already has a coach.  How can I help?

There are a number of ways in which parents can help beyond coaching.  You can...

Volunteer as the Team Parent to help coordinate snack sign ups and streamline communications

Volunteer in the Concession Stand, either on your team's assigned day or a different one.  We always need help in Concessions.

Sign up to bring Game Day Snacks

Join us at the field every Friday night to help paint lines on the field

Participate in our Region 902 Fundraisers so we can cover more expenses and keep player fees low

Pick up litter you see on the fields. It is not uncommon for empty Gatorade bottles or ring pop wrappers to show up on the fields after a long Saturday of games. If you see litter lying around, please help us by disposing of it in one of the red trash receptacles placed around the fields.

These are just a few of the many options that exist for you to get involved.  If you would like to know more, please reach out to one of our Region 902 Board Members for information.

No time to volunteer, but you still want to contribute?  

Check with your employer's Human Resources department to see if the company would be interested in Sponsoring Region 902 through a cash donation.*  We have a number of Sponsorship options available.

If a Sponsorship is not the right fit, maybe your company could help by donating materials, products, or services to Region 902.*  There are a number of general supply items we go through each week, items like white spray paint and paper towels, as well as a long list of improvement projects to complete.  Every donation helps.    

* As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations made to AYSO Region 902 are tax deductible.

GUIDELINES BY AGE DIVISION

Age Division Ball Size Quarter Length
(minutes)
Players on Field Goalie Offside Field Size Recommended Goal Size
Schoolyard 3 5.0 4 No No Length: 25-35 yds
Width: 15-25 yds
4 ft x 6 ft
6U 3 5.0 4 No No Length: 25-35 yds
Width: 15-25 yds
4 ft x 6 ft
8U 3 10.0 4 No No Length: 25-35 yds
Width: 15-25 yds
4 ft x 6 ft
10U 4 12.5 7 Yes Yes Length: 55-65 yds
Width: 35-45 yds
6.5 ft x 12 ft
12U 4 15.0 9 Yes Yes Length: 70-80 yds
Width: 45-55 yds
6.5 ft x 18.5 ft
14U 5 17.5 11 Yes Yes Length: 100-130 yds
Width: 50-100 yds
8 ft x 24 ft
16U 5 20.0 11 Yes Yes Length: 100-130 yds
Width: 50-100 yds
8 ft x 24 ft
19U 5 22.5 11 Yes Yes Length: 100-130 yds
Width: 50-100 yds
8 ft x 24 ft

National Partners

Our Sponsors

Contact Us

Cedar Springs AYSO Region 902

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

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 616-822-3533
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