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

AYSO Youth Soccer for Hazel Green, Meridianville, New Market, and Central Areas

AYSO Region 1174 NoMad Soccer Club

AYSO General Questions


AYSO’s “child first” approach with age-appropriate, small-sided games makes it one of the finest athletic programs in the world. Development over winning is fundamental in AYSO.

What are the 6 Philosophies and why are they important?

  • Everyone Plays® – Every player on every team must play at least 50 percent of every game. Spending the game on the bench is no way to learn soccer!
  • Balanced Teams – Each year we form new teams as evenly balanced as possible. This allows for each player to gain experience from a wide variety of teammates and different skill levels.
  • Open Registration – Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria for playing. There are no elimination try-outs and nobody gets cut in our core program.
  • Positive Coaching – AYSO requires our coaches to create a positive experience for every player.
  • Good Sportsmanship – We strive to create a positive environment based on mutual respect rather than a win-at-all-costs attitude.
  • Player Development – We believe that all players should be able to develop their soccer skills and knowledge to the best of their abilities, both individually and as members of a team, in order to maximize their enjoyment of the game.

How does AYSO protect it's players and volunteers?

AYSO’s unique, dynamic programs and policies focus on protecting our entire member base. These include:

Safe Haven – The AYSO Safe Haven program was the first of its kind in youth sports, most notably in soccer. We continually strive to create a safe environment for our players and volunteers, so they can enjoy a happy and healthy soccer experience.

AYSO Certification – AYSO provides training certification for all its volunteers. Certification helps ensure every AYSO child will be treated with understanding, compassion, and respect

Kids Zone® – Kids Zone is a dynamic program targeted to eliminate negative sideline behavior. Kids Zone® buttons and signs are distributed throughout the Region and parents are asked to sign the Kids Zone® Pledge promising to behave within the guidelines of the program.

The Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 – This law grants immunity from certain types of prosecution for volunteers who meet its requirements. In order to receive full protection under the law, AYSO volunteers need must:
   1. be properly trained and certified;
   2. be performing duties as laid out in a position description;
   3. act within the scope of AYSO’s Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines.

Registration Questions

When is soccer season? 

Fall season is August-November (Registration June and July)
Spring season is March-May (Registration November-February) 
A winter indoor league is available through AYSO Region 498 in Madison

How do I register?

Detailed registration instructions can be found here

What are all of the fees?

AYSO Membership Fee- AYSO charges all participants across the country a membership fee that covers the backoffice support like accounting, software fees, program and curriculum development, and player insurance fees. This fee is paid once a Membship year (Fall-Spring). 
Sports Connect Fee- Our website payment processer charges $2.50 per transaction so you will see this fee in your total
Registration Insurance- This is an optional service that is not affiliated with AYSO that is given as a check out option. 
Region Player Fees- These fees go to keeping our region operating. They help to support volunteer training expenses, coach equipment, field equipment, referee equipment and uniforms, field rental, storage expenses, field paint, volunteer background checks, etc. 
As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit our fees cover only expenses and we are only allowed to keep a small bank account balance that is proportionate to our number of players. All region player fees go to our program locally and our players and volunteers. 

Are scholarships or financial help available?

There are limited opportunities for scholarships available in the event of financial need. Requests should be made to the regional commissioner who will determine if resources are available. If so they will notify you. Generally financial support covers the Region fees and recipients are asked to pay the National fee portion and for uniforms. 

How do I get a refund?

Our refund policy can be found here

We are registered, now what? 

Parents should begin receiving emails with season information a few weeks before the season begins. Our region staff will email out details on player evaluation days, parent meetings, etc in advance of teams being formed. Then the week before practice begins your coach should reach out. If you think you should have been contacted and have not been you can always message one of our region staff. 

Besides registration what other fees/costs should I expect?

Uniforms are not included in the registration fees. We reuse the same uniforms from season to season for most programs so once you order initially, you only need to reorder when you need replacement pieces. 
If the team chooses to participate in special tournaments, there could be some tournament entry fees. Some teams do a snack rotation and end of the season parties as well. 
Players should also have their own shin guards, ball, and cleats are preferred. 

Can I request teammates or a specific coach?

Balanced teams is one of our 6 core philosophies. As such we do not allow teammate or coach requests. Coaches are guaranteed to have their player. Siblings in the same age group will be kept together. If there are other transportation or carpool issues let our registrar and regional commissioner know and they will do their best to if possible keep them together or at least on the same practice night. Assistant coaches also cannot request to be paired directly with a coach. 

Can my child play up a division? 

If you think your child should play up an age group reach out to our regional commissioner to discuss. Based on the player's ability and skill level this could be a possibility as often times a player can be playing above their skill level. There are some limitations like to play in a division that allows heading, a player must be old enough by the laws passed in regards to this subject. 

Can my child play down a division? 

This is only allowed in very rare occassions due to a physical or mental development issues only. If you believe your player should play down, reach out to the regional commissioner to discuss. Generally not believing your player is ready is not a reason to play down.   Soccer age groups can take a little bit to get used to and the division names throw many for a loop. For instance in the fall all players in 10U will be 7, 8, or 9. This is because in the Spring those same players will be 8, 9, or 10 based on when in the year their birth year is. 

Player Questions

How often and where are practices and games?

Practices are once or twice a week. Coaches pick their practice days as they are volunteering their time. Games are mostly on Saturday unless other factors like weather cause a schedule adjustment.  Our home fields are Sharon Johnston Park and Hazel Green United Methodist Church. During registration you will be able to list your preferred practice location. Up until 8U games will be between these 2 locations, however at 10U our players enter into area play so games could be at any of the other regions in our Area as well.  These possible locations include Huntsville, Madison, Harvest, East Limestone and Killen in AL and  Fayetteville and Waynesboro in TN. 

What equipment do we need?

Each player will need to have soccer shin guards (worn completely under the sock), a ball (size chart below), and either tennis shoes or soccer cleats (note football cleats and most baseball cleats cannot be worn for soccer). Players will also purchase a uniform for games. Other equipment is provided to the coaches by the region. 

Kickstart, 6U, 7U, 8U Size 3
10U and 12U Size 4
15U and 19U Size 5

As a parent how to do I support my player?

Let the Coaches Coach, the Players Play, and the Referees Ref

As a parent it is important the we do not coach from the sidelines. Sometimes it is easy for us to get caught up but we want the players to work on what the coach is working during practices. In soccer it is also important for players to develop mentally in the game and decision making on the field is an important part of that. If players are always getting instruction from parents and coaches it hampers their ability to develop creativity and decision making in game situations. 
No referee abuse is tolerated. Referees are a precious commodity and we need more of them. The number one detractor for someone becoming a referee is abusive communication from parents during games. Many of our referees are youth referees as well and there is a ZERO TOLLERANCE policy to verbal abuse of a youth referee. You will be asked to leave. 
Also all of those that work with our program from coaches, to referees, to board members are all volunteers. We always need more help so we would love to have you as a coach or as a referee. No knowledge is necessary as our training programs give you the knowledge needed. If you can do it from the sidelines as a parent, you can do it as a volunteer. Please help us as a coach, assistant coach, or referee. 
Always Be Positive!: You are not on the team, but you have strong influence on the team’s environment. Applaud good plays by your child’s team and also by the opposing team. Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from youth sporting activities.
Be Enthusiastic And Supportive: Let children set their own goals and play the game for themselves. Don’t put too heavy a burden on your child to win games!
Reinforce Positive Behavior: No one likes to make a mistake, so if your child does make one, remember that he or she is still learning. Encourage your child’s efforts and point out the good things your child accomplished.

Why small-sided games?

AYSO follows US Soccer standards for small sided games for younger players. This is part of player development at age appropriate levels. Skills are strategically introduced at certain ages as the player motor skills and physical development level is at the right level for the players to safely execute. Part of this is also at younger ages the best way to learn is through repetition. Younger players need more touches so at 6U and 8U games are 3v3 or 4v4. At 10U they are 7v7 and 12U 9v9. Beginning at our 15U program there is a full 11v11 game. Heading is only allowed beginning at 15U and many other skills are introduced at various age levels. 

What about player injuries?

Soccer is a contact sport and unfortunately injuries do occur. All players are covered by a supplemental Soccer Accident Insurance Policy as part of their registration fees. 
Concussions- If there is a suspected concussion AYSO will follow a strict concussion protocol and a player must be released by a doctor to return to play. 
Casts & Splints- Hard casts and splints are not allowed in AYSO play. Even if a splint is removed at the field of play if the coach or referee sees it then the player cannot practice or play. Splints are devices used to immobilize joints for protection. Braces such as wrist braces and knee braces that allow mobility are permitted. 
Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heat related illness - Our coaches and referees receive training on identifying these types of issues and how to provide basic first aid. 
Medical Devices- Devices such as prostehtics, hearing aids, and insulin pumps are allowed to be worn. If needed padding should be added to prevent injuries from the device to the player or other players. 

Is Jewelry allowed?

No jewelry is allowed during soccer games or practices for safety. All earrings, rings, necklaces, etc. must be removed. Please do not get ears pierced right before or during season. Medic Alert bracelets and items required to be worn for religious reasons must be secured to the player with tape, a cloth wristband or something equivalent.

Hair Beads and Clips
Hair control devices and other adornments, such as beads, worn in the hair must meet the following criteria:
‐ Be securely fastened to the head
‐ Do not present an increased risk to the player, teammates, or opponents.
‐ Flat clips less than two inches in length may be used to hold the hair in place close to the head so long as their placement on the head does not present an increased risk to the player, teammates or opponents.
‐ Hair charms are still considered jewelry and are not permitted.

What happens if we cannot make a game? 

Soccer is a team sport and players not being there impacts their team and potentially the other team as well. We ask that you make every effort to be at every game as well as every practice. However we know that life occurs. If you cannot be at a game or practice make sure your coach knows in advance. Games are not cancelled due to lack of players. The minimum number of players at 10U is 5, 12U is 6, and older age groups is 7 to be a legal game so even if missing players the team still plays down to these numbers. If they are not going to have enough players, a coach must notify the Regional Commissioner to try to reschedule the game to a later date/time. Teams are expected to travel to any away games regardless of location. Every attempt is made to keep longer travel to once per season but this is impacted by total number of teams in area play. 

What color jersey should I wear? 

For Region 1174 and others in Area 5C that wear the AYSO standard kits from, red is the away color and blue is the home color. Check schedule to see if you are the home or away team. 

Volunteer Questions

Should I volunteer with AYSO? 

Yes! AYSO is a volunteer-run organization. Coaches, referees, and administrators are all volunteers. Over 220,000 parents, neighbors, relatives, and friends lend their time and talents so that each child gets a terrific AYSO experience! Are you ready to make a difference in your community? How to volunteer

What kind of training is provided? 

All training required to perform any volunteer role is provided. We also have multiple player safety trainings that are required by a combination of Alabama and federal law for all volunteers. 

Player Safety Trainings: AYSO Safe Haven, CDC Concussion Awareness, Simon's Heart Sudden Cardiac Awareness, Safe Sport. CDC and Sudden Cardiac are both required by Alabama law to be taken by coaches yearly and referees have to take one time. Safe Sport is required by federal law. This course has a yearly requirement for volunteers with the full course required every three years with a refresher course on the two in between years. 
Coach Training: All coaches and assistant coaches are required to take an age appropriate coach training course. For 8U and under this is a fully online course. Beginning at 10U the courses are multi-part with an online component and classroom and field sessions with an AYSO Coach Instructor.  Coach instructors and coach mentors are always available for additional help when needed. 
Referee Training: All referees have appropriate training courses as well. There is an 8U official course that can be done fully online that allows the volunteer to referee 8U and below games. At regional referee there is a full in person course that is taught multiple times before season begins and then an online + in person companion option that is taught as needed during the season. Referees can advance to higher levels as well. Our training courses are very in depth and also prepare for those that would like to bridge into paid referee roles at the school and US Soccer levels. 

What happens if there are not enough coaches? 

Without coaches we cannot form teams. If there are not enough coaches, we will email parents requesting coaches. If no one steps up some players could be turned away. 

What happens if there is not a referee? 

To be an official game at 10U and above there must be a referee and it is recommended that all 7U and 8U games have referee coverage as well. If there is no referee the game turns into a scrimmage and the result of the game is a forfeit by the home team. It is highly encouraged that every team recruits one referee per team so that all games can be covered. 

Contact Us

AYSO NoMads 1174

AYSO 1174 
Huntsville, Alabama 35811

Email Us: [email protected]