Team Formation Policy

We would like to remind everyone our policies on requests for players to be placed on the same team and, more generally, on how teams are selected. Some of what we do is mandated by the national rules of AYSO; a lot is just plain common sense.

Before giving you our rules and policies, please remember that AYSO’s National Mission Statement is founded on five principles: balanced teams, fair play, good sportsmanship, positive coaching and Everyone Plays. Region 20 is a part of AYSO and we stand for these above everything else and our policies on requests and team selection reflect these principles.

In addition, the process of making up teams is very time consuming work and once the teams have been made up every player move involves more than just that player. Not only would it necessitate displacing another player already assigned to the team, it would involve finding a replacement player of comparable skill levels (to maintain team balance). We also work hard to distribute players with goalkeeping skills, as well as players with volunteer parents, reasonably equally among the teams. Parents frequently see this from their perspective and don’t take into consideration that granting a seemingly simple request can have a wave of repercussions and stretch our volunteer resources beyond breaking.


AYSO’s national rules and policies forbid player retention or building teams by strategic placing of assistant coaches. While we sometimes place parent coaches & assistants together, we try to avoid this unless it’s absolutely necessary. The bar for what constitutes necessity has been raised because, sadly, it has been abused over the years in various regions.

Team balancing takes priority and no requests will be accepted. The only exception is for brothers and sisters and for children living in the same household where age and gender would place them in the same division. We will accept requests in these situations for the children to be placed (a) on the same team or (b) on different teams.

What if your team has a practice day that conflicts with some other commitment that you cannot rearrange? What if you need help with carpooling? Please be flexible and try to work something out. Almost always you will get to know someone on the team with whom you can share carpooling and other responsibilities. And don’t worry about your children not knowing anyone on the team. One of the joys of AYSO is the opportunity for children and their parents to make new friends and it is done so easily in the context of participation on a sports team. Take advantage. If you cannot work around the practice schedule assigned for your team, you may choose to have your child put on the waiting list until there is an opening at his/her evaluation level on a team that practices on a different night.  However, there is no guarantee that all players from the waiting list will be placed.


We build teams with random coach assignments in July using a computer model, overseen by our Team Balance Coordinator using the following criteria:

  • Coaches will be identified and approved by the Regional Coach Administrator and assigned to teams by the Division Commissioner.
  • Teams will be created using a reverse serpentine order based on rating / age / experience
  • We sort the 2nd year “older” and 1st year “younger” players separately, to ensure that each team has a proportionately similar number of older and younger players.
  • Ratings for the previous season are used and any new child that has not been rated will be sorted separately by age.
  • Once the initial sort is done the teams will be looked at and adjusted to accommodate the following: we will try and distribute referees evenly among the teams, and players with keeper skills or potential on each team

Once teams have been formed, we generally do not add players for at least several weeks, so that we can allocate from a pool of players rather than simply adding the first player who comes along to the first team who needs an additional player.

Late sign-ups, including by players returning from club soccer, and late drops are often a source of problems. Here is how we approach the placing of late sign-ups:

  • First, once teams have been formed, we will delay assigning players if team balance considerations require it. Usually, we don’t place players until we have a pool of players that is as large as possible. The primary criterion for placing players at this point remains team balance.
  • Second, assuming team balance considerations have been satisfied, we allocate players mostly on the basis of first come first served. However, we may give preference to a player where we are short of specific volunteer roles, such as coach or referee, regardless of where they are on the waiting list.

We will not allow late sign-ups to be used to manipulate the system.

Under no circumstances are coaches or team managers to take team assignments into their own hands.  Player trades are absolutely prohibited.

Under the supervision of the Regional Commissioner and the Assistant Regional Commissioners, the Division Commissioner always retains the right to make adjustments. Sometimes, even the best laid plans go astray. For example, the switch of players to reunite them with their coach-parent can cause a team to be without an experienced goalkeeper or an assistant coach, while the other team gets two. Coaches and parents must accept that if a seriously unbalanced team is created, we will reassign players or re-make the schedule, although this is a measure we take very rarely. The Division Commissioner, the Assistant Regional Commissioners and the Regional Commissioner have unlimited authority to make changes and adjust the implementation of our policy in the best interests of the program and in particular to take steps to prevent and counteract any manipulation of the system.

Unless there’s no alternative (and we are sometimes short of volunteer coaches), the Division Commissioner generally will not be a coach in the division.  The Team Balance Coordinator and the Assistant Regional Commissioners review and approve any changes made by the Division Commissioner.

There will always be the inevitable sad band of conspiracy theorists who believe we do it differently. We do not.

Team Rosters are posted in August.  If you do not hear by late-August, check the website for announcements or contact your Division Commissioner. Division assignments are a function of age of the player on July 31 and you can get information on which Division a player is assigned to, Division Commissioners’ names and e-mail links on this website.