Due to lack of field availability, we are unable to support a full, open registration Spring season. However, there are a couple options for playing in the spring.
First off, two of our neighboring Regions have open registration, fall-like programs in the Spring. More information is available on their websites:
AYSO Region 35 – Cupertino
AYSO Region 64 – West San Jose
Spring Select Teams
Our Region supports for Spring Select teams that participate in the Pacific Coast Spring Soccer League and/or weekend tournaments. These teams provide an opportunity for players to play at a higher level than is possible in the fall season.
The driving force behind our Spring Select teams is a team coach or manager. It is up to the coach or manager to pull together a team and handle all the logistics. This includes identifying one or more coaches, selecting players, determining participation in PCSSL and/or tournaments, setting a budget and collecting fees, coordinating with other teams for for field access, getting uniforms, etc. Over the past several years, there have been four to five Region 43 Spring Select teams – each representing a single division between U10 and U19. The Region 43 Board will provide guidance and help with a few of the logistics including arranging for limited field access.
Eligibility is determined by the corresponding league or tournament. In general, any player who is registered with an AYSO region in the preceding Fall season and played in at least half the games is eligible. Players play in the same age bracket as in the fall, except that a player who played up in the fall may play in his/her standard age bracket in the spring. As in the fall, a player could potentially play up if skilled.
Level of Play
All of the teams that play in the spring leagues and tournaments are select teams so that level of play is higher than in the fall AYSO season. Players are in better condition, the game is more physical and players are expected to be committed to improving their skills.
It is up to the coach/team manager to determine how to select players. Tryouts may be held or players may be invited simply based on their participation level and play during the fall season. Player and family commitment level may also be a factor in pulling together a team. Given the limited flexibility with practice fields, players participating in other sports may have schedule conflicts. The coach should make sure that there is a clear understanding of the expected level of participation.
The Spring Select coaches need to work together to determine practice slots. We have limited field availability so this can be a challenge.
Select teams operate under AYSO guidelines. Players are guaranteed to play at least half of each game and most coaches give their players close to equal playing time. Coaches are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship and positive coaching.
The local region does not provide support to the spring teams. Each team is responsible for registering in any league, applying to tournaments, and handling its own finances. All parents are expected to help.
Teams that can provide certified referees have a better chance of being accepted by tournaments.
Coaches who have participated in the preceding fall season, have several years of coaching experience, and hold the appropriate AYSO coaching certificates are the ones who usually run a Spring team. Most teams have assistant coaches who also have AYSO coaching experience. Coaches are approved by the Spring Coordinator and board. Note that as of 2008, tournaments can only accept teams with coaches of the appropriate training level for the age group of the team. That is, U12 trained coach for a U12 team, Intermediate trained coach for a U14 team, Advanced trained coach for a U16 team, etc.
Each team pays for its uniforms, registration fees, team events and travel costs individually. The coach or team manager should draw up a rough budget, collect all fees, and reimburse parents as appropriate. Like in Fall, AYSO is still an all-volunteer organization and so coaches cannot be renumerated except maybe for their direct expenses for the team and players.
This is still an AYSO sponsored, insured and managed activity even though the coach or team manager is collecting and expending funds directly. Parents who are concerned with any expense abnormalities should contact the Regional Board.
In recent years, all Region 43 teams have joined the Pacific Coast Spring Soccer League. It is comprised of AYSO select from San Jose to San Bruno – sometimes there are teams from as far away as Gilroy, Aptos, or Pacifica. The season runs from March through late May with games on Sundays. Teams must provide a home game field for half the games and they are asked to submit a referee or two to the pool as well.
See the Region 45 Spring Select web page for a list of tournaments. Teams can also sign up to play in some US Club and CYSA tournaments that are open to USSF members. Finding the tournament lists and deciding which ones to attend is a team / coach function. All expenses for tournaments are carried by the team at the discretion of the coach and parents. Tournaments typically have entry fees of $300 or more per team and may require travel and hotel stays. Some examples of popular local tournaments are:
Concord Cup is a mid-May weekend tournament open to AYSO teams from throughout northern California and Nevada. There are two games on Saturday and one on Sunday morning. Top teams play a championship game on Sunday afternoon. Most of the teams stay overnight in Concord on Friday and Saturday nights.
Davis World Cup is the premier AYSO tournament held in northern California. It is held on Memorial Day weekend. Teams come from throughout northern California and Nevada. There are two games on Saturday and two on Sunday. The top teams play championship games on Monday. All the teams stay overnight in Davis or Sacramento.
Other Spring Soccer Options
Winter FUTSAL leagues (Dec-Feb) For the real die-hard teams, winter FUTSAL leagues start in December and go through to February. Futsal is a FIFA sponsored sport of soccer on a basketball court. There are unlimited, on-the-fly substitutions and so the game is fast paced like basketball but really hones ball touch skills due to the close proximity and speed of the action. Palo Alto Soccer Club hosts a Futsal league in Redwood City gyms and plays on Sundays. MACSAL hosts another FUTSAL league in San Jose.
Indoor Soccer (Dec-May) At Off the Wall Soccer in Santa Clara. Played on turf inside a hockey rink with walls. Based on professional indoor soccer.