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



Why coach?

Coaching in AYSO is a chance to spend quality time with your own child. As a volunteer coach, you'll be one of the most influential role models for the children on your team, supporting their development in soccer and in the lessons that sports provides children. Last, spots are limited - being a coach ensures your child has a spot in the season, and supports other children who otherwise would remain on the waitlist.

I don't know much about soccer. Can/should I be a coach?

Being a coach is only partly about teaching the game. It is as much about soccer as it is about directing a group to achieve a goal, teaching the value of persistence, and helping players develop into teammates through communication and practice. AYSO provides training (online and in person) and mentorship to support your development as a coach. If you're uncertain, start as an assistant coach. The Regional Coach Administrator or Division Commissioner can match you with a more experienced head coach.

What are the requirements to be a coach?

Requirements vary by age division (see table below). But all coaches must:

  • Registered as a volunteer through ASYO
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete the appropriate coaching course and receive a division-specific coaching-license (at younger divisions, this can be done entirely online)
  • Take the appropriate safety courses (AYSO's Safe Haven, Cardiac Arrest and Concussion Awareness, all online)
Requirement 5U-6U 7U-8U 10U 12U 14U 16U-19U
Safe Haven
CDC Concussion
Suddent Cardiac Arrest
Coaching License** 6U 8U 10U 12U Intermediate Coach Advanced Coach
Live Scan (state-required fingerprinting)
SafeSport (federally-mandated course)

*Certification requirements apply to both Head Coach and Assistant Coach.
**Note that coaching licenses are division-specific; e.g. 8U coaches much have an 8U license, and a 10U license will not cover the requirement.


AYSO and Region 18 provide several resources to help you develop as a coach and keep our players safe.

  • Online courses and background check
  • LiveScan
  • In-person courses
  • Mentoring from experienced coaches

To determine whether you’re in compliance as a coach, view your volunteer dashboard by logging in to and click on volunteer. For your volunteer role, each requirement is listed; a green checkmark indicates you’ve met the requirement.

Additionally, keep an eye out for an invitation to our annual coaches' meeting. This meeting covers any rule changes, mentorship resources, how to use the mobile app to team pages, player development initiatives, and is a forum for any questions. One referee point is awarded to participating U10-14 teams.

Access the links below for past coaches' meeting presentations:


Online courses and background check

AYSO’s online courses are delivered through AYSOU. To access, log into and click on Volunteer (in the left navigation). If you have signed up for a volunteer role, a button for AYSOU is in the top right corner.

In AYSOU, you'll find the required Safe Haven, Concussion, Cardiac Arrest, and SafeSport courses (per the table above). Some coaching licenses are available fully online (6-8U), and others are a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. AYSOU also holds the coaching manuals which include sample drills and practice formats.

AYSO contracts with Sterling Volunteers to complete background checks. Costs are covered by Region 18. To complete, access your volunteer dashboard and check the box next to Risk Status, and then click Renew & Update.  Then look for an email link to your account - it may end up in spam.  If you are a returning volunteer - you may log into your account directly at


Coaches in 10U+ are required to complete fingerprinting (aka LiveScan). This is a state mandate for volunteers who work with children. Background checks can be completed at scheduled LiveScan events, or by visiting Manhattan Postal. More information is under the How To section, at this page: LiveScan Info.

In-person courses

To find an in-person training option, log into and navigate to AYSOU and click on Training Events. A calendar shows scheduled training sessions, and you can enroll in one through the portal. A list of classes is also available on the Coach Training Courses page.

By default, only Region 18 events are displayed, but you are welcome to join other nearby regions’ events, too. To find events in other regions, remove the Region 18 filter and enter a location and search radius. In the location input, be sure to click on one of the auto-complete drop-downs or the location will not update. If joining another region’s session, email or call the listed contact to ensure space is available and confirm location.


Region 18 makes professional trainers available through Evo Soccer. Find more details on the Coach Training Page.


Teams in 10U+ divisions have the opportunity to advance to Regional playoffs at the end of fall season. Referee points factor into eligibility for team advancement. Winning teams can progress further to Area and Section Playoffs. Spring season teams may have an end-of-season tournament depending on field availability and scheduling.

  • Divisions 10U-14U participate in the AYSO 18 Beach Cup Playoffs at the end of the Fall Season.
  • Divisions 16U & 19U participate in Area Playoffs with the opportunity to advance to Sectionals.


Each team is required to provide Volunteer Referees for games according to the AYSO18 Standings & Referee Points System policy.  Referees earn Referee Points which affect a team's total points in the standings.  Failure to meet minimum Referee Points thresholds may penalize the team during the playoffs or in extreme cases prevent the team from participating in the playoffs.  Details vary by Division.
Please reference the full detailed policy for specifics:  Standings & Referee Points System


Team Picture Days are:

  • Picture Day 1: Saturday, October 14th - Marine Sports Complex - 8am-3pm
  • Picture Day 2: Sunday, October 15th - Marine Sports Complex - 8am-3pm
  • Make Up Day: Sunday, October 22nd - Marine Sports Complex

Coaches need to sign up for a time using the link that will be posted early October  

Please be sure to meet with your team 15 minutes before your picture time and bring a team ball for the picture.  One coach from each team needs to check in at the tent when your team is assembled.

Each player receives the following package included as a part of their league registration:

  • 1 Memory mate (8-11 team and player)
  • 1 photo button and 4 wallets.

Individual parents, whose children missed their Team Pictures, are welcome to show up anytime on the make up day for an individual picture.

GAME CARDS (aka Line-Up Cards, Score Cards)

Game Cards are the main method of tracking teams' wins/losses and player scoring records. Please fill in a game card before every game and provide to your referee.

Blank game cards are available at the fields, either in an AYSO "mailbox" or in the equipment shed. Since much of the information on the game card is the same from game to game, many coaches prefer to fill in an electronic game card template and print multiple copies.

To print a lineup card, go to GAME CARDS, download the fillable PDF, fill it in, and then print as many copies as needed. (You can also navigate to AYSO18 Game Cards under the Coaches Menu item above.)

A completed Game Card should look like this before you give it to the Referee. Please note that game cards can get wet after they are placed in the box at the field; please use ball-point pen to fill your game cards. Completed game card example


National Partners

Contact Us

AYSO Region 18

P.O. Box 3597 
Manhattan Beach, California 90266

Email Us: [email protected]
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