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Avoiding Blowouts


The AYSO mission is about participation, player development, and good sportsmanship. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere in which players can enjoy the game for its own sake without an undue emphasis on winning or losing (i.e. fun and development over winning).

Accordingly, Blow Out games are contrary to the objectives of AYSO, and Coaches are expected to prevent games from becoming extremely one sided.  Please avoid blow outs at all costs.  Blow outs are a failure of Coach to plan ahead and to manage the game.  Don't let a blow out destroy the experiences of our players.

Any game with a 6 goal differential is considered a blow out.

The game is most fun and instructive for everyone when it is a challenge.  The closer the ending score the more fun the game and the better the learning experience for the players.  With the right management strategies, an otherwise lopsided, boring game can be managed to be close, without asking players to hold back.  The coaches need to keep all players engaged. 

The Coach of a stronger team needs to raise the challenge higher for scoring a goal, more than simply putting the ball in the net.  The Coach of the team with the goal advantage should take steps to make the game more even...this is known as "pulling back."

These steps should include one or more of the following:  

  1. Rotate player positions on the dominating team to assign goal-scorers to positions on defense or goalie (or sub them out for a quarter).
  2. Pick a player or two that has never scored and tell the team that only those players are allowed to score.
  3. Require 5 passes in a row prior to any shot on goal.
  4. Announce that everyone must touch the ball before the first goal is scored (can be consecutively but doesn’t have to be).
  5. Have the team play back to their own goal keeper at least once prior to going forward.
  6. Any shot taken must be from outside the penalty box (outside the 18).
  7. All shots must come from using the weak foot.

You are encouraged to take these steps prior to reaching a five-goal lead.  Coaches should quietly share the information with their team - not yell instructions across the field.

The idea behind the restrictions relating to blow outs is that the trailing team does not feel defeated and the dominating team is forced to challenge themselves, allowing growth for stronger players when playing against weaker teams.

Any coach that consistently blows out other teams, with no effort to avoid the blow out, may face game suspension due to a lack of supporting one the six core AYSO philosophies--Good Sportsmanship.

Thank you for volunteering, being a part of the AYSO community, and helping us develop great people according to the 6 core AYSO philosophies.

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AYSO Region 18

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