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Stop AYSO From Implementing Birth-Year Registration

This petition had 170 supporters

Beginning with the 2017-2018 season AYSO plans to implement birth-year registration.  This is a terrible change as it's bad for player development and could significantly contribute to further declines in player enrollment. Nearly every other U.S. youth sport adheres to a school grade based registration model.  AYSO should not be any different.    

Birth-Year Registration is Bad For Player Development

Along with the move to birth-year registration, AYSO is also encouraging more small sided games as using a smaller field with fewer players allows for kids to increase the number of touches while simultaneously promoting faster decision-making skills in an age-appropriate environment.  Ironically, however, the change to birth-year registration actually pushes many kids up to higher age brackets more quickly.  For example, many kids that played U-9 (7v7) in 2016-2017 will now be moved to U-11 (9v9) thereby missing a whole year of development at the U-10 (7v7) level.  Pushing kids up to bigger fields with more players more quickly is inconsistent with AYSO's core principle of Player Development and the supposed desire for more small sided game experience.  

In addition, 8th graders born Aug to Dec will be forced to play at the U-16 level in a division designed for high school aged children and high school seniors born Aug to Dec may be left without a division at all as the Jan to July kids born in their same calendar year will have graduated from high school.   

Birth-Year Registration Could Lead to Further Declines in Player Enrollment 

AYSO competes with many other sports for players.  Nearly every other youth sport in the U.S. allows them to play with age-level classmates. Telling kids that they cannot play with their classmates any more because they were born in different years is a mistake.  This switch has all the hallmarks of being a contributing factor to declining sports enrollment as AYSO is not asking the kids what they want. 

Why the change?  According to U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach and Youth Technical Director Tab Ramos the change, "makes it much easier for us to scout for the national teams and find players ready to compete internationally.”

ASYO should not let a few coaches looking for international players to dictate what AYSO does on a local level.  AYSO is successful because it is a recreational league that focuses on the needs of local neighborhoods. Let's keep it that way by telling AYSO to not implement birth-year registration.  

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