Everyone Plays

In 1956, Bill Hughes, one of the AYSO founders initiated a youth soccer league within the affiliated adult soccer organization, the Greater Los Angeles Soccer League. Like too many other youth soccer organizations, teams were ethnic oriented with old country formats and destined to minimal success with no limitations on number of players per team, playing time of each youth, selection of players, facility limitations therein, and most importantly, the inability to gather support in the general community without open registration. 
Upon collapse of the 1956 attempt, Bill astutely noted the steps necessary to succeed in Americanizing the organization of youth soccer. Eight years later, Bill invited others to join him in the 1964 attempt. Each of the five had similar experiences to Bill's 1956 experience. The foundation of Bill Hughes' 1964 re-start was that EVERYONE PLAYS in every game. It is this first AYSO Philosophy of EVERYONE PLAYS that differentiates AYSO from the other youth organizations. It is this AYSO Philosophy of EVERYONE PLAYS that is at the heart of AYSO success and its impact on not only affiliated soccer but most importantly on all youth sports in the Americas. The tremendous success of EVERYONE PLAYS has impacted most every  American youth in sports. Initially, each player was required to play 1/4 of each game. While this was a major step forward, the benefits of of each player in playing 1/2 of each game soon became evident when introduced in the sixth sixth year of AYSO.  The advantages to an un-affilated youth soccer organization became immediately evident in that improvements for the players was made readily possible. The AYSO Philosophies developed in the first ten years, as a result, provided an unbelievable growth because the youth were placed before the sport.   
The five founders started to organize youth soccer programs in four sections of Los Angeles. Two of the five founders, Steve Erdos in Culver City with five teams, and Hans Stierle in West Torrance at Jefferson School Field, survived the first year. The success of these two Cities will be detaled in their regional stories in this web site. 
With primarily foreign born coaches in both Torrance and Culver Cirty, the requirement of playing each player for 1/4 of each game was met with concerns of how to substitute the lesser experienced players into the game. The problem was not too serious because the teams, at the beginning, had but a few substitutes. 
The first three years of AYSO were filled with challenges that previously would have terminated programs. The five founders working together in four different locations met frequently and reminded each other of why youth soccer had but pockets of success nationally. The founders of AYSO knew that adherence to EVERYONE PLAYS, missing in past experiences, would be at the foundation of growth in AYSO. Although Culver City missed the third year due to the job relocation of Steve Erdos, other regions were added and Culver City returned with an expansion into three regions in the fourth year of AYSO.  The EVERYONE PLAYS Philosophy became the base of the foundation for the players to not only seek playing in AYSO but also to grow in playing soccer.         
Each player with playing time had the opportunity to develop new found treasures. Without playing time, player resignations would have been the norm. Furthermore, some youth have different years of coming into athletic prowess. The EVERYONE PLAYS  philosophy of AYSO was/is at the heart of success in AYSO. In order to accelerate the players learning curve, the EVERYONE PLAYS procedure was increased from 1/4 of each game to 1/2 of each game in 1969. Coupled with the addition of Division III, ages 7 to 9 in 1967, the growth of AYSO leaped forward after the early years of limited success. 
EVERYONE PLAYS, although not readily acceptable by coaches in the first three years, became "the" most important philosophy of AYSO that differentiated AYSO from most other youth soccer organizations worldwide. It was fully understood that youth have different years of maturation and,as a result, some youth have different learning years. By encouraging every youth through playing time especially in their first year of AYSO not only resulted in the individual players attitude of satisfaction but also the joy of parents who knew that their offspring simply needed the opportunity within an organization of patience. 
Those of us who coached in the early years of AYSO were to evidence the "late developers" as key players not only in their later AYSO years but also in high school and college. Our patience was tested as yours is today but rest assured that AYSO was founded on the basIs of EVERYONE PLAYS and the millions of AYSO graduates attest to the success of this foundational philosophy that was insisted upon by the first five founders who were challenged in its implementation. 
As a result of organizational independence, AYSO  has successfully invited the "building stones" of growth through innovation of sound philosophies. EVERYONE IS INVITED, BALANCED TEAMS, EVERYONE PARTICIPATES, etc., and others are now at the "total success" of AYSO and with a strong adherence of working togerther as ONE nationally, AYSO is destined to fulfill the dreams of unlimited numbers, players and parents.  
 In AYSO.............  EVERYONE PLAYS.