Everyone Invited

In the year, 1969-70, the Torrance - South Bay region with 8 new District commissioners, it was determined that in addition to region income going forward for out-of-State growth in the formation of new regions under the direction of the AYSO National Office, resources should also be expended in growing from within each region. The consensus of the 8 commissioners was to "invite every elementary school youth in the entirety of the South Bay of Los Angeles to play in AYSO."  First, the boys were invited and within a few years all the girls would be invited.  The task was unbelievable if everyone joined AYSO but the eight commissioners were adventureous. Thousands of flyers were prepared, first for the City of Torrance to test the invitation system and then each of the 8 regions. The invitations to play in AYSO were distributed by the school teachers who had envisioned the physical training advantages to their students.  This combination of AYSO and the elementary school's full support is one of the main ingredients for the growth of AYSO soccer. 
 
Ron Littlefair was stationed at the Torrance site of Riviera Elementary School and Joe Bonchonsky at the Torrance site of Jefferson Elementary School. Each newly registered youth had to be accompanied by a parent who was interviewed to determine how they would volunteer as a coach, ref, field maintenance, fund raiser, and/or one of the many administrative or labor positions. If the parent had a foreign accent, they were first requested to coach. If not a coach then a referee. If the parent's vocation limited their time, other positions were offered. If the parent had only a negative response, the parent was advised that their son may be assigned to a team without a coach and the possibility of the entire team being dropped was noted. An oversupply of volunteers was noted on the registration sheets. The parents soon recognized that AYSO was to be "their" program for participation with "their" youth. 
 
The procedures of the Torrance registration were then followed in all eight districts and the year found the new eight regions with extensive growth. The 1969-70 year tasks of adding fields and providing goal posts, increasing the supply of uniforms and quality soccer balls, implementing coaching and referee schools, etc., was successfully met by the cooperation of all eight commissioners who met weekly at Garrett-AiResearch Company where seven of the eight were occupied on the Apollo Space Program. All eight were engineers working on the Apollo Life Support System. Of the eight commissioners, four were foreign-born and four American- born which offered the experience of "old traditionalists" and four American born which offered "new enthusiasts." It was at the weekly meetings between the 1968-69 and 1969-70 AYSO playing seasons that the "growth from within" potential for each region was truly exercised.  EVERYONE INVITED required that EVERYONE PARTICIPATES.       
 
For many years thereafter, AYSO National Office suggested the above procedure especailly when Ron Littlefair joined the National Office as Vice-president for Growth and visited many new States as they multiplied in AYSO.
 
The eight commissioners would proceed to expand their individual regions in the South Bay of Los Angeles and the eight would spend many years thereafter within AYSO as key members with additional duties to assist the AYSO Graduates as they ventured forth into the local high schools of each region and the colleges thereafter. AYSO not only formed the foundation for their energies locally but also the foundation that resulted in the spread of AYSO Nationally. 
 
EVERYONE IS INVITED not only to be players but also leaders in each region and together the youth of the Americas will be the prime beneficiary as it should be. This example of local regions working together and within themselves to solve growth pains is classic in the hearts of all AYSO regions. The success of AYSO is based solidly on the "togetherness" of regions nationally. AYSO regions working together as one will overcome all challenges. Our first Pioneers of AYSO were off and running and, today, the fist  50 years is just a beginning.  
 
The Pioneers of AYSO refers to not only the past pioneers but also to the Pioneers of today. When EVERYONE IS INVITED in your region, your area, your section, the advantage to everyone in gaining the benefits of playing in a sport of fair play, balanced competition, and leadership skills development, will result in communities of improved  living standards amongst everyone. It has always been a philosophy of the PIONEERS OF AYSO to stengthen the body and minds of our youth to achieve not only the goals of every family but the goals of all families. EVERYONE IS INVITED.
 
 
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