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Frequently Asked Questions

Special Requests

Putting your children on the same night:  Since the U-8 and U-6 divisions play on both Monday-Wednesday and Tuesday-Thursday, you can request (space permitting) which nights your 4-7 year old children play. This might make it easier to schedule carpooling or arranging it so your children all play on the same night. But… You must inform us at Registration and write it on your child’s registration form. Plus… Divisions do fill up, so the sooner you come to registration, the more likely your child will be able to get a slot on one of these teams.

Putting your children on the same team with each other:  If your children are in the same division (e.g. U-8 meaning they are both 6 or 7), then we are able to put them both on the same team. Older children cannot ‘play down’ no matter how small or inexperienced they are. Sorry.

Putting your children on the same team with their friends
: When this occurs, it is luck. We cannot and do not honor this request. It is against AYSO rules. Yes, we know this was allowed in the past, but it should not have been. It makes the teams unbalanced.   The only exception to this rule is for the "bring a friend" program and the same team is allowed during the initial year of the new player.  For additional details, see our "bring a friend" page.

Other special requests
: If you have a special request or circumstance, please discuss it with a board member at Registration. We will do our best – within the rules – to accommodate any reasonable need.

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

Q) Why do I have to give you my social security number at registration?
A) Because we are required to collect it on the Volunteer Form. This is not our rule and we cannot waive it. However, if you do not want to give us your social security number at registration, you can complete your Volunteer Form online. The forms will print out with the number hidden (as dots instead of numbers). For some people, this might be another good reason to pre-register online!

Q) Do I pick my assistant coach or is someone assigned?
A) During registration, we request volunteers for head coach, assistant coach, team parent, etc. When putting together the teams, we put head and assistant coaches together based upon the registration forms. Sorry, but you cannot request a specific assistant coach. Since your children will then play on the same team, this means the teams will become ‘stacked,’ which is against AYSO philosophy.

Q) How are teams formed? Why don’t you use an online tool?
A) ‘Balanced Teams’ is one of the Six Philosophies of AYSO, and we take this very seriously. We meet to create and then balance teams as best we can. Yes, there is a lot of human error, but from what we hear in other AYSO regions, the software-based solutions do not balance teams very well. We balance teams by skill level (if known), age, size (based on uniform size choice) and sex (for co-ed divisions.) We cannot balance teams by ethnicity/race, since we do not have access to that information.

Q) Can I come to a Team Formation night?
A) Yes. Like everything we do in Region 423, team formations are open to the public... but it is not a spectator sport. DO expect to be put to work and do NOT expect to be able to help with any division in which you have children. (And it does NOT count towards your volunteer position.) Send an e-mail to the Regional Commissioner if you’d like to help out.

Q) The balls are all different sizes. What size will we play with?
A) Divisions U19 , U16 and U14 play with a size 5 ball. (This is the standard adult size) Divisions U12 and U10 play with a size 4 ball. Divisions U8 and U6 play with a size 3 ball. The lower the number, the smaller the ball.

Q) What should I do if the referee makes a bad call?
A) You should respect the difficult job that volunteer referees have and recognize that the referee, according to the FIFA Laws of the Game, is the ultimate authority on the field. In short: The referee is always right. This is the rule. Whether a coach, spectator, player, or parent, you should not vocally dispute the referees' call (or even call out for an explanation). The coach may speak privately with the referee at halftime or after the game to seek an explanation. So... You can ask your team’s coach during a break in play why the referee made the call he/she did. If you are convinced that the referee has made a bad call, you may tell the Referee Administrator or fill out an "incident report." Ask for one at the goal locker. However, you should not expect us to do anything more than discuss the rules with the referee in question. We don’t really care who won the game. Nor should you.

Q) What should I do if the coach isn’t playing all the kids? ... is substituting unfairly? breaking the rules? not being positive?
A) While the coaches are mainly excellent and well trained, remember that they are volunteers and can sometimes get caught up in a desire to win. Please see the Coach Administrator or any Board Member. Please do not confront your coach directly. Here, too, you can fill out an "incident report” if you feel we should have written documentation.

Q) There is a parent who keeps yelling at the coach or referee or players. What should I do?
A) Unless you are the team’s coach or a referee, please do not confront that parent. If you are the team coach, please ask the parent nicely to refrain from yelling and remind him/her of the Kids Zone pledge (or hand them a "kids zone sucker" to help them remember). If you are the referee, ask the coach to please let the parent know that yelling is not allowed. If the parent continues to yell, please find a board member. We can – and will – remove the parent from the play area for the rest of the season.

Q) What should I do about a ‘bully’ on my child’s team or overly rough play?
A) Soccer is a contact sport, so there will be some jostling for the ball, but there should not be any intentional rough play. If you see this, please point it out to your coach. He or she should address the issue with the child and, if needed, the child’s parent/guardian. If you do not feel the situation has been remedied to your satisfaction, please contact a board member. Do not, under any circumstances, speak to the child or his/her parents directly unless you are the coach or referee.

Q) Can my child switch teams?
A) Usually not. If there is a strong reason why you feel your child should not be on a certain team, please contact any Board Member. We will help you address the issue.

Q) I need to pull my child from the league. Do I get my money back?
A) If we have already ordered your child’s uniform – and cannot quickly find another player who needs it – we cannot return this part of your registration fees. Sadly, this is most of the cost, so please do not expect to get much money back.

Q) What if my child’s uniform is missing or the wrong size?
A) Talk to your team parent. Your team parent will contact the proper person and we will do our best to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Q) I know my child cannot wear jewelry on the field. What about glasses?
A) Glasses and protective eye-wear are allowed. We recommend straps and, if possible, sports glasses.

Q) Is there a lost and found?
A) Yes. Items lost on the game fields often find their way to the goal locker. Ask for it there. To prevent losses, bring only the player in uniform and a water bottle to games. Remember that we play in Chicago on public property. While the fields are safe during play, we cannot be responsible for anything left overnight.

Q) I am going to be late picking up my child. Who should I contact?
A) No one. The main phone number is a voicemail that is not checked daily. Be on time or find someone else to collect your child.

Q) Do you keep track of who wins games? Are there playoffs?
A) No and no. We are a recreational league. We’d prefer it if you didn’t even keep score. If the kids are safe, have fun, and learn the game as they do so... then everyone wins.

Q) What happens if a player gets injured on the field?
A) The coach should have an ‘Incident Report’ form in his folder. (If not, ask at the locker and we will supply one.) The coach should contact a board member immediately, who will find our Safety Director. Important: the ‘Incident Report’ form needs to be completed as soon as the incident occurs. Generally the Safety Director or Regional Commissioner will complete the form. As far as insurance claims go, the parent of the child involved (or the parent him/herself if it is an injury to a registered volunteer) needs to complete and return the Insurance Claims form WITHIN 90 DAYS of the incident.

Q) When and where are the games? Are there any practice sessions?
A) Divisions play either Monday & Wednesday OR Tuesday & Thursday nights. (See the calendar for game schedules by divisions). All games and practices are played at Dan Ryan Woods, at 87th and Western. We do not have (or permit coaches to run) any outside practices. We expect all children to be on the field and ready to play by 6:30pm every night.  Games start at 7:00pm sharp and end no later than 8pm. There are practices before the games from 6:30-7:00pm. Also, the first few evenings (3-4 depending on the division) will be full practice sessions instead of games. There will be no nets provided for these full practice sessions.