AYSO Games in Hawaii

For those of you who have children that participate on USYSA or US Club teams, it can be easy to forget there are other national soccer associations out there. The AYSO is a less competitive oriented program, but that doesn’t mean they are just grassroots and local. They’re holding their National Games in Hawaii this month, with teams chosen to participate by lottery:

The AYSO Games are held every other year, and for this tournament they incorporated a system where teams are chosen by lottery. They don’t need to qualify, which is why they don’t call the winners of the tournament “national champions.”

Following the philosophy of AYSO, which embraces participation and sportsmanship, the National Games also feature Soccerfest as part of the tournament’s festivities.

In Soccerfest which will be held today players in each division are mixed randomly to form teams and play against each other. While it is not mandatory to participate, playing in it is worth just as much as a win in pool play.

Almost 140 teams from the mainland are traveling to Hawaii for the games. Talk about the ultimate vacation excuse! Though a number of teams selected had to back out due to travel costs and local teams were recruited to take their place.

Still – a neat concept for a higher level event in an organization like the AYSO that focuses on equal playing time.

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  1. The National Games was a great experience for our daughter, our family, and our team. She played in the U-12 Girls division and lost to the Milalani, HI team that won the tournament. Soccerfest was a great experience which also led to many of us meet families from across the country but more so from the Mililani team.

    I will tell you they play some great soccer in Hawai’i, but they also ran a great tournament. I hope we have the chance to go to another AYSO National Games. Our daughter could play club at any time, but we choose to keep her in AYSO because of the values!

  2. That’s great Travis! Sounds like it was a lot of fun. Tournaments have gotten a bad rap of late, and for good reason, but just like not all clubs are all about winning, tournaments are what a team/coach/club make of them. For us they have been great experiences.

  3. AYSO was great when we lived in New York. There’s no better recreation level group around and AYSO makes most assocations who run recreation programs in NC look pathetic. AYSO has not gained a foothold here since state soccer politics have “shut down” any attempts. Too bad…

  4. I guess one needs to be involved with AYSO to see what happens. Parents voluteers are key – and many, many parents help in the program. They have mandatory workshops for parent coaches. The league I was involved in was no nonsense – over 3,000 players from U-6 to U-12 – all run by volunteers who loved the sport and did it for the kids. If a parent was a probel – they were asked to leave. No nonsense. AYSA National oversees all the programs and if there is something amiss – they fly people in to take care of it. Ask most people involved with AYSO – me it’s in my past – but I’ll always be an AYSO supporter and person (always).

    I had friends move from NC to California – they checked out all the recreation soccer programs – they chose AYSA and love it – good values, good principles and good people.

    They have a solid website.

    Anyway – that’s my very biased opinion.

  5. I won my tour in hawaii with my select team!!!! We are the first girls team from PV to go to the champs in hawaii! And whats even better we won!!!!!!! I am the champion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!