Regions Can Still Apply for AYSO EXTRA™
AYSO Sections, Areas or Regions may still apply to offer an EXTRA™ program for the coming Membership Year. Launched last year, EXTRA is a primary program option designed for AYSO players who want to play in a more challenging soccer environment.
The Extended Play Task Force (EPTF) has the assignment of reviewing new EXTRA programs and is ready for a quick turnaround. The application process is quick and easily accessible. For details and an application, visit the FLEX™ page.
EXTRA allows players to experience more competitive soccer without having to travel extensively or pay inordinate amounts of money.
A number of EXTRA programs were approved in 2009, and Section 10 in Southern California recently implemented the largest EXTRA program to date with 22 of its Regions participating in a single competition circuit for the fall season. They are eagerly promoting tryouts and preparing for this new level of play.
How do tryouts fit with AYSO’s Open Registration philosophy?
“Tryouts, when conducted as outlined by our National Coaching Advisory Commission, provide an opportunity for players to see if their skills and commitment are appropriate for this level of play, and if not, what areas they can work on to reach it,” said Paula Berriz, AYSO national vice president and original chair of the EPTF whose assignment was to explore more competitive soccer opportunities that fit with AYSO’s Six Philosophies.
“This process is designed to encourage, not discourage, players from reaching new playing levels,” explains Berriz.” With new pilot programs initially limited in many cases to one or two teams in each age division and gender the first year, it is hard to make team selections without criteria of evaluation that is fair and consistent. Open Registration means availability of a slot on a standard primary program team for those not selected, plus AYSO’s Balanced Teams and Everyone Plays® philosophies hold true for players who register in these accelerated programs. No one is turned away from participating in AYSO.”
EXTRA is only one of the programs under the FLEX™ initiative.
FLEX was introduced in 2009 as an umbrella that overarches AYSO’s optional primary player programs. Occasionally misunderstood to include only more challenging programs such as EXTRA™, it actually includes all optional primary programs that a Region can add to serve its families’ needs including VIP for players with disabilities, U-5 for four-year-olds and the U-16/19 Special Program.
Other programs are being explored that would also come under the FLEX umbrella.