Attacking combinations, ref-o-rama, sports after soccer 

What you need to know...

Team Pictures schedule. It's at Upper Victory Park, way in the back behind the trees.



This is about the time when players explore making their own decisions on the field. Should you press? Hang back? It's your judgement call, and every decision is a learning opportunity. Remember though, it's polite to look away from the parents before rolling your eyes when you think the advice they're shouting is distracting.

All-Stars tryouts are coming up on Sundays: October 29th, November 3th, and November 12 (in case of rain). All-Stars will end in February this year, so you can play baseball or softball afterwards.

Sunday Soccer is done for the year. See NEXT for the schedule of pick-up games you can join on Sundays.


More help is needed to set up fields, staff the tent, or help with pictures. If you aren't already coaching, refereeing, or managing a team, sign up for a slot.

The referee staff will be officiating all the games on Field #2 at Victory Park this Saturday, while wearing pink uniforms to raise awareness for breast cancer. Ref-O-Rama is what it's called! Drop by to observe an experienced referee crew: how do they move, where are they looking, how do they communicate to each other? 

This also about the time players start acting silly, a sign that they're comfortable with their teammates and want to build friendships. Consider arriving extra-early to give time for goofing off.


Players want to make their own decisions. Support that by introducing building blocks, especially coordinated attacks: 

1. Two-person attack: when you're dribbling toward the corner flag, the fastest cross to the center is with a zing pass. If you swipe the ball upward with your sole, you can actually make the ball go a little bit backwards, compensating for the momentum that would otherwise give the other team a goal kick. Coaching point for the receiver: do a "banana run," first away from the ball, and then toward it, so that your final direction of motion overlaps with the ball's trajectory.

2. Three-person attack: the weave. Start by throwing and catching the ball, basketball-style. Once you get the hang of the motion, use feet, and eventually try to one-touch it.

3. Four-person attack: Outnumbered by defenders? Pass back to the defense, then across, then forward on the other side.

This is also a good time to revisit the Coach Handbook. Find it and other useful material at

Plan to attend the coaching seminar Monday, October 30 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in person at the AYSO Region 13 Clubhouse. Highly recommended for aspiring All-Star coaches.


If you'd otherwise be scheduled for VP2, you're off duty. Feel free to pick up an open gap in the schedule.

Come to VP2 to observe Ref-O-Rama, and ask questions about refereeing.

Expect Good Sporting Behavior, from the players, the coaches, and especially the spectators. It's ok for you to avoid a confrontation on Saturday, when everyone is hot and cranky. Report it at for later followup.

Team Managers

Please encourage team families to set up fields, staff the tent, or help with pictures staffing the tent.

New detailed instructions for how to put away goals at

If you would like the children to receive trophies and medals at the end of the season, please reply to volunteer to coordinate their purchase and distribution. 

Pop quiz! What's the call?

Take your best guess, then scroll down for answers.

1. Pink #9 shoots on goal. Purple #3 catches it, then remembers she isn't the goalkeeper. What's the call?

2. Purple #7 takes the penalty kick. After the Referee whistles, she shanks it, the ball spins to the side, and, while everyone else watches frozen in astonishment, Purple #7 rushes forward to kick it into the goal. What's the call?

3. Pink #2 takes a penalty kick, it misses the goal, and then a small child runs onto the field. What's the call?

The Road Ahead

See more by subscribing to the Region 13 calendar. The board meeting is usually the first Thursday of each month.

Oct 30 Coach seminar with Barry Ritson, 7:00 - 8:30 pm at the Clubhouse
Nov 2 Board meeting on Zoom, 7:15 pm
Nov 18 Last game for 6U, 7U, 8U. Final week of pool play for 10U, 12U, 14U
Dec 2 Playoffs start for 10U, 12U, 14U

Player Development

Why does AYSO encourage kids to figure it out on their own?

Here's the short answer: we need to have lots of kids play soccer, because it's more fun with an opponent.  AYSO's system has evolved over 60 years to give your child an opponent to play with over the next 10-15 years. There are no shortcuts.

When AYSO started, the founders had grand aspirations of training future World Cup players. That organization has tried that, multiple times, and soundly rejected it as counterproductive. Kids in prescriptive training programs are often done with sports altogether around age 10. Skills acquired to please adults are easily forgotten, while those which emerge (with a little guidance) and are reinforced through exploration and competition tend to lead to lasting mastery. After emphasizing development over winning, AYSO alumni have gone on to play sports in college and professionally, including the World Cup and the Superbowl. But you would never have predicted which ones, from watching them play soccer when they were 8.

The 4U/5U program explores the full range of motions of young bodies -- rotating, jumping, catching, throwing, rolling, skipping -- to prepare children for soccer, basketball, T-ball, tennis, lacrosse, and everything else. Soccer doesn't even use all these motions, but we cover them anyway because soccer is supposed to be only one of many sports that young children explore. The US Soccer Federation, US Olympic and Paraolympic Committee, and National Academy of Pediatrics all agree: let kids play and explore, rather than tell them how to do it. For sure, coaches can introduce motions that kids wouldn't have figured out on their own. Ohio State University's youth sports coaching program is recommending How We Learn To Play by Rob Gray, which explains the science of why manipulating task constraints is so much more effective than telling athletes how and what to do.

After the fall season, you can keep playing soccer with AYSO. There's a 5-week All-Stars season, tournaments with NEXT, Grad Series, and maybe an afternoon pickup game. And you can try something else! There's basketball, baseball and softball (for ages 5-7, try T-Ball at the LCF Community Center, starting Oct 27), swimming at the Rose Bowl, tennis, martial arts.

Picture of the Week

Send action shots to or tag @aysoregion13 on Instagram to be in next week's newsletter.

Quiz Answers

1. Penalty kick. This happens now and again in 10U and 12U, when the goalkeeper role switches. Try to use humor to mollify the chagrin.

2. An indirect free kick is awarded to Pink. On free kicks, kickoffs, and PKs, the ball must touch another player before the kicker.

3.The Referee blows the whistle to stop play, escorts the child off, and restarts with a dropped ball to the goalkeeper.

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