What Is VIP?
AYSO VIP Program Ensures Everyone Plays®
The AYSO VIP (Very Important Players) Program provides a quality soccer experience for children and adults whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully participate on mainstream teams. VIP teams may include:
- Blind or visually impaired
- Amputees or with conditions that impair mobility
- Mentally or emotionally challenged
- Down syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
VIP helps more than just the players. Buddies and other volunteers increase their appreciation and understanding of individuals with special needs. They find their lives greatly enriched by their involvement with their new VIP friends. For parents thinking they would never see their children playing a sport or making new friends, VIP gives them joy and hope. They are able to relax and enjoy watching their children having fun like other kids, perhaps for the first time.
Teams can have as few as three players and may be co-ed. VIP teams can be put together with players who register based on mobility or ability. Older and younger players can also be separated onto different teams when numbers allow.
VIP Mission Statement
VIP Vision Statement
The mission of the AYSO VIP Program is to provide a quality soccer experience for individuals whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult for them to successfully participate on mainstream soccer teams. What is successful participation? It should be defined by the player’s enjoyment and the safety of all team members.
AYSO Six Philosophies
The vision of the AYSO VIP Program is to create VIP teams in every AYSO Region wherever possible and to maximize opportunities for VIP player participation where VIP teams are not available.
Goals & Objectives Find a Local VIP Program
History of VIP Soccer
If you are ready to have your child play in our VIP Program or would like more information please contact your local AYSO Region or to find a Region contact AYSO National Office at (800) 872-2976 (USA-AYSO), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The AYSO VIP Program was officially launched in 1991 for players with physical and/or mental disabilities. At that time and for some years following its inception, participation in the program was limited to ambulatory children through the age of 18. Several years later the ambulatory restriction was removed and the age limit extended to the length of time the player remained in school, which varied from state to state.
In 1999, recognizing a VIP player's need for ongoing fitness and leisure activities into adulthood, the AYSO National Board of Directors removed the upper age limit for VIP players entirely. The minimum age corresponds to AYSO's age eligibility – currently 4 years of age by July 31 prior to the start of the playing season or, in some Regions with permission of the Section Director, by the date of the Region's first organized activity – camp, practice or game.
What are Buddies?
VIP Section & Enrichment Award