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          Welcome To Hilo AYSO   -   Region 274

Region FAQs

Hilo AYSO - Frequently Asked Questions


Why AYSO soccer different from club soccer or other programs?

Soccer is a wonderful sport for children, and they should have a good experience with any soccer program. AYSO soccer is designed to be SAFE, FUN and FAIR. There are no “try-outs” or “cuts”. Everyone who signs up will get to play in every game, where the goal is to learn and have a great time with no pressure to “just win”. In comparison, most “club” teams are highly competitive with more aggressive play, and players are expected to already know how to play soccer well. On “Club” teams, there are no guarantees that your kid will play 10 minutes or longer. In AYSO, every one should play for three quarters of a match.


When is the AYSO soccer season?

The primary AYSO CORE playing season is in the fall from August through November. Players in 10U, 12U, and 14U may have the opportunity to participate in a select season running from November through March.  There is an additional season in the spring that runs from April through June.

Go to the Registration page to get all of the details on the process, dates and times.

My players are registered! Now what?

Awesome, welcome to the club! Please plan on attending the division meeting a month ahead of first games – this meeting is essential in preparing families for the season ahead. Stay tuned to your emails from [email protected]; these will have specific dates and information.

After the division meeting, our coaches have 2 weeks to complete training before they receive their rosters. Coaches who have completed online training receive their rosters first. Please be patient, as your coach is volunteering their time and energy for your players.

Are Uniforms Included?

No. We have moved to a 2-color system, where the home team wears blue and the away team wears red. You will need to purchase uniform shirts, black shorts, and black socks on You only need to purchase these once.

You can reuse your uniform every season you participate in Hilo AYSO. We have moved to this system for a few reasons:

  1. Not getting a new uniform each season means not paying an additional uniform fee every season.

  2. Re-using is better for the environment! Fewer new uniforms means fewer resources used in manufacturing and shipping.

  3. This simplifies the inventory and effort for our club organizers, who already give so much!

Do I have to volunteer?

Yes. Hilo AYSO is 100% volunteer run. Our board members are volunteers, our coaches are volunteers, and our referees are volunteers. Without these volunteers, who are parents and family just like you, we could not have a club at all. To fully support our players, 1 out of every 5 families needs to have a volunteer in a registered position (board, coach, or referee).

Not everyone can coach, and we know that. To make things easier on those coaches and organizers who can give their time and energy, every family can take on a small, essential task. These can be volunteered for with your coach at your first team meeting. They might be remote (like organizing the snack schedule or writing FAQs), they might be game-centered (bringing the team tent or setting up equipment), or they might be helping hands roles (organizing a team/club event or maintaining field lines). Our players need everyone to put in a little, so we can keep keiki on the field playing the beautiful game for years to come.

Please be sure to approach your coach with your interest; sometimes it is hard to look at a group of strangers and hand out jobs, especially since many of these tasks are very doable. Can your coach take down equipment after a game? Maybe, but should they have to? Let’s all be proactive in offering support and doing what we can.

I haven't heard from the board member I am supposed to be helping!

Thanks for volunteering! Once our board members are ready to do a task, they may choose to work on their own. The point is - they shouldn't have to, and we build a call list each season so that our board members in Fields, Equipment, Events, and Communication know who they can call when their tasks get more intense.

What are the age “divisions”?

As part of making balanced team that will allow for safe, fair and fun play, AYSO divides players into groups based on their ages as of December 31st for the latter year in the season.  Visit the Birth Year and Season Matrix to learn more.

My Player is Too Small For Their Division

Divisions are set by birth year – and with ranges of up to 2 years, this can create some size discrepancy. This is most noticeable in fall, when 4 year olds born between August and December are moving to 6U (6 and under), 5 year olds born between August and December are moving to 8U, and so on up. Please feel reassured that this is a frequently asked question: your player is probably in the right place, with other fall-born players who are their age.

After reading this, if you feel your player is still too small, please bring the matter to your Division Coordinator with a medical note and written explanation of the circumstances. Find the contact information for Division Coordinators on our Board page.

My Player is Doing Well! Can They Move Up?

We love to hear that! Just like move-downs, move-ups are only granted in extreme circumstances. Please be sure to explain your request to your division coordinator fully, and in writing.

I Requested a Move-Up/Move-Down. Now What?

Now we wait for a board vote. The board will take on all of the information you have provided and vote on the matter. A few things the board may consider include safety, disruption, access, ability. The thing to remember is that moving divisions is an exception, not a rule, and most requests are not able to be granted. The rules are on this page.

What if my child drops out and I would like to request a refund?

Refunds are never offered after first games, and are the exception (not the rule) once rosters begin to be released. Go to the Registration page for Refund Policies details and instructions.

What other expenses will there be?

No additional expenses will be required.  Teams typically arrange pictures with Anne Keolanui of Keolanui Sports.  Trophies or medals may be purchased by the team for the players to be distributed at the end of the season.

Who will be my child’s coach?

AYSO teams are coached by volunteers from the community, many of them parents with children in the program. Coaches are required to complete age appropriate training, as well as safe haven training. Teams are reformed every season to keep them balanced, and coaches are randomly assigned to teams so that play will be safe, fair and fun.

Our Team Doesn’t Have a Coach!

That can happen! At Hilo AYSO, your fees cover our fields, maintenance, balls for players, and organizing software. Your fees do not pay for anyone else’s time, and no one owes you their time. You may be on a team that has to meet, look at each other, and elect a coach before your season can start. This is why refunds will not be given after rosters are released, except in extraordinary circumstances. 

What if my child wants to play for a different coach?

In order to ensure teams are balanced and fair, we cannot allow players to request specific coaches or coaches to request specific players. The only exception is that coaches can coach their own players if they wish. Therefore, if your child wants to play for a specific coach, that coach needs to be you (so volunteer! You’ll love it.).

My Player’s Friend is Playing! Can They Play Together?

Another tricky one! One of our core tenets at Hilo AYSO is balanced teams, and our Division Coordinators do a great job distributing players evenly. Division Coordinators will take into account friend requests, but these are requests and not guarantees. Coaches’ players are often in greater demand; consider co-coaching if your players are friends outside of soccer.

One benefit of coaching is the ability to choose your coaching team. Because we ask coaches to recruit a 2nd coach, and a referee in some divisions, we support families who want to register and coach together. In 6U, this means 2 coaches per team. In 8U and above, 2 coaches and a referee can choose to work together. Your players will always be on your team.

To coach together, all registered volunteers must confirm the coaching group with their Division Coordinator before the first set of rosters are released. Both coaches and the referee must complete their online training before the team’s first practice.

I Can’t Practice on ___. What Do I Do?

The easy answer is: coach. Coaches set the practice schedule, but also have to coordinate to make sure there is field space for your team. If you absolutely cannot make the set practice times, you may request a team exchange with your division coordinator. This is a request, and the division coordinator may or may not be in a place to help. A lot of work has already gone into setting and balancing teams, and trading players who are already on teams is fraught with complication.

What are “ratings”?

At the end of each season, division coaches assign a rating for each player based on their observations over the season. These ratings are used in subsequent seasons to help build balanced teams. All ratings are kept strictly confidential.

When do practices start ?

Most coaches start practices 2 weeks before first games. Coaches may not receive their rosters if they are still completing online training.

Where are practices held?

At the Bayfront Soccer Fields here in Hilo.  Assignments at made by the Coach Administrator based on the numbers of teams in each division. Your coach will inform you of practice locations when they contact you before the start of the season.

How often are practices held?

5U and 6U divisions practices are held once a week. All other divisions may practice up to two times per week.

How long are practices?

Typically, practices are between 60 and 90 minutes long, but individual coaches can vary their schedule.

What do players wear to practice?

Typical practice attire is shorts and a tee shirt (or sweatshirt if it’s chilly). Players should wear their cleats and MUST wear their shin guards with socks pulled up to completely cover the shin guards. What do players wear to games? The required uniform is the “five esses”: shirt, shorts, socks, shoes and shin guards. Players may wear long sleeve plain tee shirts under their shirts if it is cool, and may wear compression shorts under their soccer shorts.

What size ball do we need?

5U | 6U | 8U divisions: Size #3
10U | 12U divisions: Size #4
14U | 16U | 19U divisions: Size #5

How early before a game should players arrive?

Most coaches want their players to arrive 15 minutes before a game to warm up and get checked in by the referee.

What is your heat policy?

Games that reach 102 degrees on the heat index (inclusive of humidity) will be suspended or cancelled.

What if a game is cancelled?

There is no official make-up game policy. Your coach will notify you if a cancelled game can be rescheduled.

What if a player cannot make it to a game?

Your coach would really appreciate a call or a text message as soon as you know a player is not going to be at a game so that they can adjust their lineup. A team must have a minimum of seven players for a match to be played.

Can players wear earrings?

No, under no circumstances can players (girls or boys) wear earrings during practices or games. It is a major safety hazard. If a young girl has just had her ears pierced and cannot take out her studs, she must sit out the game. Taping over earrings is not acceptable.

Can players wear any jewelry?

No. A standard referee safety check speech goes: “check for no finger rings, no earrings, no nose rings, no belly button rings, no necklaces, no bracelets, no watches and no metal clips in the hair.” Nothing that could injury someone.

Can players wear medical alert bracelets?

Yes, but they must be secured with tape except for the alert medal so that nothing can get caught.

Can girls wear hair clips?

Metal and plastic hair clips are not allowed on the field for practice or during a game. Players with long hair may wish to wear soft hair ties such as “Scrunchies”. The referee shall decide if an article of clothing is unsafe.

Is wearing glasses safe?

The wearing of prescription glasses is allowed. It is strongly recommended that the lenses and frames be made of materials designed for sports safety, and that eyeglass holder or other sports straps be used.

Can players wear sunglasses?

No, non-prescription sunglasses are not allowed for safety reasons.

Can my child play wearing a cast or splint?

No, for two reasons. The first is that if a doctor says that the cast or splint is still required for healing then the player should not risk additional injury. The second reason is that casts and splints are dangerous for other players. Soft support wraps are allowed if the referee deems them to be safe.

Can my child play wearing a knee brace?

Yes, knee braces and other soft support wraps are allowed if the referee deems them to be safe.

What if we don’t like our coach?

You are urged to talk with the coach in a calm manner and try to work out the problems like adults, away from the players (preferably this meeting will be done outside of practice or games). If no solution can be reached, parents may contact the appropriate Division Manager listed on the Board page , and include the Child Volunteer Protection Advocate (CVPA).

What should I do if I see something happen during a game that seems wrong?

Depending on the situation, you can talk to the coach. You may also contact the appropriate regional board member listed on our Board page. For instance, if you have a concern about a referee, you should not confront the referee at the game. Instead, let your child’s coach know or contact our referee administrator.

What do I do if the referee is making bad calls?

Two answers. One is that the referee is a volunteer who is doing the best job they can, so it’s really important that parents, coaches and players treat them with respect. Criticizing them during a game is highly discouraged. However, the second answer is that some referees try to officiate in games where they are not really qualified based on the level of play. You can share any concerns or experiences with the Regional Referee Administrator and they will be investigated. Please send an appropriate email to one of the regional board members listed on the Board page.

The season is approaching. When will I find out what team my child is on?

Your coach will be contacting you within a few weeks of the start of the season to introduce him or herself. Although email is a preferred method of communication for most of our coaches, make sure to get their current phone number when they call. PLEASE BE PATIENT. If we are a week out from games, you may contact your Division Coordinator.

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Hilo AYSO Region 274

Hilo AYSO, PO Box 1664
Hilo, Hawaii 96721

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 808-959-1972
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