All posts by Rob Catarella

Laws of the Game changes, Effective August 1, 2019

These changes will go into effect (for us) starting in the Fall of 2019

Summary of Law Changes for AYSO

The main changes: 

•    Goal kicks and Free kicks in the penalty area are in play as soon as kicked and clearly moves (i.e. no longer in play only once it exits the penalty area).
•    Dropped balls are now to a single player with all players from both teams required to be 4.5 yards away—if in the penalty area, the dropped ball always goes to the goalkeeper.
•    Instances where the ball hits the referee will often result in a dropped ball.
•    A big rewrite of Law 12 regarding handball offenses.
•    Yellow and red cards can now be shown to coaches and team officials.
•    Winner of the coin toss can choose to take the kick-off or choose a side. 
•    If a defensive wall has three or more players, opponents must be one yard away. 
•    On a penalty kick, the goalkeeper must have at least one foot on the goal line.  

IFAB 2019 Complete Changes


5 Tips for AYSO Coaches

From AYSO’s “Hey Coach!” Newsletter, 8/3/17

  1. Plan ahead. Don’t show up to practice and just “wing it.” Select a coaching plan form your AYSO coaching manual so you know in advance what you want to accomplish with your players.
  2. Always with PIE. Believe in your athletes. By positively encouraging them during training and games, they are more likely to play better, respect you more and have a deeper love for the game!
  3. Environment. Dynamic, age-appropriate, inclusive, fun! Creating the right playing environment for players to express themselves freely, learn from mistakes and perform is what it’s all about. Let the game teach, let the players play!
  4. Never stop learning. You may have played all your life, you may have coached for years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still improve your skills and knowledge of the game. Keep up-to-date on AYSO coaching manuals released in AYSO U, on coaching resources and on the Laws of the Game. Watching professional soccer (and taking notes), playing in adult soccer games and finding a local mentor to help guide you can all help improve your abilities as a coach. Become a life-long soccer learner.
  5. Communicate. Clear, concise, calm, constructive and consistent communication is vital to the success of a coach. Not only to your players on the field, but also to your players’ parents. Keep parents engaged and informed. Remember, involve parents versus isolating them!

AYSO Expo March 10-12, 2017, Westchester Marriott

General Questions

What is an AYSO EXPO?

AYSO EXPOs are annual gatherings of AYSO volunteers and include a whole weekend of activities including training, certification and continuing education for coaches, referees and management volunteers. AYSO EXPOs also include all the fun stuff…the sponsor and vendor show, networking opportunities and volunteer recognition. Share ideas, stories and your love of soccer with other AYSO volunteers just like you!

Who can attend an EXPO?

Any person who is a registered volunteer for the current membership year can attend any AYSO EXPO.

What is included in the registration fee?

The AYSO EXPO registration includes: access to all scheduled workshops (except Instructor Courses), Friday reception (if offered), Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch & coffee breaks, as well as AYSO EXPO goody bag and EXPO materials.

The Single Day Pass* is for Saturday ONLY and includes access to all scheduled workshops (except Instructor Courses), Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch & coffee breaks, AYSO EXPO goody bag and EXPO materials.

* Please note: There are a limited number of Single Day Passes for each EXPO and registrations will be honored on a first come, first serve basis. Only online registrations will be accepted; mail-in registration for Single Day Passes will NOT be accepted.

Limited shuttle service is available for select AYSO EXPOs.

Registration Questions

How do I register for an AYSO EXPO?

Log in to and under the “Signup” menu item click on “AYSO EXPO”.    Select “Northeast (Westchester, NY)” and the the Signup button.

I’m having issues with eAYSO, what should I do?

Send us an email at and we’d be happy to help!

U.S Soccer’s Recognize To Recover Program Releases Compelling New Video On Concussion Awareness

U.S. Soccer


Educational Video Provides Players, Coaches, Parents and Referees Insight
on How to Recognize Concussions and Handle Return to Play;
Video Follows Young Player’s Journey and Features Former
U.S. Men’s National Team Player Taylor Twellman

CHICAGO (Nov. 2, 2016) – U.S. Soccer released a new video on recognizing and managing concussions, highlighting the important role parents, players, coaches, referees and health professionals play in the return to play process. The video is part of U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover (R2R) player health and safety program, and is designed to raise awareness of this important issue and will be used in coach and referee continued education.

The video, which is available to download and encouraged to be shared, follows the journey of a young soccer player through a suspected concussion and outlines the symptoms of concussions and the steps that should be taken before a player is allowed to return to the field. As the video weaves between reality and what takes place in the player’s mind, we see how both the physical and mental symptoms of concussions have very real effects.

“A concussion can be difficult to recognize on the field and most occur without a loss of consciousness or an obvious sign that something is wrong with a player’s brain function,” said U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas. “If players, parents, coaches and referees work together to educate themselves and take proper precautions, athletes and parents can both enjoy exciting, challenging competition without the constant fear of serious injury.”

Former U.S. Men’s National Team player Taylor Twellman, who suffered concussions during his professional career, is also part of the video. Speaking from first-hand experience, Twellman emphasizes the importance for players to ask for help if they feel they may have suffered a concussion.

“My passion for this subject is well known throughout the soccer community,” Twellman said. “I was honored that U.S. Soccer asked me to be a part of this program to hopefully make a difference in the way we evaluate and recover from concussions.”

Earlier this week, the video was presented on a webinar to U.S Soccer’s membership from across the country, including state associations, youth organizations and Development Academy clubs. Each member was provided the video and encouraged to share it with their players, coaches, parents and referees.

Recognize to Recover is aimed at promoting safe play and reducing injuries in soccer players of all ages. The first-of-its-kind program was developed with the help of medical experts to provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the prevention and management of injuries.

To learn more about Recognize to Recover, visit

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Saturday 9/10 at 9am: Soccer Jamboree and goal moving at the High School

This fall we have an extra week before the season starts so we’re revisiting a program we started last year:

AYSO Jamboree: This Saturday (9/10) for kids in the U6, U7, U8 and U10 divisions we’ll have the Super Soccer Stars trainers at the High School at 9am for a fun (& free!) Jamboree session.

No teams, just kids playing soccer in groups run by professional trainers.

Uniforms not required, though all players MUST wear shinguards & socks and NO jewelry.  Bring a ball if you have one.

We’ll meet on Field B (the one directly ahead as you drive in). Come and play some soccer!

Goal Moving: Many of our coaches will be in Armonk taking age-specific coach training this Saturday. As they spend their weekend getting ready to coach our kids, we can help by getting the fields ready for play.

Please help us move the goals and sandbags onto the High School fields from their storage position.

We will meet on field B at 9am and begin once the Jamboree kids get going. Many hands make light work!

See you Saturday!

Why Kids Hate Soccer!

From Why Kids Hate Soccer, February 29, 2016

Well not hate, necessarily, but according to a survey reported in the Wall Street Journal, what kids dislike the most about soccer is the car ride home. Too often, the first thing a parent may say after a game is a critical remark, an accusatory question or offer “you should haves!” to their kids. This can cause any player to lose interest in playing and start to dread anything to do with participating in sports.

Parents often don’t realize the impact of their words and forget that kids seek approval and want to impress them during games. When players feel put down, they can lose their love for soccer. Consider the following when talking to your kids about their performance on the field:

Parents Do’s: 

  • Be their biggest fan. Make sure to maintain a positive attitude and environment for your child by cheering and showing them support. After all, a child is trying their best to impress their parents, so show them they’re appreciated!
  • Focus on the positive. Great shot! Nice dribble! Amazing pass! Wow so close! These are all great ways to express to kids that they’re doing a good job and it will motivate them to try even harder.
  • Let them make mistakes. Making mistakes is the best way to get better. Don’t try to correct the mistakes by yelling directions from the sideline. Instead, let them try their moves and work on them next time you’re on a field together.
  • Encourage goal setting and measure progress. Aside from staying active and having a great time, kids strive to become good soccer players. Encourage players to talk about ways they can improve and offer methods or ask a coach to help them improve those things.

Parent Don’ts: 

  • Don’t talk about negative things on the ride home. There are much better ways and places to communicate what your kids could have done better than questioning their actions during the car ride home. They are still learning the game and are likely aware that they didn’t have a great game. Try taking them to a park over the weekend and work on things to help improve their game in a fun, loving environment instead.
  • Don’t offer excuses. Putting blame on a ref, the field, weather or a coach for a bad performance may offer short-lived comfort, but this attitude can backfire. Kids will fail to take accountability and will instead learn to blame other factors when things don’t go their way.
  • Don’t yell instructions during games. This causes confusion and annoys other parents, coaches and players (including your own!). A player develops best when they are allowed to make their own decisions on the field, figuring out what works best and working on those things at practice.
  • Don’t criticize refs in front of the kids. Always remember that AYSO refs are volunteers and have given up their time to make the game possible. Kids will learn from their parents so be aware that yelling at a ref is one of the things they will pick up. And pro soccer players can tell you that yelling at the ref DOES NOT make them change their mind!

Letter in support of the June 14 School and Library bond

To our fellow Chappaqua Central School District residents,

As the leaders of our town’s youth sports organizations, we are writing to you in support of the proposed school and library bond that will be voted upon on June 14 at Horace Greeley High School.

We support the bond proposal because the CCSD Administration, guided by the School Board, with input from others in our community, have put forth a plan to benefit all students through:

The primary component of the bond proposal focuses on academics – the 21st century flexible learning environments across all schools will create spaces to support teaching through active learning practices. These instructional strategies have been demonstrated to have a significant positive effect on student success, better preparing them for post-secondary education and the world at large. Students will have the opportunity to work together in teams, to build self-confidence, to create, and to be challenged and engaged. We encourage you to seek full information on these new spaces at:

This bond is also about providing our student-athletes with safe fields to play on through improvements at Bell and Seven Bridges and at Horace Greeley. Our sports organizations rely heavily on the CCSD fields, and through the bond, our children will play on fields that our programs have desperately needed for years. Two new lighted synthetic turf fields and improvements to existing grass fields will significantly relieve stress on field availability and overuse, and in one case – field hockey – finally will provide our girls with the surface on which the sport is played universally.

We also applaud the CCSD Administration for proposing improvements to the Chappaqua Library, an asset that provides benefits to everyone in our community, and for comprehensively addressing vital infrastructure needs in our schools.

The bond is being responsibly financed.

We encourage you to vote YES on June 14 at Horace Greeley High School.

Gary Abrams, President, New Castle Youth Basketball Association
Alex Goldstein, President, New Castle Baseball and Softball Association Christy Hill, Vice President, Greeley Sports Boosters
Bill Hriskonich, President, Greeley Youth Football Association
Matt Laurence, President, New Castle Ice Hockey Association
Suzanne Lodge, President, Greeley Youth Lacrosse
Charlie Steinhorn, President, New Castle Field Hockey Association Jonathan Taub, Commissioner, Chappaqua AYSO
Jeff Tochner, David Stern, Directors, Chappaqua Youth Soccer Club

Chappaqua AYSO Newsletter and Photos

It is time for you and your kids to get creative in writing and photography!
We are working on a Chappaqua AYSO Newsletter and a corresponding Photo Album which will be available for all of us at the end of the season.
Send your best soccer photos of the season to
And if your literary vein is sinking in, we would love you to write an article on a soccer related issue, some ideas below:
- Ask your kids to write a positive experience they had playing AYSO.

- Send us great quotes that you have heard on the fields.

- Did your kids' coaches ever said something that really made you think or laugh? Let us know.

- Tell us a story about something you have learned by following professional soccer.

- Tell us about something that impressed you recently in any top-flight league in the world.

- Can you share with us a learning experience for your kids while by playing AYSO this past year?

- We want to hear that great story about some unexpected success achieved by your kids' teams.

- Any other interesting soccer experience.

Please email all photos and articles to NO LATER THAN JUNE 13.
We will edit all the material after this date to prepare the Newsletter & Photo Album.
Volunteer your talent for Chappaqua AYSO!