The goal of AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) is for every child to have the opportunity to play soccer. The VIP (Very Important Player) program provides a great soccer experience for children and adults whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to participate on mainstream teams. VIP teams can include individuals who are blind or visually impaired, or have limited mobility, autism, Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy. The program is run entirely by volunteers.
VIP Buddies assist the coach during the practices and games in which players learn soccer while meeting new friends, having fun and increasing skills and self-esteem. Players and their families, along with the volunteers, enjoy the complete AYSO experience - team uniforms, scoring goals, cheering from the sidelines, and the list goes on!
Specific Duties and Responsibilities of the VIP Buddy
The VIP Buddy is expected to:
1. Attend VIP Volunteer Training and the age appropriate coaching courses
recommended, U-6, U-8; for training on how to coach or as a refresher on AYSO
philosophy; additional coach training will be necessary as the team players develop;
2. Promote the AYSO philosophies;
3. Support the Regional Commissioner and the VIP Administrator;
4. Cooperate with the Regional Coach Administrator on all coaching matters;
5. Follow Safe Haven guidelines and principles;
6. Refrain from the use of insulting, embarrassing, foul or abusive language;
7. Have FUN!
Qualifications and Desired Skills
To be considered for the position of VIP Buddy, the applicant must:
1. Annually submit an AYSO Volunteer Application form;
2. Pass the AYSO screening and background check;
3. Demonstrate good character and reliability and be responsive to player and parent
6. Be interested in promoting the benefits of youth sports, especially soccer;
While performing as the VIP Buddy, the volunteer is:
1. Subject to the bylaws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines of
2. Under the overall authority of and directly supervised by the VIP Administrator or
the Regional Coach Administrator and supervised indirectly by the Regional
3. To maintain the required VIP adult to player supervision ratio of 1:1 or less; that is
one adult for every VIP player (one of whom may be the coach and one of whom
should be of the same gender as the group) present at all times. For the protection
of both the players and the volunteer, no volunteer should permit himself or herself
to be alone with any player or group of players (except his or her own) during
AYSO-sponsored activities; and
4. Once the head coach has assumed charge of the children on his or her team, he or
she remains responsible until a duly designated adult has taken charge of each
player after practice or a game.
The anticipated time commitment for a VIP Buddy is during the soccer season which runs from August through November (weekend before Thanksgiving).
The estimated hours to fulfill duties are approximately three hours per week during the season.
Orientation, Training, Certification, and Continued Education Provided
To prepare a volunteer for the position of VIP Buddy, AYSO will offer the following
educational opportunities which volunteer coaches are expected to take advantage of
and participate in, as appropriate.
1. Orientation by the VIP Administrator, Regional Commissioner and/or Regional
2. VIP Volunteer Training;
3. AYSO’s Safe Haven Certification;
4. Training classes and continuing education; and,
5. Annual Coach Update and Player Development and Special Programs update.
- Child Development
- Special Needs
- Youth Services
- Community Outreach
Good Match For
People 55+ Group
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 14
- Orientation or Training
- 3 hrs a week
- AYSO’s Safe Haven Certification, VIP Buddy Certification