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AYSO Region 1631 - Downtown San Jose

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As coaches we are committed to the AYSO philosophy of Player Development, which means that we  emphasize "development over winning." But that doesn't mean our youth players (or coaches) don't care about the scoreboard!

In our region, like every AYSO region across the country, we are also committed to the philosophy of Balanced Teams. We do our best to balance teams before the season starts. We do this based on the skill, experience and physical ability of each player, with the goal of "balancing" the average ability of players on each team.

However, several factors can tip this balance:

* Size differences between players in the same age group can be very large
* Player registration forms may show an incorrect number of years of experience, or parents may confuse "seasons" with "years" of experience
* New players with 0 years of experience may turn out to be very strong athletes
* Parent schedule conflicts may cause players to switch teams early in the season, after teams have been balanced
* Several kids on the team may have played together for years, especially if they are siblings/relatives
* Coaches may have coached many of the players on their team before

Whatever the reason, blowouts (games with more than a 5 goal scoring differential) are no fun for anyone. Below are some tips for preventing and managing blowout situations.

If you have specific concerns about blowouts, contact [email protected]

Thank you to Art Zimmerman, Regional Commissioner of Region 64 in West San Jose, for these guidelines.


It is our Region's policy as well as the Area's policy to keep blowouts at a bare minimum.  This is just another tool we use to respect our opponents and practice the AYSO philosophies of Good Sportsmanship and Player Development.  

There are 2 teams on the field and it is as important for the dominant team to recognize early on that there is the potential of a blowout as it is for the opposing team to keep up the spirits of their players when they are behind.

As soon as the score starts creeping toward a blowout, it is up to the coaches of both teams to work together to manage the scoreboard. It is not the referee's job to prevent a blowout, but rather to check in with the coaches about their plan.

Tips for managing blowouts (even more tips and strategies are available here):

  1. Preventing a blowout starts at practice.  You must explain to your players what your expectations are and how your team will handle a blowout.  It is better when everyone on your team knows what to do on queue versus you yelling across the field directions in ear shot of your opponent. Do it discretely and quietly, treat everyone with respect.  Your opponent should not know you are pulling back.
  2. Recognizing the potential for a blow-out early in the game is key.  This comes with experience but here are a few things to look for.  If you are in the attacking third of the field for most of the first quarter or your keeper has not touched the ball, you need to be ready for some changes. 
  3. Changes to your line-up on the fly will help you later on in your coaching career when you need to make adjustments against an opponent.  Moving your better players to defense or into the keeper position is your first step.  Take them out of their comfort zone.  Let less experience players take throw-ins and goal and corner kicks.
  4. Limiting the number of touches to two or three and then they must pass it is a great tool.
  5. Have all your players play in only your half of the field.
  6. Playing with their nondominant foot.
  7. Four players must cleanly control the ball before shooting.
  8. Outside of the area or back pass shots only.
  9. Pulling players should be your very last option.  We want the players to play.
  10. With older players you can allow them to continue playing as hard as they can but your goal should be to shoot the ball between the outside of the goal area and the goal post.  You continue to feel as if you are scoring but the shot results in a goal kick for the opponent.  This way you continue to play at a high level without running up the score and your opponent does not feel like you are taking it easy on them.

On the other side of the field you should:

  1. Ignore the score and have fun.
  2. Play everyone where they want.
  3. Set your expectation and goals on something else like successful crosses, passes, wall passes or gives and go's.
  4. Compliment and praise your kids for being good sports and not giving up.
  5. Encourage your kids to be positive in their comments to their teammates and the other team.
  6. Be sure to shake hands after the game; leave the bad feelings on the field.

Respect your opponent and remember that no one wins when a game is a blow out.  No matter which side your team is on it is a lost opportunity to gain skill or have fun.

Coaches, thank you for all you do for the kids!

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AYSO Region 1631

AYSO Region 1631, PO Box 486
San Jose, California 95103

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 669-247-7199
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