The AYSO mission is about participation, player development, and good sportsmanship. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere in which players can enjoy the game for its own sake without an undue emphasis on winning or losing (i.e. fun and development over winning).
Accordingly, blow out games are contrary to the objectives of AYSO, and coaches are expected to prevent games from becoming extremely one sided and to avoid blow outs at all costs (any game with a 6 goal differential is considered a blow out). Blow outs are a failure of coach to plan ahead and to manage the game. Don’t let a blow out destroy the experiences of our players.
The game is most fun and instructive for everyone when it is a challenge. The closer the ending score the more fun and learning experience the game. With the right management strategies, an otherwise lopsided, boring game can be managed to be close, and without asking players to hold back. The coach needs to keep all players engaged, and the coach of a strong team needs to raise the challenge higher for scoring a goal than just simply, scoring a goal. The coach of the team with the goal advantage must take steps to make the game more even…this is known as “pulling back.”
These steps must include one or more of the following (and are encouraged to be applied prior to reaching a five-goal deficit).
- Rotating player positions on the dominating team so as to assign goal-scorers to positions on defense and goal (or subbing them a quarter)
- Pick a player or two that has never scored, and telling the team they must only allow them to score.
- Getting 5 passes in a row prior to trying to score
- Everyone must touch the ball before the first goal is scored (can be consecutively but doesn’t have to be)
- Having the team play back to their own goal keeper at least once prior to going forward
- Any shot taken must be from outside the penalty box (outside the 18)
- All shots must come from using the weak foot.
The idea behind the restrictions relating to blow outs is that the trailing team does not feel defeated and the dominating team is forced to challenge themselves, allowing growth for stronger players when playing against weaker teams.
Any coach that consistently blows out other teams, with no effort to avoid the blow out, may face game suspension due to a lack of supporting one the six AYSO philosophies–good sportsmanship.