Practice Scheduling FAQs
Why do I fill out a form to request a field?
The request form allows you as a coach to state your preferences for the days and locations that would work best for you. We ask for as much flexibility as you can offer on this form, so that we can accommodate all of the people who volunteer their time to coach our players. Please avoid marking only one day of availability – really think it through and decide which days you could make work. Same goes for fields. The more flexible you can be, the better.
Wouldn’t it be better to have a signup form that all coaches access to claim fields, first come first served?
In theory this does sound like it would save a lot of time and effort. But in practice, this could create more problems than it solves. First, because fields are divided differently for different age groups and times, the form would have to be designed to only serve options available for the requestor, which would be a complicated endeavor (as the same field/time that supports two 14U teams can support four 10U teams, etc.); second, special requests could not be accommodated with such a system; third, hundreds of coaches accessing/signing up at once could cause problems with the form. In summary, this method would remove the human element that allows us to try and find the best solution for all.
“The best solution for all” is when every coach gets a day/field that works for them (while it might not be their first choice) and where teams in the same age group play near each other, for safety and scrimmaging purposes. We try to do our best, but we place the priority on each coach getting an assignment within their top 3 choices.
Why can’t I get my assignment as soon as I request it?
Suppose you are perfectly fine with 3 different fields – any of them would work equally well for you. You get your assignment early. Then in late July, we have a coach sign up to help who has very limited availability. Because you already have your assignment and have communicated that to your families, our commitment to find “the best solution for all” becomes difficult to fulfill. So we hold out on distributing assignments until we have as full a picture as possible of everyone’s needs.
Feels like we need more fields. Are we looking at that?
We are. We have been looking at expanding our current relationships and building new ones. This is an on-going effort. If you would like to help, the fields committee would love to have you. We meet the first Monday of every month – check the calendar for the invite: https://ayso13.org/calendar/
My field is not in great shape. Should AYSO be mowing/maintaining the fields?
The school districts and cities that provide us permits are the entities responsible for maintaining the fields. We regularly communicate with these entities about any issues, and often offer to help with maintenance if needed. Since we are a volunteer organization, we don’t have personnel dedicated to field maintenance, but we will seek volunteers to help if the city/district allows it. Please text Marco at 818-468-3693 if your field is in need of care.
Who do I contact if I have trouble with access or lighting at my field at practice time?
Text Marco at 818-468-3693
How do I work the lights at Muir North?
There are detailed instructions for the lights at Muir North on our website. From the home page go to PLAY – FIELD MAPS – MUIR NORTH & CENTRAL. Direct link to page: https://ayso13.org/muir/
So we had some rain. Why can’t we practice on a damp field?
While it’s true wet grass is slippery and can lead to more falls, the main reason we don’t play on wet grass is that cleats will tear up the field if it’s wet. A torn-up field is definitely unsafe, and it’s also not what the city/district likes to see.
Can I know about rainouts early in the day so I can inform my parents?
Rain has been a real factor for us this year. In times like this, we want to keep as many practices as we possibly can. The reason we hold off on making a decision about canceling practices until mid afternoon, is that we want to give the fields time to dry out in the afternoon sun. A field that seems unplayable at 10am could be fine by 4pm. As a coach, the most important thing you can do is to set up a great communication system with your parents. Use Spond, email, text chain, whatever is most efficient for your team. Communicate to them that we’re trying to keep practice, and so the decision will be made by 4pm. Encourage them to check the Region website homepage and look for your communication. They are already planning on a practice, but they will know by 4pm whether it will be canceled.
My practice was rained out. Can I reschedule?
Typically we do not reschedule practices due to rain. If it rains and your practice is canceled, you move on to next week. That’s the norm. In 2023, we had an unusual amount of rain that caused some teams to go weeks without meeting once. In cases like that we will try to make arrangements for a makeup if one is requested by the head coach.