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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

AYSO Region 697 - Oak Park and surrounding areas

VIP Program

The Mission of the AYSO VIP (Very Important Player) Program is to provide a quality soccer experience for individuals whose disabilities make it difficult for them to successfully participate on mainstream soccer teams. VIPs are paired with buddies on the field who help them to learn new skills, focus on the game and have fun. Accommodations are made to support all players on the field and can be a mixture of sensory supports, behavioral supports or adaptive equipment. VIP coaches and referees are flexible and positive.

Who plays?

Any individual with a mental or physical disability or neurological condition who wants to play soccer and whose disability make it difficult to enjoy playing on a mainstream team. Teams may be comprised of players who are:

  • Visually impaired
  • Hearing impaired
  • Intellectually disabled
  • Emotionally challenged

or who may have conditions such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Have conditions that impair mobility (May use walker or wheelchair)

Oak Park AYSO started this program in the fall of 2013 with 23 players, and 34 buddies and adult volunteers. Games were played weekly at the soccer field at Irving Elementary. Players had a variety of abilities and their Coaches worked to ensure that everyone had access to the ball and was able to participate in the game. In the first season, there were two teams (Purple Panthers and Golden Eagles) and they played each other all season long. Despite the age differences with the youngest player aged 4 and the eldest aged 15, the games went well and everyone had fun. In our second season, just a few months later, we doubled our size to four teams.


Sign up here: Register for VIP


If you want to volunteer to be a buddy or to help out in any other way, [email protected] for directions on how to sign up.

National Partners

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Contact Us

AYSO 697

Oak Park, Illinois 60304

Email Us: [email protected]
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