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

AYSO Area 1D


The AYSO Area 1-D Beach Cities, Annual EPIC (Everyone Plays in Our Community -- Formerly VIP) Friendship Tournament services our mentally and physically challenged players. This year players are participating from several of our regions including El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Westchester.

These special players are usually provided with a complete day of activities, past year events included:

  • Soccer games

  • A visit from the Fire Department and Police Department (Gabby the Speaking Patrol Car, K-9 dog, and mounted police)

  • Awards ceremony

  • Lunch for the players

  • Player buddies and their parents

and much more...


AYSO EPIC Program provides a quality soccer experience for children - and adults - whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully participate on mainstream teams. EPIC teams may include those who are

  • blind or visually impaired

  • amputees or conditions that impair mobility

  • mentally or emotionally challenged

  • autistic

  • Downs Syndrome

  • Cerebral Palsy

We recognize that all children need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. The EPIC program offers that acceptance and carries our philosophy of Everyone Plays® to new heights - giving everyone a chance to play.


Kids with special needs are estimated to make up approximately 10% of the school-age population. Special schools and classrooms can isolate these children so the EPIC Program has been structured to integrate our special kids into the rest of AYSO by using "buddies" from non-VIP teams to help these players both on - and off - the field.

Our goals for every participating player are:

  • have fun playing soccer

  • understand the fundamentals of the game

  • learn teamwork and fair play

  • increase positive self-esteem

  • become more physically fit

  • meet and be comfortable with new people


EPIC helps more than just the players. Buddies and other volunteers increase their appreciation and understanding of individuals with special needs. They find their lives greatly enriched by their involvement with their new VIP friends.

For parents thinking they would never see their children playing a sport or making new friends, EPIC gives them joy and hope. They are able to relax and enjoy watching their children having fun like other kids, perhaps for the first time.

Teams can have as few as five players, may be co-ed, and as with all AYSO teams, EPIC teams are balanced with players rated by size and physical ability. Older and younger players form their own divisions, too, when numbers allow.


EPIC programs start small. In fact, you can start a EPIC program with just a single team that plays a regular AYSO team. The program is designed to be flexible and creative. It need not be limited to one Region, either. Players can be drawn from several neighboring Regions or Regions may form an Area-wide program.

Ensuring the success of players and volunteers in EPIC is a priority, so each VIP program and operates within the existing structure of an AYSO Region to ensure that volunteers and players have the full support of the Region and it's resources.

Organizing a EPIC program is easier than you might think. There are potential EPIC players in your local schools and communities. These kids, with your help, can have the benefits of sports participation in a supportive, fun environment.

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