Recreation Division FAQs

When will I know about my child’s practice schedule?

ABYSA team coaches will contact their teams approximately one week after our coaches meeting, so teams have the opportunity to practice for two weeks prior to their first game.  Practice start dates vary, depending on when a volunteer team coach is named and pracitice is scheduled through the District Coordinator. The Recreation program uses volunteer coaches for every one of its 260+ teams. In some situations we are still recruiting coaches during the first week of practice, but this is rare and usually few participants are affected.  Most players should be notified of their practice schedules by August 22.

Since our U5 and U6 teams play on Saturday only, there is no practice before the first play date. Each play date consists of a practice (designed by an ABYSA professional staff member) and a game in the one hour time slot. Schedules will be posted 7-10 days before the first play date.

Can I become a coach in the Recreation program?

Yes! Coaching in our program is as fun and rewarding as playing, and a soccer background is unnecessary. We will provide you with all the information you need to make recreation soccer a fun and rewarding experience for every child; all you need to do is volunteer! Please check the box in the registration process that you would like to coach your child’s team and someone will be in touch with you about coaching before the coaches meeting or contact ABYSA Director of Coaching, Shane Weems at 828-299-7277 Ext. 304.

Where are my child’s recreation soccer games played?

This varies year-to-year and by age group. At the U5-U7 age groups, we attempt to have the entire age group at the same facility for the season. At U8, we introduce some localized play, and by U9 and older, we try to localize play as much as possible. Due to their exceptional quality, we are committed to hosting as many of our games as possible at John B. Lewis Soccer Comple (JBL) and Buncombe County Sports Park (BCSP). Click here for directions to our parks.  

U5 U6 U7 U8
U9/U10 U11/U12 U13/U14 HS AGE GROUP

What equipment does my child need?

All players receive a uniform from ABYSA. The uniform consists of a jersey, a pair of shorts, and socks. The only other equipment needed is shin guards (cleats are optional). Shin guards can be purchased at Arsenal Athletics in the Asheville Mall, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or anywhere sporting equipment is sold. ABYSA highly recommends the purchase of an age-appropriate sized ball.

U5 through U8 3
U9 through U12 4
U13 and above 5

Where will my child practice?

When registering your child, you will choose the high school district that most convenient for your family; your child’s team will practice at a school or facility within that high school district. Each coach is assigned to a practice space based on equipment needs, field sizes and the coach’s schedule. The U5 and U6 Programs are Saturday-only programs. For this age, players have their practices and games on the same day during their time slot.

How often will my child practice?

Our U7 and older teams practice once or twice during the week. Practice times vary depending on available sunlight, and sessions run from 1 to 1.5 hours.

What days are games played?

The majority of games are held on Saturdays. Occasionally other ABYSA programs hold weekend events, which means some recreation games will be played during the evening on weekday evenings or Sunday afternoons.

What age group is my child in?

Your child’s age group for Recreation play is determined by his/her age on August 1 (with the "U" meaning "Under").  He/She stays in that age group until August 1 of the next year, so everyone ages up together.  To identify your child’s age group, click here.

May my child play up/down from his/her age group?

To allow children to participate with their classmates or to facilitate those who may be more physically mature for their age, ABYSA allows any player who desires to play up one age group to do so by selecting that on their registration. For the safety and enjoyment of all of our participants, players are not allowed to play up more than one year without approval from the director of our Recreation program. Please be aware, United States Youth Soccer Association regulations prohibit children from playing in age groups younger than their true age.

Can my daughter play in the Boy’s division?

Yes, female players may play in the boy’s division if they choose, just be sure to register for the "Boys" division when registering.

Must I live in Asheville/Buncombe County to participate? 

No.  In fact many players participate from Henderson, Transylvania, Haywood, Yancey, Madison and McDowell Counties. Select the district closest to where you live on your child’s registration. You’ll be assigned to a team that practices close to where you live.  Please call Gary Tittle at 828-299-7277 Ext. 305 if you have questions.

How will I know if games are cancelled due to weather?

ABYSA makes every effort to post weather announcements on game day by 7 a.m. for morning games and by 11 a.m. for afternoon games. If Saturday games need to be cancelled on Friday, we will make the announcement then. Notices are posted on the ABYSA homepage, which is the best way to get the most up-to-date cancellation information. You may also call the weather hotline at 828-299-7277; however, call volume can make it hard to get through. Please be aware that the referee always has the final say as to whether a game will be played once teams are at the field in the event severe weather occurs.

How can my child receive additional training and skill development?

ABYSA offers several opportunities for advancement for highly motivated players, consisting of soccer camp programs throughout the year (Spring Break and 8 separate weeks of summer camps). In the U9 and U10 age groups, players have the opportunity to participate in the Academy Program, which provides an emphasis on technical skill development by our professional coaching staff. The ABYSA Challenge (U11-14) and Classic (U11-18) programs are available on a try-out basis for qualified players wishing to advance in a professional training environment and to compete against teams from outside the Asheville area.  

How do I apply for financial assistance?

To apply for need-based financial aid, visit the ABYSA office M-F between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  We are locate at 593 Azalea Road East.


For any additional questions or concerns about the Recreation Program, please contact: 

Gary Tittle, ABYSA Recreation Administrator 
828.299.7277 ext. 305