US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability. Our goal is to enable the thousands of young athletes with disabilities to become valued and successful members of the US Youth Soccer family.
How do I participate?
Contact Ray Robinson, Massachusetts Youth Soccer's Director of Outreach Programs. Ray is also honored to be the Region 1 TOPSoccer Representative to U.S. Youth Soccer. Ray's email address is Rayrobinson12a@comcast.net
Why do we need a TOPSoccer Program?
TOPSoccer was formed to perpetuate the US Youth Soccer mission statement which is, in part, "to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition." There are thousands of children with disabilities who need, and can be provided with, the opportunity to play soccer through the TOPSoccer program.
1. Identify the need in your area.
For what type of disabilities do you need to plan?
Are you able to fulfill these needs?
2. Check for any restrictions placed on the facility (ies) you plan to use.
Are they equipped to handle athletes with physical disabilities?
3. Check with your soccer insurance carrier.
4. Contact established programs for information.
US Youth Soccer
United Cerebral Palsy
5. Contact your local school districts and universities.
6. Create a list of people who are able to assist you. Don't forget to include Ray Robinson and all of us at Massachusetts Youth Soccer!
7. Plan your advertisements.
How do I actually create a TOPSoccer Program
How do I get started?
1. The unique thing about TOPSoccer is that each program is different and is created around the needs of the participants. Additionally, TOPSoccer athletes are placed on teams according to ability, not age.
2. You determine the length of program. Usually TOPSoccer programs run for 6-8 weeks.
3. Playing rules.
Create rules to fit specific needs.
Use the US Youth Soccer Under-6, Under-8 or Under-10 guidelines
4. Usually TOPSoccer programs have very modest beginnings.
5. For those athletes not able to participate due to medical reasons, design a skills program that is rewarding, challenging and fun.
6. Your Program can take one of many shapes.
Small-sided games (3 v 3, 4 v 4, 8 v 8, etc.)
Full-sided games (11v11)
Unified teams (ratio of challenged athletes to non-challenged athletes)
Indoor programs Outdoor program
7. Above all... keep it simple... KEEP IT FUN!