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

AYSO REGION 33 - ENCINO, CA (Balboa Park)

VIP = Very Important Players

VIP Registration is OPEN with no waiting list!

Soccer is for Everyone! The AYSO VIP Program provides a quality soccer experience for children and adults aged 4 1/2 and up whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully participate on mainstream teams.


VIP = VERY IMPORTANT PLAYERS (For ALL Special Needs Players Only) 

We are very proud that AYSO Region 33’s VIP Soccer Program at Balboa Park in Encino is the largest and most successful in Southern California, with 80+ VIP Players participating in the 2021 Fall Season!! 


For information about our VIP Program, please contact KAREN HENDERSON, Regional VIP Director, via e-mail at [email protected] or at (818) 667-6722 (cell). 


“VIP” (“Very Important Players”)is designed for ALL Special Needs Players (ages 4 and up, with no upper age limit) to enjoy and participate in the sport of VIP Soccer.  The VIP Players are supported and assisted on the field by VIP Coaches and young, able-bodied volunteers (“VIP Buddies”), allowing VIP parents to sit on the sidelines and cheer them on, just like every family participating in our core AYSO Program.  The VIP Program is all about success and fun for your child, while at the same time providing them with some soccer skills and outdoor exercise. 

VIP Soccer is meant to be a very positive experience for the VIP Soccer Players, and our VIP Coaches will ensure that each VIP Player will have lots of touches on the ball and lots of goals scored, for maximum enjoyment of the sport.  We don’t keep score, but we do keep things upbeat and exciting.  Loud cheering from parents and families are welcome and encouraged!!  For parents and caregivers who may have thought they would never see their children playing a sport and belonging to a team, VIP Soccer renews hope and brings them joy. 


VIP Soccer Team Players may include, but are not limited to, those who may be: 

  • Autistic 

  • Down Syndrome 

  • Cerebral Palsy 

  • Mentally or emotionally challenged 

  • Deaf or hearing impaired 

  • Blind or visually impaired 

  • Amputees or conditions that impair mobility 


Friends/classmates/siblings are very welcome and can, of course, be on the same team as your child – just let us know once registered so we can be sure to put them together.  

Our goals for every participating VIP Player are to: 

  • Have fun playing soccer 

  • Meet and be comfortable with new people 

  • Learn teamwork and fair play 

  • Understand soccer fundamentals 

  • Become more physically fit 

  • Increase positive self-esteem 

VIP Coaches
 – Our volunteer VIP Coaches are enthusiastic, energetic and experienced working with special needs players.  Every season they truly develop an amazing connection with them.   Our VIP Coaches are very motivated to make every Saturday a special soccer day for your child.   

VIP Buddies – Typically, young volunteers, aged 11 and up, with positive attitudes who are there to assist and make friends with your VIP child on the field and give you the opportunity to be a cheering parent on the sidelines.  Of course, if your child needs you on the field, then always please feel free to do so…  our program is about success and fun and is not meant to be stressful. VIP Buddies will run (or walk or jog) with our VIP Players on the field to assist them with receiving the ball, moving it down the field, and ultimately kicking it into the goal.  

Note:  We always need new VIP Buddies to assist with our VIP Soccer Players every season.    If any VIP Families have tween or teen siblings that need volunteer hours for school, church or temple, please contact us!   Also, this is a fantastic, rewarding way for middle and high school students to fulfill their community service requirements.   We are also happy to provide college entrance recommendation letters if requested. 


Registration for the VIP Fall Soccer Season usually opens in May/June and remains open throughout the fall season.  There is no waitlist.  Sign up and register on our website – - at your earliest convenience and your child will be placed on a team.  You can register your child until the season ends in November. 

All VIP Soccer games are held at Balboa Park in Encino, usually commencing the first Saturday in September, and running through November.  Warm-up/transition to the park begins at 9:30 a.m., with the VIP Soccer games starting at 10:00 a.m. and lasting one hour.  Our VIP Players thrive on consistency, so your team will play on the same field every week and at the same time.   

Teams are balanced by ability and size.  There is no upper age limit for VIP Players.  In our current 2021 Fall Season, we have 80+ VIP players, divided into 5 teams:  two teams comprised of older teenagers and young adults, and three teams comprised of younger kids up through mid-teens.  All teams are co-ed with girls and boys playing together.   

VIP Teams typically play against regular (“core”) AYSO teams every Saturday throughout the AYSO fall soccer season.  This benefits our core players by teaching them empathy and understanding, and at the same time gives our VIP Players a challenge – it’s a win/win for both teams!   


Become Part of our Exciting VIP Soccer Team 

If want to register your VIP child, or volunteer as a coach or a VIP “Buddy,” we would love to have you join us!  Again, for more information about our Balboa Park, Encino, AYSO VIP Program, please contact Karen Henderson, Regional VIP Director, via e-mail at [email protected] or at (818) 667-6722 (cell). 




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AYSO Region 33 Encino (Balboa Park)

P. O. Box 17628 
Encino, California 91316

Email Us: [email protected]
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