Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Soccer to Host AYSO VIPs
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 29, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz. ?- On Saturday, October 7, 2006, the University of Arizona Women’s soccer team, along with head coach, Dan Tobias, and assistant coach, Harold Warren, will spend time with some “very important players.”  They will provide a 1 1/2?-hour soccer clinic from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm for VIP players from AYSO Regions 206 and 217.  These two regions combined represent the largest VIP group in the nation.  It is also the first year that the clinic will be held at Murphey Stadium.  Reserved parking will be provided for the media in the parking lot west of Murphey Stadium, which is located on the south side of East 15th Street just east of Plumer Ave.


AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) has a special soccer program called VIP (Very Important Players).  This adapted soccer program offers an alternative for players with physical and/or mental disabilities to enjoy the sport of soccer with shorter game times, modified rules and field sizes, and with the assistance of a helpful “buddy” on the field as needed.  Any player 4 years or older, regardless of disability type, is welcome to register for the AYSO VIP soccer program.  This program is appropriate for players who, because of their disabilities, cannot experience “fun, safety and success” on mainstream soccer teams.  Also, it emphasizes AYSO’s first founding philosophy ?- EVERYONE PLAYS !   In addition, it offers parents and guardians an excellent opportunity to network with other parents and guardians regarding their child’s disability and accomplishments.


During the clinic, individual groups of players will rotate through a variety of skill stations that will include dribbling, passing, throwing and scoring.  In addition, individual VIP players will be selected for various “one-on-one” drills.  The U of A team really looks forward to working with the VIP players each year.  They love to see them smile and to hear the laughter and cheering during the clinic.  At the conclusion of the clinic, the Lady Cats and their coaches will be available for individual and team photos and will autograph team posters for the players.


In attendance on behalf of the AYSO VIP program will be the 12A Area Director, Paul Falinski; Regional Commissioners, Julie Smith, Region 206, and Debbie Miner, Region 217; and Regional VIP Coordinators, Mary Fetzner-Ferber, Region 206 (NW Tucson), and Nellie Sprunt, Region 217 (SE Tucson).  The VIP programs begin in mid-September and end in mid-November.


Of the 1000 AYSO regions in the United States, nearly 200 have VIP soccer programs.  The VIP concept has been around since 1991, when a parent of a child with Down syndrome started a program in California.  AYSO has five philosophies ?- Everyone Plays, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching and Good Sportsmanship.  AYSO was started in California in 1964.



For additional AYSO VIP information, please contact the following representatives:

Margie Close                National Player Programs Administrator         800-872-2976

Paul Falinski                 12A Area Director  (Southern Arizona)           520-886-3746

Mary Fetzner-Ferber   Region 206 VIP Coordinator  (NW Tucson)    520-544-7704

Nellie Sprunt                Region 217 VIP Coordinator  (SE Tucson)      520-762-5903 


For additional U of A Women’s soccer information, please contact the following staff:

Dan Tobias              Head Coach                                520-621-8755            

Lisa Oyen                     Assistant Coach                                   520-621-6879             

Harold Warren             Assistant Coach                                   520-621-2334             

Jennifer Klein               Volunteer Assistant Coach            


Website Information:

AYSO ?- National                                                        

AYSO Area 12A                                                         

AYSO Region 206                                                      

AYSO Region 217                                                      

University of Arizona Athletics ?- Soccer              

Women's Soccer B