Saugerties Soccer is an all-volunteer soccer league that was started in 1972 by Oscar Benzenhoeffer. In 1987, they joined the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and have adopted AYSO's core guiding principles as its driving philosophy: Everyone Plays, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, Good Sportsmanship and Player Development. AYSO is the largest single-entity youth soccer association in the U.S. with over 600,000 registered players and 225,000 volunteers. Saugerties Soccer, AYSO region 595 is part of Area L, within Section 3 of the AYSO national structure. For the Fall soccer season, there have been up to 840 players, ages 4-18, playing on 11 different fields. A Spring soccer program has been added and currently has 250 players. There is also an annual week long Soccer Summer Camp.
In 2010, we proudly implemented the AYSO Very Important Players (VIP) Program here in Saugerties, which provides a quality soccer experience for children whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult to successfully participate on mainstream teams. We recognize that all children need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. The VIP Program offers that acceptance and carries our philosophy of "Everyone Plays" to new heights - giving everyone a chance to play. VIP helps more than just the players. "Buddies" (able-bodied helpers) 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, VIP 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. E-mail