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AYSO Region 153 Tucson, Arizona


Blowouts are a failure of 
coaches to collaborate and manage the game.  

Referee's role is to inquire about the blowout plan of the coaches, 
and ensure they are implementing some form of controls.

The game can quickly become uninteresting for everyone, 
on both sides of the score, when it's a blowout.  

In AYSO, as a coach you are responsible for the positive fun experience of all the players; the opposing team, as well as your own team.  Work collaboratively with other coaches to make sure all the kids have a great time.  Don't let a blowout destroy the experiences of our players.

The game is most fun and instructive for everyone when it is a challenge.  The closer the ending score the more fun and learning experience the game.  With the right management strategies, an otherwise lopsided, boring game can be managed to be close, and without asking players to hold back.  The coach needs to keep all players engaged, and the coach of a strong team needs to raise the challenge higher for scoring a goal than just simply, scoring a goal.  Strategies for accomplishing this are offered below.

A blowout is defined as 5 goal differential.  Of course, a 4 goal differential is not great either.  Its rare for a team to come back and win from a 4 goal differential.  Some games become really difficult to manage to a closer score and requires the collaboration of both coaches and referees.  Of course, a game that might appear to be a blowout in the u8 division might not be, because the scores from both min-fields are added.  The coaches in these divisions should be conscious of the two fields, and watch for imbalance on each of the two fields. 

If you have a weaker or stronger than average team, touch base with your upcoming opposing coach before game day.  Give a heads-up so that both coaches can prepare for the possibility of dealing with the issue at the game.

Recognize the disparity early in the game if you are the strong team:  The sooner you recognize the disparity in the teams' level of play, the sooner you can start taking steps that will encourage everyone.  Start making adjustments when you are up by 3 goals, particularly if it is early in the game.  It is best if you can be subtle about controlling your score rather than having the opposing coach have to deal with the demoralizing issue that your team is holding back.  The weaker team should understand that the level of difficulty for scoring is being raised for the other team, not that they are holding back.

Be prepared:  Know what you want to do ahead of time.  It's a sinking feeling when you see yourself winning or losing a blowout and trying to figure it out on the fly.  Below are strategies.

Parents;  And don't forget to manage your parents.  When your parents see you and your opposing coach working together to balance the game, everyone is happier and has more fun.  

Referees, when you see a blowout in the making and the coaches are not actively engaged in managing the sitaution, please confer with the coaches and remind them to implement moderating strategies.

Why Aren't the Teams Balanced?  Why do blowouts occur?
The biggest problem has to do with player ratings.  Teams are balanced based on the rating of the coach of the players at the end of last season.  And next season, it is your rating of the players this season that will be used to balance the teams.  Sometimes, players change radically from one year to the next, and there's nothing we can do about that.  What you can do, the coach, is to really focus on the player rating at the end of the year, and do your best for the next year. 

What (NOT) to do:  
  • Do not tell your team you want them to stop playing so hard because the score is too high.  
  • Do not tell them to stop scoring.  This is no fun for anybody.
  • Do make your instructions discreet.  Have a code word and practice it with your team.
  • Do give them additional challenges that make it harder to score.  This keeps all the players in the game on both sides and provides an opportunity to teach additional game skills appropriate to each side.

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120 S Houghton, 138
Tucson, Arizona 85748

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