DISABILITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
The World Amputee Football Federation was formed at a World Congress in Brazil in 2005. Today, the Federation has more than 30 national associations from five continents. The games are typically 6v6 plus a goalkeeper. Players move around the field using standard crutches and are not allowed to use prosthetic limbs. The U.S. Amputee Soccer Association promotes and develops the sport from grassroots programming all the way to the U.S. Amputee Soccer Team which competes in international competition. The U.S. Amputee Soccer Team qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2014 and fell in the Round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.
AYSO EPIC (Everyone Plays In our Community) provides a fun and safe environment that celebrates the capabilities of players with intellectual or physical challenges. With 120 locations throughout the country supporting over 3,500 players the overall vision of AYSO EPIC is to create teams in every region to create opportunities for team participation. (Previously known as the AYSO VIP program.)
Blind soccer is an adaptation of soccer for athletes with visual impairments including blindness. The sport, governed by the International Football Sports Federation (IBSA), is played with modified FIFA rules. The field of play is smaller than the typical soccer field, is surrounded by boards and the ball is equipped with a noise making device. Teams are permitted to use goalkeepers who are sighted. The sport was added to the Paralympics in 2004.
CP Soccer provides opportunity for athletes affected by Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury or stroke to train and play from the grassroots level. The organization’s imprint has created a strong player pathway to the full U.S. Men’s and Women’s CP National Teams. CP Soccer’s mission is to provide access to athletes by creating a nationwide soccer league. Currently, they are hosting camps throughout the country along with in-person and virtual training sessions.
Deaf Soccer is an adaptation of soccer for athletes that have a hearing loss of at least 55DB in their “better ear.” Players can not wear any hearing devices or cochlear implants during competitions. All international competitions abide by FIFA’s 11v11 rules with the only exception that center officials use a flag (visual) instead of a whistle (audible). The USA Deaf Soccer Association’s ongoing vision is to create grassroot player pathways to the U.S Soccer Extended National Teams along with youth camps across the country.
Down Syndrome Soccer
Down Syndrome Sports of America is an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of athletes with Down Syndrome with developmental and competitive opportunities. Down Syndrome Soccer plays both Futsal and soccer. The organization provides a pathway to aspiring athletes to be a part of national programming and has worked hard to secure sponsorships, recruit coaches, and provide technical opportunities for players.
Dwarf Soccer is for athletes of short stature. The Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA) is the American organization heading up participation and registration at the grassroots level. They have open registration to all athletes of all skill levels. The DAAA organizes recreational, developmental, and elite-level events and competitions. The U.S. Deaf Futbol Association was introduced in 2022, and under their leadership has been working on establishing men’s and women’s national programs for competitive players to compete in sanctioned international competitions. The World Dwarf Games occurs every four years and is the highest-level competition for the sport.
Power Soccer is the first competitive team sport that was developed specifically for power wheelchair users. Players use their wheelchairs to move around the court and move the ball when passing, to tackle another player and to score goals. The games are played indoors on regulation-size basketball courts, with a ball that is slightly larger than a regulation-sized soccer ball. Players who are power chair users could have a variety of conditions, including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Arthrogryposis, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Cerebral Palsy.
U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer
TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a recreational sports program offered to children and adults with intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities. TOPSoccer is offered by local U.S. Youth Soccer affiliated soccer clubs, with a focus on safety, fun, and participation.