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TOPSoccer BuddysPrintable


What Is a TOPSoccer Buddy?

TOPSoccer Buddies are invaluable volunteers who participate directly with individual players or within a team with several players to enable participation in a soccer activity. The TOPSoccer buddy is not a player and does not score goals. They help the TOPSoccer player succeed and keep them as safe as possible. TOPSoccer Buddies can be an adult or a teenager who is at least twelve (12) years of age. They can be a soccer player, someone who works with special needs children or someone who has no soccer experience, but a strong desire to enable children to have fun. Some examples of the role of the buddy are:

The role of the buddy may include but not be limited to:

  • Enables player to participate/play
  • Assists/Creates/Directs/Guides/Teaches in a FUN but learning environment
  • Continuously monitor/assess the player
  • Role varies widely depending upon needs of the player
  • Role varies widely depending upon needs of the player

Physical needs:

  • Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
  • Create opportunities for play
  • Provide assistance as needed
  • Assist player to get into position to play

Cognitive needs:

  • Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
  • Provide instruction directly during play
  • Model desired skill
  • Help to define the space and “strategies”

Behavioral needs:

  • Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
  • Provide 1:1 assistance to model desired behaviors
  • Assist player to focus on the activity
  • Use a quiet “time out” as needed without being negative

Sensory needs:

  • Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
  • Provide stability in an often chaotic environment
  • Guide and direct, often not touching player directly, but being near-by
  • Create space around the player
  • Create space around the player Allow for quiet time

Hearing needs:

  • Create safe playing situations by creating safety zones around the player
  • Show activity and environment
  • Ensure player understands instructions
  • Use touch/sign language/pictures to direct and guide
  • Direct the ball to the player for touches and contact


Buddy Guidelines/Rules

The purpose of the TOPSoccer Buddies is to assist the players, not participate as players themselves

  • Can stop a ball from going out of bounds
  • Can shield around their player
  • Can guide their player to the ball
  • Can position the ball for the player
  • Cannot shoot on goal


Buddy Education

  • Coach/administrator trains buddy prior to activity
  • The coach should talk to the buddies before and after every session


Buddy Recruitment

  • Ask Everyone
  • Urge potential buddies to attend a session to “check it out”
  • State, Club and TOPSoccer program web sites
  • State Association/State Office personnel
  • Local Soccer Club
  • Soccer Teams- club recreational, competitive, ODP and school
  • Community College
  • Friends of current buddies
  • Community Service Programs
  • Volunteer Fairs
  • Indoor Soccer Centers
  • Siblings of Players
  • High Schools – Many schools require 8 hrs of community service for Seniors to graduate
  • High School Service Clubs
  • Local Youth Groups – Church groups, Scouts


Buddy Retention

  • Buddies must feel what they are doing is helpful and important.
  • Recognize accomplishments.
  • Be flexible
  • Allow to attend at their convenience
  • Give buddies awards, certificates, recognition, etc. for participating
  • Thank buddies, (coaches, parents and players, too) at end of each session


How to Register as a TOPSoccer Buddy

To Register as a Volunteer as a TOPSoccer Buddy for a TOPSoccer Program within District IV, please click on the following link and register on the Washington Youth Soccer Korrio Registration website (look for the applicable Kitsap link for the program you are interested in participating with (i.e. - Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Port Orchard) and then click on the Programs Tab to Register:Going


Buddy of The Year Nominations

Nominations of individuals for the Washington Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year may be made by Member Associations, Districts, members of the Washington Youth Soccer Board of Directors. The nominating portfolios are to be sent to the Washington Youth Soccer office c/o the TOPSoccer Buddy Nominee.