What is TOPSoccer?
The Outreach Program for Soccer- is a community based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities. The program is organized by state youth soccer association volunteers. The TOPS program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl with a mental or physical disability.                                                        
 
Here in Delaware, we are committed to providing the necessary resources to make TOPS successful in every way. Each program is different and its development is structured to the specific participants.
 If you have any questions about programs in our area please contact
John Weaver DYSA TOPSoccer Director at jrweaverlaw@verizon.net
 
TOPSoccer Programs in Delaware and Contacts
1.       Hockessin Soccer Club - John Weaver Jrweaverlaw@verizon.net
2.       M.O.T – Lisa Johanssen #302-376-8097
3.       River Soccer - Howard Gerkin Hgerkin@verizon.net
4.       CDSA - Beth Johnson bethjohnson36@comcast.net
5.       Kirkwood Soccer Club - Darek Bujak darek@kirkwoodsoccer.org
6.       Concord - John Weaver Jrweaverlaw@verizon.net
*Each club offers a fall and spring season that runs for 8 weeks. Kirkwood Soccer Club also offers a winter season that runs for 8 weeks.
TOPSoccer - Getting Started:
Identify the need in your area:
·         For what type of disabilities do you need to plan?
·         Are you able to fulfill these needs?
Check for any restrictions placed on the facility you plan to use:
·         Are they equipped to handle athletes with physical disabilities?
Check with your soccer insurance carrier:
·         Is there an extra cost to cover athletes with disabilities?
·         Are there special waivers to sign?
Contact established programs for information.
Contact your local school districts and universities.
·         Great resource for athletes and volunteers.
Create a list of people who are able to assist you.
Plan your advertisement(s):
·         For athletes
·         For parents
·         For volunteers
Creating your Program:
·         Each program is different and created around the needs of the participants. Additionally, TOPSoccer athletes are placed on teams based on ability, not age
Variety of choices:
·         Small-sided games (3 v3, 4 v 4, 8 v 8, etc.)
·         Full-sided games
·         Indoor program
·         Outdoor program
·         Length of program is determined by organizer
·         TOPSoccer programs can have very modest beginnings
·         For those athletes not able to participate due to medical reasons, design a skills program that is rewarding, challenging, and fun!
·         Above all…keep it simple…KEEP IT FUN!
Playing rules:
·         Create rules to fit specific needs
·         Use the DYSA and Us Youth Soccer Under 6, Under 8 or Under 10 rules
Placement and Registration
·         Registration forms should include a section for medical history.
·         Athletes with Down syndrome should be required to have an X-ray. If the x-ray is positive, for they safety, it should be strongly recommended that they do not take part in team play
·         Placement is made by ability, not age
Cost involved
·         Cost varies depending upon on your registration fees, insurance fees, uniform, equipment cost, and the program
·         Grants are available
·         Approach local companies or corporations for cash or in-kind donations
 
Don’t forget these special kids!!
There are thousands of young athletes with disabilities in your state looking for the opportunity to play soccer. It is up to YOU to give this chance.
DYSA TOPSoccer Director
John Weaver