Is the acronym in "AYSO soccer" fine to use in college essays?

u know how they say not to use acronyms in college apps
if i say “AYSO soccer” is that fine?

(context: “I will continue engaging in teamwork through joining [school name]'s intramural soccer and tennis teams, where my ten years of tennis with my dad and AYSO soccer will serve me well.”)

I’m asking because if I spell out AYSO then I will exceed the word count. thanks!

Is the acronym in “AYSO soccer” fine to use in college essays?

No, it’s not. But not for the reason you think. It’s redundant. It’s like asking, “Are you going to watch the NFL football game?”

You can say AYSO. Alternatively, “club soccer” can also work.


There are certain acronyms that are widely recognized. I think AYSO is one of them.

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Why can’t you just say “youth soccer”? Same word count and it doesn’t use jargon.


It’s not club soccer, though. Subbing “Youth” for AYSO works.


Even better


Do not use an undefined acronym in a college application essay.

It is okay to use an acronym once it has been defined in the writing. For example: I play on a team sanctioned by the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO).

Once defined, then it is fine to use that particular acronym in the same writing.

P.S. “NFL football game” is not necessarily redundant as there are several professional and several amateur football leagues. Also, some refer to soccer as football so any further clarification might be helpful.

Which raises the question: Is it ever fine to use an undefined acronym in a writing. The answer is probably yes as some acronyms are more widely known than others. “NFL” is so widely known in the US that defining it is probably not necessary.

FWIW The word “football” could be redundant if one stated: “Let’s go to an NFL football game.” But neither “NFL” or “football” would be redundant in other situations. Regardless, the explanations are beginning to seem redundant.

Also, whether or not using an undefined acronym is okay may depend upon your target audience. If communicating with a group involved with youth soccer, then using AYSO without a prior explanation is probably fine.


You can tighten this sentence up a lot.

I’m just a mom, not an admissions officer, but I had never heard of AYSO until I read this thread. I would not use just “AYSO”. I think you could say “youth soccer” or spell it out, or maybe say “AYSO Soccer” because like Publisher mentioned in the NFL Football example, it’s not College Football or club Football, it’s NFL Football; likewise I think you could say AYSO Soccer. It’s acting as an adjective describing the type and level of soccer you played.

FWIW, I’m not sure there are any AYSO clubs in my area (just did a quick search), but there are youth clubs that are affiliated with United States Youth Soccer Association which says it is the largest youth affiliate and member of U.S. Soccer. In your area of the country AYSO may be more common, but it’s apparently not the biggest youth soccer organization in the country so if you are applying to any schools outside of your area it might be confusing.


Wow, I didn’t realize that. I stand corrected. AYSO may not be a well recognized acronym.

In the above sentence do you need “with my dad”? If not, that will eliminate a few words. I think writing out American Youth Soccer Organization would be distracting so maybe go with the suggested “youth soccer.”

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If you want to reduce word count, try:

“Eye will continue engaging in teamwork thru joining intramural soccer and tennis teams.”

(P.S. Spelling errors are intentional.)

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Can you use comp or club soccer instead?

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I was trying to refrain from writing something for the student. Doubt if the colleges run answers to questions (as opposed to essays) thru a plagiarism checker but it is better if the students do it themselves, no?


I’m just not a soccer mom at all. Not sure it says anything more than I am out of the loop. Other moms in my area might recognize it but I do think the teams here are more commonly associated with US Youth Soccer, I think :thinking:.

I agree with others to sub in youth for AYSO. Also, if the sentence you are proposing is in any essay that’s not a Why Us? essay you are probably off track.

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@Sweetgum asked: “”…better if students do it themselves, no ?"

Students typically need an example.

With respect to OP’s sentence contained in the original post, it needed to be revised to be presented in a more clear & concise manner. Getting caught up in a discussion of side issues will not help OP learn to express himself / herself in a clear & concise fashion.

P.S. If a plagiarism checker is of concern, I can take care of that. (See post above that concerned you.)

My vote.

I never heard the acronym AYSO until this thread. :man_shrugging:

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AYSO is the antithesis of club soccer, in my experience. I think it’s well known in California. Here in NY, we call AYSO-type soccer “rec soccer” (recreational). I ran a rec program in our town for ten years, but rec is dying in our area. Instead, we have year-round play, professional trainers, elite leagues, private coaching sessions, travel, tournaments, etc.

AYSO’s Six Philosophies:

Everyone Plays
Balanced Teams
Open Registration
Positive Coaching
Good Sportsmanship
Player Development

Our program also had reduced fees for families with financial hardship (no questions asked), a free-cycle exchange for cleats and other gear, translation for Spanish speaking parents and tech help for the online registration.

OP, if you’re applying to colleges where people might not know about AYSO, I would think about adding something that lets the reader know what kind of program it is.

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Interesting that soccer needs any modifier at all and/or without one the assumption is club. And that the distinction should matter if the student isn’t being recruited.


If it’s about teamwork and intramurals, someone from an AYSO background would have more experience with the kinds of rules and attitudes that work. (I also misread and thought the OP had volunteered with her dad for AYSO.)

I know - while not AYSO, my kid was 100% rec soccer. It is just a little sad to me that those values can’t be presumed in all kinds of kid sports.