At least 300 volunteers needed to coach AYSO soccer leagues

Soccer is a stress-reliever for many but it's only causing stress for parents this year at AYSO Region 359 in northwest Bakersfield.


"The season was going to start this weekend but we had no idea who our coach was, when practices were starting, when, where and how," Jonathan Hartley said.


Hartley and his wife paid $100 dollars to sign their daughter up for soccer but after AYSO board members announced their 300 team league was short on coaches and referees, they asked for a refund.


"We originally called to get a refund but then we decided, why not just coach?" he said. "I finished my classes last night just before I started my first practice."


According to regional volunteers, this problem has been ongoing for years.


"It seems like getting volunteers is harder and harder but it has always been an issue," Dan Nelson, a former board member, said.


Some parents took to Facebook asking for refunds and information on who their coach is for the season.


"Most of the regions have their refund policy printed out on the forms when they signed up and so often there can be no refund because they have to prepay for uniforms and bills," Nelson said.


"If you've got free time, come coach. We need it," Hartley said.


AYSO members said there is no experience required to coach a team and offer free courses and pre-planned training sessions to those interested.


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