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Let the Games Begin! That's the traditional phrase that has proclaimed the start of the AYSO National Games since its first venue in Irvine, Calif., in 1988. Those words will start off a week-long celebration that brings together AYSO players, volunteers and parents from across our country. The genesis of the National Games is typically AYSO. It started with a good idea and volunteer power pulled it off!

The Games were the brainchild of Mike Michalski, then Area 1B Director from West Hills, Calif. Michalski had been putting on successful tournaments for California players, coaches, and referees for years. He wanted to share the good times and fun with more players and volunteers. And so he made a proposal that paved the way for the National Games. He gathered together some diligent, dedicated and daring men and women from the volunteer corps and the National Office – a few of them are still involved in AYSO– who would, in the AYSO spirit and tradition, make it happen.

The opening ceremony, the soccerfest, the sportsmanship medals – they were all there in 1988. Over the years traditions have been added as each venue wove a bit of its own spirit into the fabric. The National Games is everything AYSO: they reflect the excellence, tradition and spirit of our players, volunteers, spectators and philosophies. Let the Games continue!

A Chronology of the AYSO National Games

Year   Venue   Venue Chairperson    
1988   Irvine, CA   Mike Michalski   Founder & Chairperson
1989   Irvine, CA   Mike Michalski   Founder & Chairperson
1990   Torrance, CA   Mike Michalski   Founder & Chairperson
1992   Torrance, CA   Mike Michalski   Founder & Chairperson
1994*   World Games
Irvine, CA
Kalamazoo, MI
Oahu, HI
San Jose, CA
  Frank Scotto
Gert Jensen
Sheppy Douma
Harry Lee
Gopala Krishnan
  World Games Director
Venue Chairperson(s)
1996   Kalamazoo, MI   Nancy Hinga   Venue Chairperson
1998   Ontario, CA   Jodi Gmeiner   Venue Chairperson
2000   Albuquerque, NM   Kaitlyn McCarthy   Venue Chairperson
2001   West Point, NY   Irwin Kavy   Venue Chairperson
2002   Oahu, HI   Max Sword   Venue Chairperson
2004   Lancaster, CA   Charlie Johnson   Venue Chairperson
2006   Chicago, IL   David Keller   Venue Chairperson
2008   Oahu, HI   Alan Heu
Maynard Pang
  Venue Co-Chairs
2010   Wellington, FL   Wendy Smith
Irwin Kavy
  Venue Co-Chairs
2012   Knoxville, TN   Dianne Stratton   Venue Chairperson

*World Games