Indoors or out, the game can be much faster and more competitive than you might imagine. It's the fastest one-legged game in the world.
The American Amputee Soccer Association is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, and is the governing body for Amputee Soccer in the United States. The Association is solely responsible for training and fielding a team to represent the United States in International play.
The Association is a full voting member of the World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) and of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and are subject to their rules and regulations for the game.
AASA has two primary missions:
To promote social interactivity, self-esteem and self-confidence among adult men and women, and especially among veterans, new and youthful amputees through recreational and competitive amputee soccer programs, and
2: To identify, develop, and train athletes to represent the United States in elite International amputee soccer competition, and in Paralympic competition when the sport achieves that status.
The Association is managed by Board of Directors drawn from both veteran players and from the corporte world. All are volunteers. None receive compensation for serving.
The American Amputee Soccer Association receives no funding from any government agency or national disability sports organization and is funded entirely by private donations.
|Our Board Members:
Rick Hofmann, Wilmington, Delaware
Carl Calabria, Cambridge, MA
Dan Broome, Yorba Linda, CA
Dr. Eric Lamberg, Commack, NY
Ignacio Medrano, Sun Valley, CA
Don Bennett invented amputee soccer 'by accident' in 1980.
How It All Started
The game was invented here in the United States. It's now played in more than 30 countries around the world and presents its own World Cup Tournament. Twelve elite teams will compete in Russia this Fall to become recognized as the best amputee soccer team in the world.
Myth and Legend says that back in the old days, circa 1980, an amputee
named Don Bennett was watching his son practice basketball at his home in Seattle,
Sometimes the ball would escape and roll towards him. Don simply raised up on his crutches and kicked the ball back. He said it dawned on him that if he could kick a basketball on crutches he could kick a soccer ball on crutches.
It was a deceptively simple beginning to what's become a world-wide recreational and competitive sport.
As you might expect, the game caught on in Europe pretty quickly. The game spread primarily where soccer - football to them - is a national priority.
But it seemed to languish in the US where soccer doesn't yet have quite the same passionate following as in other parts of the world.
American teams were located primarily in the Seattle, Los Angeles and Philadelphia areas, with the All-Stars representing the US in international competitions, including five World Cups.
Since the American game doesn't have the benefit of disability organization or government agency support - as many of our European and African friends do - team members paid their way to the competitions out of their own back pockets.
US National Team members spent three days at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recently teaching our wounded veterans how to play soccer on crutches. See the full story and watch video here.
The joy of a score is the same - one-legged or two. Photo © Randy Tutterrow.
Supporting veterans, Spreading the word
Veterans have been active members of the US National Team, and also serve on our Board. So working with vets is an integral part of Association priorities.
We're working with military and children's hospitals and are conducting workshops and demonstrations across the country.
We're spreading the word to let those in an "alternative configuration" know this is a real sport they can play in with minimal expense or previous experience. And they can play with others just like themselves at whatever level they can aspire to.
And while our primary focus is helping establish local recreational programs and on helping form teams and leagues throughout the US, we're also very much involved in international play.
Ed Rosenthal, Seattle, WA
Team USA is 2-0 in recent international play and is currently enghaged in a fund raising effortright now to help prepare and send the US team to the Amutee Soccer World Cup in Mexico, November, 2014.
But whether the game is played for fun on local grass, or in the intense competition of televised World Cup action - there's JOY in the game.
You'll know that when you see players celebrate a score doing high-fives with forearm crutches for the first time. And the game is co-ed. And has been from the start.
So whether you're one-legged or one-armed, male or female, young or "mature," competitive or recationally inclined - we have a place for you. Come Play With US!
Play with traditionally configured players is allowed and encouraged. Photo © Carl Calabria.