In 1979, a young Craig Ludin ran onto the field of his brother’s soccer game.  He wanted to play.  He also has Downs Syndrome.  The incident sparked an idea in Mike Ludin, Craig’s dad and a coach in that game.  Last Sunday, 35 years later, Mike’s idea was on full display as over 100 special needs children celebrated yet another successful season of the LIJSL’s TOPSoccer Program at their annual Fall Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Huntington Hotel in Melville.

After that day in 1979, Mike spoke with his wife, then with officials from his club, HBC, and then with Long Island Junior Soccer League president Peter Collins, and soon the first formal soccer league for special children was established.  Decades later, 30 LIJSL clubs now sponsor TOPSoccer teams, allowing children with physical limitations, motor dysfunctions, and learning disabilities to play. They came together on Sunday to receive trophies, and goodie bags, to take pictures, share lunch, ice cream, and in general, celebrate! 


The Special Children’s Soccer Program of the Long Island Junior Soccer League is for those children with mental and/or physical handicap conditions. This program was initiated to accommodate those children who are not able to participate in a regular or mainstream soccer activity. It provides an opportunity for that child who deviates from the average or normal child in mental, physical or social characteristics to such an extent that he or she requires modified educational practices and services in order to develop to his or her maximum capacity

HBC Special Soccer affiliated with the Special Olympics . Call Mike Ludin at 631-421-9344  


The HBC Soccer Club is very supportive of the Special Needs Soccer Program. Members of our club, including several past as well as the current HBC President, have been involved with this group for many years. Among other things, we provide space at our soccer facility where our participants can play along side our other HBC teams. While this program is not a direct part of our organization, we will be happy to provide you with contact information if you know of someone who may wish to take part in this activity.

Please contact directly...MIKE LUDIN@  631-421-9344  and he will be glad to be of assistance.



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