High School Soccer- Yes or No? Part II

Almost exactly two years ago I wrote the post High School Soccer- Yes or No and it’s been one of my most popular posts.  At the time of writing the article BSG was in eighth grade and just starting to look into High School soccer.  Two years later she’s played two seasons and most of the things that we expected have held true.  

BSG’s High School has a strong girls soccer program with mostly all club girls and all club coaches.  I know that this might not be the norm for many high schools, so our experience could be a bit different.  The program is organized and well run with weekly emails sent to parents with scheduling information.  There are three levels of play- Frosh/Soph, JV and Varsity and each team has at least 20 girls.

Next year will be a big change for the girls High School programs in many areas due to the advent of the US Development Academy for Girls restriction on High School play.  You can read about the Development Academy in these articles: US Soccer Development Academy for Girls, Development Academy for Girls, Academy Update, and Timing is Everything.  Officially girls are allowed to still play High School, but there is no High School break in Academy play so girls would be in jeopardy of losing their spots. (CIF rules don’t allow girls or boys to play club and high school at the same time- most leagues take a high school break, but the DA doesn’t)  I don’t think that will be a common practice except for possibly some of the very top players, or players who are have already committed to play in college and want to enjoy the High School experience.  

Here’s what I’ve seen and heard as the pros and cons of High School soccer. Not all have applied to my girl, but many have.


  • Social interaction (finding your “place” at a big school, team dinners, riding the bus, hanging with friends etc)
  • Break from club soccer (not as stressful, limited weekend games)
  • Being cheered on by other students (how often do friends come to a club game??)
  • Being recognized in the local paper and at school
  • Representing your school and playing against girls that you know from club


  • Increased opportunity for injury (daily practices, multiple games, substandard fields, lower level of play)
  • Time away from homework/studies (later games and taking the bus can make for some very long days)
  • Fragments the club season
  • Different style of coaching/play
  • Possible politics with club coaches
  • Disorganized programs with limited communication 

I think the key words in all of this are “enjoy” and “fun.” If your kid isn’t necessarily super serious about soccer (and injuries or not they won’t be playing at Stanford), high school sports in general are great way to make friends, support your school and stay in shape.  

Overall it’s been a positive experience for BSG and a part of her social life at school.  That being said, she’s considering not playing at school next year in order to make more room in her schedule for a class she wants to take.  It’s all about choices, right?  LSG is now in 8th grade and faced with her own choices.  I’ll keep you posted what they decide to do…

What has been your experience with High School soccer?

4 thoughts on “High School Soccer- Yes or No? Part II

  1. High School soccer has been “interesting”.

    My soccer kid is the same age as your BSG so she’s on her second year of high school soccer. Last year she was the star of the JV team and had a ton of fun. She loved playing for her school and especially enjoyed playing with school friends who she’d never played with in club. It was also a huge confidence booster to her to be one of the youngest on the team but the strongest competitively. She also was given the chance to play a position (center mid) that she’d rarely played before. Once the season was over she returned to club even stronger than she left.

    This year was a different story. She was moved up to Varsity where again she is one of the youngest players, but she spends a lot more time on the bench and the coach definitely favors his own club players. Dd is still enjoying socializing with the girls, but didn’t enjoy it quite as much this year and is on the fence about whether she wants to play again next year. While the team has done very well (winning their league and they play in the CIF Quarterfinals tomorrow) a lot of girls are not happy and are threatening to not return next year because of issues with the coach. So I guess we’ll see what happens.

    We’re in a slightly unique situation in that dd plays for a club where the players are spread out amongst 7 different high schools, covering 5 different leagues, 2 different CIF sections, and covering a 60 mile radius. It’s interesting to see the differences in how the school teams are run. Some of our starters are on Varsity but some only made JV and a couple made Frosh (as freshman). Some of our bench players are stars of their high school team, but then some of the stronger club players are just bench players in high school. Having seen most of the teams play I can say that some of the high school teams are equivalent to to a club team but others are really no better than AYSO–interestingly almost all of the teams have club coaches at the Varsity level but that doesn’t mean they aren’t teaching a whole lot of kickball!

    1. Hi Shannon- Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I agree- the situations are very different across multiple schools and it’s very interesting to see who is a “star” on their team and who isn’t. Just like club, I guess different coaches see/like/want different things. Good luck in the quarterfinals!!!

  2. We are in Nor Cal, my daughter is also in 10th grade but this was her first year playing HS soccer (she transferred to a big public school from a small private one without sports teams.) The highlight for sure was social. Making friends in different grades that she wouldn’t likely have met in her classes. Having the boys come out and cheer for them, and watching the boys games (tomorrow they scrimmage the boys – not sure how that will go!)
    There are many good club coaches who coach HS in our area – sadly we did not have one of those. He is a nice guy but a very old school “boot ball” coach. No passes back to the GK, she can only punt it, no passing in the back, just “clear it”. The better club players get super frustrated (I had a few girls in the car one day saying how they want to rebel and play possession soccer.) He thinks he is a great coach because he has had very successful teams due to the players he gets – some who went on to play at Stanford, Cal, other high level D1s. And the way he tells them to play, if you have one really fast girl up top, you will score.
    But I asked my daughter yesterday if she remembered how to receive a pass, because I don’t think she’s gotten one at her feet all season! Her trapping and heading balls in the air has probably improved though.

    1. It’s always fun to have the boys come out and cheer!! 🙂 Glad she had fun, but she must be looking forward to getting back to her club team and connecting some passes. Thanks so much for reading and commenting

Comments are closed.