School Vs. Club Sports

(Photo Source:

(Photo Source:


According to U.S. News and World Report, 55.5% of high schoolers in the United States play high school sports. From the 2009-2010 and the 2010-2011 school years, there was an estimated increase of 40,000 students playing high school sports.

The question is: when it comes to being recruited for college, which is better club or school sports teams?

It has been shown that when it comes to most sports, with the exception of football, most people who have been recruited to play a particular sport in college played club sports in high school. A survey of 21,233 college athletes was done to see how many of them played club vs high school sports. According to USA Today High School Sports, 94 percent of college soccer players played club soccer in high school, 90.5 percent of basketball players played club basketball, 91 percent of volleyball players played club volleyball, 89 percent of swimmers swam on a club team, 90.5 percent of baseball/softball players played club baseball/softball, and 88.5 percent of ice hockey players played club hockey.

It is much more likely to get recruited from playing club sports rather than school sports, again the one exception being football. Gymnastics is the twenty first most popular sport in the world, and 4.81 million gymnasts participated in gymnastics in 2017, compared to the 5.22 million athletes who participated in football in 2017, according to Statista . However, as of 2001 only 1,548 U.S. high schools offer gymnastics, according to Athletic Business, while as of the 2012-2013 school year, 14,048 high schools offer football, CNS News. This shows that although some sports are becoming more popular, schools are continuing to offer and fund the same sports and programs, causing athletes to turn to club sports.

One of the main reasons less and less schools are offering gymnastics is because of the price. According to Athletic Business, start up equipment for a high school gymnastics team can cost around $20,000, which would lose the school money even if more people participated.

There are positives and negatives for participating in club or school sports. High school sports can be fun because you get to hang out with friends from school, participate in school events, possibly get a varsity letter, and go on bus rides to and from games with your teammates. There are also some negatives which include shorter practices, so you may not get to improve as much as you’d like to, and not meeting new people that don’t already go to your school.

When compared to club sports, it is the opposite because you get to meet new people, practice longer, have a better chance of getting recruited for college sports, and normally have a longer season. Although you won’t get to spend time with your school friends, go on bus rides to and from games, or be involved in a school activity.

When deciding between participating in club or school sports, it all depends on what sport you play, how committed you are, who you want to play the sport with, how long you want your season to be, and if you plan on continuing the sport through college or after high school. For each person the answer will be different, but for some the answer is to participate in both club and school sports, so you can get the benefits for both.