High school districts throughout the country are free to set soccer season at their discretion, typically in line with state high school athletic associations. Traditionally, though, soccer is a fall sport for both boys and girls, although certain states move girls’ soccer to spring. And in California, schools may hold both boys' and girls' soccer in the spring.
Typical Sports Calendar
High schools typically place soccer as part of a fall menu of sports including football, cross-country and volleyball. Winter sports include basketball. Spring brings baseball, softball, tennis, track and lacrosse. You'll find exeptions though in the Sun Belt states. For example, in Arizona and Florida, boys' and girls' soccer is in the winter. This allows boys to play soccer after the fall football season, and girls to play after the fall volleyball season.
Ramifications for Star Players
For schools with fall soccer programs and the nation’s top high school players, a 2012 change by U.S. Soccer created consternation. The U.S. Soccer Federation runs development academies that train especially gifted players for potential spots on the U.S. national men’s team. The academies’ move to a 10-month schedule took the nation’s elite players away from their high school teams in the fall. The move prompted complaints from players and their families who enjoyed playing for teams strongly tied to their communities.
- Michigan High School Athletic Association: 2013 Fall Season;2013 Spring Season
- California High School: Soccer-Men's
- Colorado High School Activities Association: Spring Sports | Girls Soccer
- National Federation of State High School Associations: NFHS Opposes U.S. Soccer’s New 10-Month Season
- The New York Times: High School Players Forced to Choose in Soccer’s New Way
- Florida High School Athletic Association: 2013-14 FHSAA Boys Soccer Championships
- East Valley Tribune: Schools, Coaches Frustrated While Soccer Conundrum Continues
- Arizona Interscholastic Association: AIA Quick Glance Calendar