Among the young generation of the United States, soccer has gained popularity despite having European origins and traditions. The estimated number of youth players presently in the United States is 3.9 million. This is a record-high number when compared to other countries of the world.
In this article, we take a closer look at when the high school soccer season usually starts. Since the weather is a huge determinant of high school soccer, we’ll also look at the soccer season that’s the most exciting.
When does high school soccer season start?
There is no one-size-fits-all timing when it comes to scheduling high school soccer season. This is because, as we all know, the US has different weather zones across its hemispheres.
The scheduling is decided upon after analyzing crucial factors. A good example of these factors are:
- Traditions derived from history
- Weather conditions ( Southern states show more leniency in this regard)
- How popular the sport is among youths
- Sporting facilities and the balanced use of it
Each high school athletics association is responsible for organizing and determining the schedules of its high school soccer season.
As a result of this, while most of the states in the US have their high school soccer season during the fall, there are certain states whose athletic associations have deemed it best to deviate from holding their high school soccer season during the fall season.
When Does High School Soccer Season Start and end?
The start of the soccer season for the majority of high schools in the states is in the fall. Exceptions are seen in three states— California, Texas, and Florida. The season begins at the beginning of the school year and lasts into November where it ends.
The state high school athletics associations are in charge of organizing and scheduling competitions. A typical school year of high school is divided into three periods:
- Fall soccer season: From late August or early September to November.
- Winter soccer season: From November to February
- Spring soccer season: From early March to late May or early June (also the end of the school year)
Fall soccer season
This is usually the period when school resumes. This soccer season is used by a majority of states in the US. The boys’ high school soccer tournament is known to be held within the fall schedule. Sometimes, the girls’ high school soccer season is moved to spring.
The fall high school soccer season lasts until November. In 2021, due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the season started late and the end schedules were adjusted. This was done for both the boys’ and girls’ high school soccer.
Winter soccer season
Soccer season in the winter or spring isn’t strange in the least. Placing soccer on the winter schedule is something most commonly done by some southern states. The reason behind this can be ascribed to the different climates of the northern and western states of the US.
For some southern states, however, the intense temperature and humidity can be detrimental to the players since soccer is a rigorous exercise. Heat-related illnesses caused by overheating and dehydration can occur.
A study of the climate within athletics in 2018 provides evidence to support increased understanding and targeted improvements to the High School athletics program. Creating a climate—specifically weather conditions in this context—within athletics that promotes positive youth development, and the health and safety of High School students is the goal.
The heat index is noted to determine if it’s safe to play or not. A heat index above 32 degrees Celsius increases the risk of heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Above 40 degrees signifies danger – extreme heat and air quality have a relationship.
For Florida, according to the stipulation of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), November is when the regular high school soccer season starts. Boys and girls soccer schedules are included in this time frame.
In Florida, the regular season ends in March. Starting in November, it usually lasts for 118 days (3 months, 26 days). This depends on when the district tournament starts, which is often scheduled after the regular season.
Another state exempted from the regular season is Texas. Unlike what’s obtainable in Florida, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) – the governing body that creates rules for athletic competition in Texas stipulates that Texas’s high school soccer schedule is to start in early January.
In Texas, the state Finals are usually held in April. The soccer season ends after that. The high school soccer season has a duration of about 106 days (3 months, 16 days). It noticeably begins within winter and ends at the start of spring.
The winter season is when the soccer games are scheduled by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). It starts in late November or early December. This applies to both North and South California.
In California, the CIF stipulates that the high school soccer season runs and ends in mid-March. This ensures the winter season school year falls within the 4 months of high school soccer season.
Spring soccer season
Although not a popular soccer season in high school soccer, it also offers almost 4 months of soccer season experience to players and high school soccer enthusiasts.
The season mostly features the girl’s high school soccer tournament. Unlike the fall soccer season, this period falls around the end of the school year.
The start of a new soccer season is an exciting time for prospective players, team players, coaches, parents, and high school soccer fans, all over the US. It is an opportunity for champions to retain their titles, teams to dethrone champions, new soccer stars to be created, etc.
By mid-season, fans’ alliances are consolidated, shaky, or just outright destroyed. The soccer season helps to build the total well-being of players.
High School Soccer Season is celebrated by many people, across different age groups, for any or all of these reasons:
- Players enjoy media attention, individual awards and honors, and the exhilarating feeling of playing before family, school, community, and an excited crowd.
- College recommendations often come through the reputation of the high school community.
- Emotional connection is built among the community because soccer is a peer and community activity.
- The camaraderie is at its highest within friends and family environments.
- A lifetime’s worth of experiences and values are built.
- Leadership is woven into the seam of better players who have greater roles and more playing time on their team.
- Behavioral and academic accountability are developed even off the field especially as the former is an eligibility standard that equips the player for college.
- Player development in terms of physical, mental, and emotional aspects is built over the 10-14 weeks of the high school season.
- It allows foreign exchange students who don’t have organized high school sports in their countries the chance to experience the exhilarating American high school experience and opportunities.
A Player of the Year award is put in place to honor players at the end of the season. Among other things, this serves as motivation to participating players, coaches, and parents to give their best during the high school soccer season.
A notable example of a high school player who became notably recognized is Abby Wambach. She won the US Soccer Athlete of the Year up to six times and later went on to win Olympic gold, twice.
How Long is a Soccer Season in High School?
It’s about four months long. A high school soccer season normally runs within the four months of a particular season of the year. For most states, this will be during the fall season.
Because of the summer holidays, high school soccer seasons in the spring run for a shorter time. Spring high school soccer is uncommon in boys’ high school soccer season. This is more common in the girls’ high school soccer season.
The school year, divided into 3 parts, directly affects the fixed length of American high school seasons. An instance can be seen in three different states:
- In Florida – 3 months, 26 days (118 days)
- In California – late November/early December to mid-March
- In Texas – 3 months, 16 days (106 days)
Soccer is the most popular sport among the youths of America. There are so many exciting facets to it including community camaraderie and the opportunities it opens up for the players.
High School Soccer Season is traditionally scheduled for the fall season and lasts until November. However, there are exceptions like the states of California, Texas, and Florida. Girls’ High School Soccer often takes place in the spring. The duration of the season is for nearly 4 months.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!