Club Sports v. High School Sports

Gaby Heredia, Content Editor

Many factors come into play when students choose between high schools. A factor students are very familiar with is sports. There are several sports teams in high school, but there are also some well-known sports clubs or travel leagues. Student athletes mainly do one or the other, but several do both. 

Every student athlete has heard of club or travel leagues since the beginning years of the sport. These leagues can start as young as seven or eight years old and can continue throughout college. The smaller teams created within the whole club is commonly based on age and skill level.

Time is a big difference between playing a high school sport and a club sport. Travel leagues usually practice two or three days a week for at least an hour and a half, with some sort of game on the weekends.  

Money is another big factor in the decision making process. Clubs are known to be much more expensive than almost all of the high school sports teams. The Columbus Express Soccer Club can cost anywhere from $750 to $1475 per year. That is roughly $130 a month and many families might struggle to pay that. These costs include uniforms, tournaments, and games. 

On the other hand, high school sports are quite different. High school sports will most likely practice every night, with two or more games throughout the whole week. It is definitely a lot more competitive at times, even though many go throughout the season without doing a tournament. These sports teams do not get a lot of time off. Their off-season almost goes year round. There is winter conditioning with weights, summer conditioning with running and then the actual season.

With high school sports, money is not a common issue. The teams will do fundraising that generally covers all the money for each athlete. The money raised covers uniforms and any extra costs that comes with the team. 

Any extracurricular activity students join can make high school tougher for them. High school sports take up a lot of time and time management comes along with it. Doing homework on the bus home from an away game is very common, but also stressful. Athletes doing club sports have a day in between to catch up on studying or spend more time doing homework. 

Overall, travel leagues and high school sports are very different but have the same qualities in the end. Choosing what is right for the individual is what makes the athlete play to the best of their ability.