The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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Which is better: Club vs. school sports

WSPNs+Alex+Evangelista+walks+through+the+differences+between+playing+club+sports+versus+school+sports.
Credit: Sasha Libenzon
WSPN’s Alex Evangelista walks through the differences between playing club sports versus school sports.

57.4% of high school students play one or more sports. Some of these students choose to play for club teams, some play on their high school teams and some choose to play for both teams. This raises the question, what are the differences between club sports and school sports?

If a student’s goal is to play a sport at the college level, club athletics can sometimes be the best option. In a survey of 21,233 college athletes, the student athletes reported that club sports greatly improved their chances of being recruited due to greater exposure to college coaches.

“I have definitely seen scouts at my Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) [club] basketball games,” freshman Josh Grossman said. “I think it’s definitely easier to get recruited for [college athletics by] playing in the AAU, because I’m going up against some of the top players for my grade in the state. In high school basketball, there are varying levels of skill.”

For college basketball players specifically, 92% of women and 89% of men played club basketball in high school. These statistics don’t only hold true for basketball, they are similar for some other sports as well, including women’s volleyball, ice hockey, swimming, baseball and softball. However, this is not the case for all sports. For football, only 24% of college football players said they played club football in high school. Additionally, for track, only 31% of men and 32% of women who now run collegiately also ran for a club in high school.

So, why doesn’t everyone play club sports if the statistics show that it can boost a student’s chances of being recruited to play the sport at a college level?

One of the reasons could be the significant difference between the cost of club sports versus high school sports. Parents of kids who play or have played club sports pay anywhere from $100 to $500 a month and 20% of those surveyed said they paid over $1000 a month to the “highly competitive or elite club teams run by a non-school organization.” This can add up to a few thousand dollars every year for club sports. In contrast, high school sports fees are usually far cheaper.

At Wayland High School, the athletic fee for a single sport is around $300 for an entire three-month season. Based on the cost alone, sticking to high school sports seems to be an economically smarter decision compared to joining a club sport.

Another key difference between club sports and school sports is time commitment. Club sports take very little time off, usually only stopping for a total of a few weeks during the year for holidays. A longer time commitment could be beneficial for some athletes to allow them to continue to improve, however, for multi-sport athletes or athletes who are just playing for fun, this can be unrealistic and tiring. For multi-sport athletes, playing a club sport could leave them with no time to play school sports or they could be forced to partake in multiple sports practices a day.

On the other hand, playing school sports is less of a time commitment because each season lasts around three months as opposed to all year. This leaves the remaining nine months fore athletes to participate in other sports, partake in different activities or relax and have some extra free time.

“The main reason I enjoy school lacrosse more than club is the sense of community,” sophomore Elliot Koopersmith said. “It’s a more comfortable environment when [I am] surrounded by [my school] friends.”

This brings up the question of ultimately whether students should play club sports or high school sports. Well, it really depends on what the student want to get out of the sport.

“One of the main reasons I play club volleyball is to get recruited [for college],” sophomore Finn Bell said. “The other reason is traveling with my team to other places.”

Both options are different, but can be the right decision for some people. It’s important to consider the benefits and disadvantages to each so that students can make the most informed decision.

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About the Contributors
Alex Evangelista, Staff Reporter
Alex Evangelista, class of 2026, is a first year reporter for WSPN. He plays football and basketball for WHS. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with friends and listening to music. Contact: [email protected]  
Sasha Libenzon, Co-Multimedia Editor
Sasha Libenzon, Class of 2025, is a third year reporter and second year co-multimedia editor for WSPN. She runs and nordic skis for WHS. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, downhill skiing and spending time with family and friends. Contact: [email protected]
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