Participation in highschool soccer in California declines

For the sixth consecutive season, 11-man participation ranges for highschool soccer in California have declined, based on the annual CIF participation survey.

There was no survey completed in 2020-21 due to the pandemic. For 2021-22, 84,626 performed soccer, down from 89,756 in 2019-20 and down from 91,305 in 2018-19. There was a decline each season since 2015. The pandemic additionally prompted the lack of gamers via the absence of lower-level packages.

Although participation numbers for soccer have been falling, there are indicators of a possible reversal. Simi Valley coach Jim Benkert stated he has 60 freshmen out for soccer, up from 30 final season. Loyola has greater than 100 freshmen out for soccer. Oaks Christian has 47 gamers out for freshman-sophomore soccer, up from 28 final season.

“It’s turned,” Benkert stated of participation ranges.

Oaks Christian coach Charlie Collins stated he believes the decline may be traced to the expansion of soccer and the way soccer packages are run with a decline in high quality coaches. Benkert stated the expansion of lacrosse additionally has been having an affect.

Participation total within the CIF is at 763,606 college students, down 7.6% because the 2019-20 survey.

“While football numbers declined this year, as well as most other sports, we are hearing anecdotal information from member schools that participation numbers look good this fall,” stated Ron Nocetti, govt director of the CIF. “We look forward to seeing if the 2022-2023 census confirms this.”