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Club Sports At BS

Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 620 Member
Can you all explain how club sports work at boarding schools? The unoffical clubs (not the school’s clubs). We hear that some athletes (like hockey players) play in club leagues outside of their official seasons. Who organizes this? How does your kid get involved? Who drives the kids to the practices or games? This seems to be common at some schools.

Replies to: Club Sports At BS

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,509 Senior Member
    It sounds like you think these are casual clubs of kids playing locally. Club sports for hockey, lacrosse, soccer are organized by the their leagues or by an individual who owns the club. They can play other local team or do a tournament circuit. There are even teams who have kids from all over the country fly in to play in tournaments or games. There often are no local practices at all. It just depends on the level of the club and the competition schedule they organize. But 'club' level sports are not informal.

    If there are enough kids at the BS or in the area, shared transportation can be arranged, but usually the parent is responsible for transportation.
  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 620 Member
    @twoinanddone - nothing of the kind - not sure why it came of as “casual”. I hear its intense and serious. Not being from the NE and unfamiliar with BS athletics, I just wanted to know about how the club teams worked out there. A tour guide at one school told his that he was involved in club hockey in the off-season - kids from multiple schools involved in the club. Sounds interesting and something my kid would like - this is something we didn’t know about as it seems different than the local “club” or “league” we have at home at the high school level.

    How does this work if you have another sport after school? When do you find time to do the club sport at BS?
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,240 Senior Member
    @Golfgr8 I can only speak to one sport but it depends on the sport and the school. At some schools it would be very difficult to find the time to do a club sport. But thats a separate issue. Often the coach will tell the kids/suggest a club or league and often link up parents to enable local parents to drive. Also, you can ask the coach -they often know the various clubs. Now the level depends on the sport and other variables. I know my kid could not do major travel so that limits options. Feel free to PM me.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 38,245 Super Moderator
    Who drives the kids to the practices or games?
    That's your responsibility whether or not you are personally doing the driving.

    @Center is correct in that it will vary by school and by sport. IME, it is difficult, if not impossible to manage. For most schools, the student's first commitment is to the school. So even if the student is excused from sports for a particular term to participate in club sports, he is not excused for academics or other ECs.

    You would really need to have the conversation with the coach (and more importantly, the AD) at the school. If @SevenDad chimes in, he can give a lot of first-hand perspective.
  • GoatMamaGoatMama Registered User Posts: 1,024 Senior Member
    edited January 13
    My DD plays a club sport outside of BS. It's very difficult but possible. Travel is a major hassle, both logistically and due to missed school days. Definitely talk to the school.
    Who organizes this?
    In our sport, no one but the kid/family.
    How does your kid get involved?
    Kid played club for years before going to BS and wasn't planning on stopping. BS search was done with that in mind. BS that discouraged club participation weren't high on her list. She wants to play in college, and in her sport that requires club training and experience.
    Who drives the kids to the practices or games?
    To practices, Uber and taxi. To tournaments, carpool with local families. It is very hard unless you live within driving distance.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,539 Senior Member
    At DS' school, a couple of the top soccer players (day students) played for a local elite club team. They recruited their (really good player) boarder friends to try out for the for the team and then the day parents handled the driving, etc. Depending on where you are, Uber or a local car service could handle transportation to practice, but games may be tougher. From what I saw, this worked best when there were several students on the club team, where the club team uses your school's rink/pool/fields, and/or where there are day students who are already plugged into the network. There were kids who did this for soccer, volleyball, swimming, and lax, and day students were at the core each time (probably because they knew the club teams and they had drivers.) I've known kids who managed this with sports the school did not offer, but they were all pretty elite level athletes and it took a lot of doing (i.e., the @SevenDad route.)

    @GoatMama may have experience with a club volleyball team for her D at a school where there are not day students.

  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 620 Member
    GREAT information! Thank you to everyone who shared information about this topic ^:)^
  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar Registered User Posts: 1,046 Senior Member
    edited January 14
    Another possible resource is the coach from the club team(s) you’re considering.

    ETA I pm’d you.
  • buuzn03buuzn03 Registered User Posts: 1,294 Senior Member
    @Golfgr8 thanks for asking this question. DS' school doesn't allow this for 9th, but club would be available next year and I have no idea how we'd even go about it especially getting him to/from practice, etc.And he's made varsity for the fall sport, where he placed in the very top of ISL. so, he's trying to figure out if club hockey will be worth jeopardizing his XC performance plus grades/academic load. Does anyone know if club sports really help someone's opportunities for a sport? Or are those that are standouts going to stay standouts in both school leagues and club leagues? Obviously more field/ice time yields improvement....but is it going to be the difference that puts you in the pros? It seems to me those type of athletes are going to juniors versus BS anyway....idk
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,509 Senior Member
    I don't think a hockey player who goes to Culver or Shattuck needs to play club during school (probably attend a summer camp anyway) to improve college recruitment or juniors, but a student who goes to a BS not as strong in hockey might.

    It's not that different than kids at a traditional schools. Is the school team giving enough exposure or should the athlete play for a club team or take private lessons or switch to a different school? Big difference is the parent can provide transportation to those living at home. I know most lax players here play for their high schools in the spring and then either play for a travel/elite team in the summer/fall or just play a summer rec league and fall ball (often with their high school teammates and coach but not sponsored by the high school). Many recruited from either path. Not many of our high schools have strong hockey teams, so the best players are playing travel hockey (club) year round. Or they go to boarding school.
  • buuzn03buuzn03 Registered User Posts: 1,294 Senior Member
    ^that is what DS did at home because there were no strong HS hockey programs...he played travel from August to March, with AAA spring training April -June...and then a few camps in July...and this is why he decided to go to BS. But with us not there, I can't see the feasibility of getting him to club/travel commitments.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,539 Senior Member
    As for whether they help, depends on the sport. Soccer coaches tend to focus primarily on club players (and their tournaments.)

    From the outside looking in, it seems that the real differentiator is the difference in level of play between h.s. and club teams and the ability to get an objective read on a player who is not playing with the most elite players. (Timed sports have it easy here, and even individual ones give players a chance to show how they stack up through tournaments. )

    You really need to consider the sport and the target colleges, I think, to get a good answer.
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