What are the odds that YOU are going to play college soccer at an NCAA Division III school? According to NCAA statistics, the odds are long that a high school student-athlete of today will play soccer in college. If you think you are going to play at Division I or Division II, the odds are even worse (although not as bad if you are a female).
The NCAA publishes an article entitled the “Estimated probability of competing in college athletics” on their website and it presents some very interesting data for future soccer players as well as other student-athletes participating in other sports. (Click on the link to see the full article.)
Based on 2015 information, 417,419 male student-athletes played soccer in high school and 374,564 female student-athletes played soccer in high school. The total number of NCAA soccer players across all divisions was 23,602 (male student-athletes) and
26,358 (female student-athletes). Respectively, those percentages are 5.7 % for male high school soccer players and 7.0% for female high school soccer players.
Breaking it down by NCAA Divisions, for male student-athletes the percentage of high school soccer players is 1.4% for NCAA Division I, 1.4% for NCAA Division II and 2.8% for NCAA Division III. For female student-athletes, the percentages are 2.4% for NCAA Division I, 1.8% for NCAA Division II, and 2.8% for NCAA Division III.
The first question would be- why is this percentage so low? We can theorize and hypothesize about what the reasons are, but the truth of the matter is that roughly 6 out of 100 male high school student-athletes and 7 out of 100 female high school student-athletes will play in college. If we look specifically at NCAA Division III, it is about 3 out of every 100 high school players (for both genders) that go from high school soccer and play soccer in college.
Think about that for a moment— for every 100 high school soccer players, only 3 will go on and play NCAA Division III college soccer, across both genders. If your average varsity high school soccer team has 20 players, it would take FIVE high school teams to get THREE players.
The second question that comes to mind is what about club soccer? There is constantly the struggle of high school versus club soccer and the benefits of playing each. We do not have hard data on this in regard to the percentage of student-athletes that play club soccer in high school and then go on to play college soccer. However, we can safely assume that since fewer high school student athletes play club soccer, then the percentages should be somewhat higher. How much higher? Of that we cannot be certain.
The bottom line is this— it is a privilege to play NCAA college soccer and a very small percentage of high school student-athletes get the opportunity to do this. Even fewer high school student-athletes will get an athletic scholarship to play soccer. Always keep this in mind as you progress through your high school career.
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