I originally started this post as an introduction to the Coast Soccer League for our readers outside the southern california area. I wanted to go through the history and an explanation of why it is so successful with it’s teams dominating national level tournaments. But as I began digging through the data, I found something else I wanted to share first.
As I’m sure many of you know, soccer is being taken more seriously here in the States. It is now the most played youth sport. Kids typically start out in AYSO at an early age and then make the transition to competitive club. When that change takes place might be illuminated by the following chart. There is a 58% difference in number of teams between the U-9 and U-13 age group for boys, while there is a 100% difference between the U-9 and U-14 for girls.
The trend is clear, with more and more kids joining club until a peak is reached at the U-13 / U-14 age, followed by a subsequent decline in the latter teen years. It would be nice to conduct a study on the leading causes for the drop-off.
I wonder if the distribution is the same nationwide, or internationally for that matter? Did you guys start off in AYSO, then went to club? What age? What do you think are the contributing factors to the decline in participation?
This is the first in a series of posts analyzing CSL, and youth soccer in general. Take a moment to subscribe, it’s free and easy!