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Resources Aug 14, 2012

Pennsylvania girls’ high school soccer switching to fall season

This fall in Pennsylvania, girls high school soccer will make the switch from a spring to a fall season.

The issue has complicated life for coaches and athletic directors, according to the Lehigh Valley Express-Times, at the state’s high schools, especially when it comes to finding the space for their teams to practice and play. The other issues include trying to schedule games in a packed calendar and finding the buses to transport them.

The challenge has also been extended to finding enough referees for the games, the paper reports. In the past, only boys teams played in the fall in the state. Now, the same number of referees will be available for both boys and girls, as well as college soccer games, which also play a fall season.

According to the York Dispatch, the switch to an all-fall calendar for girls has been several years in the making, forcing some girls into tough decisions on whether to play soccer or another sport they might have already been playing in the fall:

The switch has been a few years in the making. Back in October 2009, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association voted to make girls’ soccer a fall-only sport in the 2012-2013 school year. Previously, the PIAA crowned girls’ soccer state champions in both the fall and the spring. Most schools in western Pennsylvania have been playing girls’ soccer in the fall for several years, while many eastern schools competed in the spring.

And with boys’ practices starting up in Pennsylvania, the other issue we’re seeing play out, as expected, is the choices elite players are making on whether to play high school soccer or for a Development Academy team, according to the Express-Times, as U.S. Soccer has mandated that players on DA teams choose between high school or the academy team as the DA clubs all move to a 10-month season. Many coaches cited in the article were against the switch, though the paper did find one coach supportive of it.

– Jimmy LaRoue

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