Question for non-Americans - School sports teams?

It has come to my attention that the USA might be unique in that youth sports teams are most often run thru schools. These teams have their own coaches, practice on the schools facilities, and play other schools. For example a high school basketball team might play 15-20 games a season. When they travel it might be to a school across town or it could be over 100 miles. The local high school will identify with a mascot associated with that team. Here are some examples:

TheShawnee Mission West Vikings and their various sports teams.

Belton High school Pirates and their teams.

Common American High School sports are basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, golf, wrestling, cross country running, softball, gymnastics, track, and some offer hockey, bowling, swimming, lacrosse, trap shooting or others.

Now some sports are also run thru community programs.

Now as I understand it, in most European countries youth sports programs are run thru the community and not the schools.

So I’d like to ask, in your country, do you see school based sports teams? Or are they just run by organizations in the community?

Have you ever seen a school with a “mascot” name like Pirates, Bears, Vikings, Lions, etc…

Finally what youth sports programs are common in your country?

Not from a foreign country, but with some experience in Japan, I will say that Japanese high school baseball is followed avidly at the national level, and there is a national champion. Lots of other sports are also done through high schools, such as soccer, wrestling, judo, karate, Japanese fencing (kendo), but I don’t know if those sports are organized with national competitions.

Would a Japanese high school baseball team have a name like giants or Dragons or something?

UK here. The schools I’m aware of run a sports programme, and compete with other schools, but it’s not really much of a big deal to anyone not on the team. The only reason I even found out about matches was because classmates on the team, or the gym teacher, would occasionally be absent due to them.

There are national tournaments- even international tournaments- in multiple sports organised through schools, but aside from maybe a mention in the local paper if a school wins a regional or higher level match, they don’t get much notice outside the school. Some teams may have nicknames, I’ve not personally come across it, but it wouldn’t surprise me. At college/university level there are teams with names, but I’m only aware of them due to the clubs I was involved with being kicked out the sports hall because someone had a big match coming up and got a priority reservation. The audience for matches would be pretty much entirely students, staff and parents.

The university football (rest of world version) teams in my old town only came to my attention when they had a derby match- as in, teams from the two universities played each other, in the city stadium. This was notable for the level of violence from the spectators- all drunken students. The security company I worked for was contracted for the match, and it was the only event in the 18 months I worked there where staff were told they were OK to refuse to attend on the grounds that it was too high risk. I did not work it. I heard stories later. It certainly was not a fun day for all the family.

In the Netherlands, high schools have nothing compared to US high school teams. Soccer etc is done through local (town) town teams, which have a wide range of ages playing in them. The first team can get a following, mainly of members of the club and friends/family. Colleges have what is best compared to extramural sports in college in the US. As in: no real “official” college team, except for some activities like rowing (crew).

No, they just go by the name of the school.

Having lived in Japan but with absolutely no interest in sports - the only school sports I’m aware of that receive nationwide news coverage are the high school baseball and the Hakone Ekiden (relay marathon).

Schools do play each other in the UK in various sports and there are often leagues amongst the schools in that local area. It’s not something that people would pay to watch and I think they all occur on the schools own playing fields rather than in stadiums.

However most professional and semi professional sports clubs will have youth teams so any kid that’s really talented will probably spend most of their energies playing for one of these. The bigger clubs will be really professionally organised and at the top level will be playing international friendlies and tournaments.

It’s a little more complicated than “most often” through school.

Where I grew up (west coast), it was like this:
Ages 8 through about 12 - sports are mostly run through youth sports organizations

Youth sports organizations also continue to age 16, 17, 18 (depending on the sport).

In parallel, Junior High/Middle School (about age 12 to 14) and then High School (about age 15 to 18) will have school sport programs
Most people I knew (and same for my kids and their friends) start young on the youth teams and continue as long as those organizations go for, and then some also play on the school teams if they can make it (typically it’s a little tougher to get on the school teams due to more people and fewer spots).

When I was in High School, I was still playing baseball through the local sports organization, and also on the High School team.

Aus is like the UK. University-level sport is almost gone – certainly nobody follows the teams. Sport is marginally more important at the private high schools. In NSW (state), and possibly Queensland, high-school football is important enough that some people care about it at a small number of schools. Not around where I live.

First XV rugby has TV coverage in New Zealand. Here’s some highlights from oneof my old school’s games.

My son did as well - baseball both on the high school team and on community teams. If your kid focuses on a single sport, the high school season is short. For baseball, high school baseball in in the Spring, but in Minnesota there are Summer and Fall leagues (and I understand that where you don’t get fields covered in snow by November, you have Winter leagues as well).

One of the big differences in the U.S. over other countries is the sheer size of our country - if you live in Nebraska, getting to a pro game is a long drive. Getting to a college game might be a long drive - but the communities get together over a high school football or basketball game - it becomes something to do in a town where you’ve seen the movie playing on the single screen in town

In Spain the cheerleaders and mascots and all that American stuff has occasionally been attempted in the more-American, pro sports (mainly basket and American-football-while-it-lasted), but like I said it’s seen as “one of those things Americans do”.

Generally sports have two sides for us: up to and including 12th grade, it’s part of the general development of students (Phys Ed class). Most schools offer sports as “off-school” activities, but these may include non-competitive ones such as mountain climbing. School championships are certainly no big deal; school teams are creatively referred to by their age and the name of the school; the town may be added if the same championship has teams from multiple identically-named schools (those Jesuits and their San Franciscos Javier…). The only students for whom sports may on occasion take precedence over school (and this is officially frowned upon, and their sports team must provide tutoring, and and and) are those who are in the kind of sports where Olympic levels are achieved before voting age and those who are in the junior teams of professional teams who may even be paying for their schooling (this is always the case whenever a team brings a kid from out of town).

At the university level it’s activities organized by the students who are interested; it’s not even considered “an off-school activity”. The idea of students whose sports take precedence over actual classes is just unthinkable unless we’re talking professional athletes, in which case yes, “going to school” is something they do in their own time and the school will not schedule make-up lessons or anything, I’m still going WTF over being required to do that in the US for student-athletes but not allowed to do it for others who missed class due to non-sports reasons. Then again, my American Uni was one of those every American knows, not so much because of their teaching as because of their sports teams - other schools may be less athlete-crazy.

I don’t know about the rest of Canada, but the high schools in Montreal do not, AFAIK, have any extramural sports teams. At the two that my kids went to didn’t. One son played hockey in a municipal league (and still plays at age 51 in an adult league).

The universities do sponsor sports (at least hockey, and basketball). One year McGill won the national hockey tournament and I was curious to see how the student newspaper, which had been taken over by some left-wing group, would play the story. I got the Monday paper, which didn’t mention it. Well, maybe it had been put to bed on Saturday before the championship game, so I got the Tuesday paper (which was published, by a short-standing tradition, in French), nary a mention. Wednesday, not a word and I stopped looking after that.

I heard there are some colleges in Canada with big sports programs and followings. HERE is some information.

Odd that since Canada is so close to the USA that our high schools are not more similar.

In many ways club teams are pushing out the high school teams. for some like All American soccer, they tell their athletes to NOT play for their high school.

Thing is one cannot play on a club team at the same time you are playing for your high school team. This sometimes causes players to chose on over the other but in mast cases they just take time off their club teams.

And around here (Kansas City) baseball has become year around. They only take off August and January.