Differences between sports clubs at American and German school

Foto: Marie Wessels
Foto: Marie Wessels
Foto: Marie Wessels
Foto: Marie Wessels
Foto: Marie Wessels

Spending our time here in Bartow, we have noticed many differences in American and German lifestyle. One of the most striking aspects is the importance of sports clubs at American high schools.

Therefore we created questionnaires we gave to the American students. The given answers will  tell us about the offered sports clubs at Bartow High School in general, their popularity and the reasons for the students to practice it.

There are a lot of choices for doing sports at school. The students have the opportunity to chose American football, baseball, lacrosse, badminton, drill, rifle, ping pong, tennis, ice hockey, basketball, softball, track and field, soccer, golf, swim, fishing, cross country, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, cheer. Most of them are not compulsory as 80 % of the students said. They take place after the last period and last about two and a half hours. The teams consist of about 22 people. It is important to mention that the lacrosse team has much more team members than the average has. A reason could be the fact that lacrosse is the only sports club at the Summerlin Academy which is not military based. In addition, the students have  to make up for practicing in case of absence.

In a scale from 1 to 10, of which 10 is the highest and best vote , the average of the students valuated  their sports club at 8,4.  This shows that practicing sports is a very important part of their lives.

Moreover, the most popular sports is Football as 2/3 of the students say. The other third thinks that soccer, swim, track & field and lacrosse are the most important sports at the Bartow High School. American Football is varied, which is the reason why so many students watch the game. The band is entertaining, the cheerleaders encourage everybody, there are a lot of food stands and you can meet your friends. Furthermore, the people watching the game wear clothes in the team colours which creates a feeling of togetherness.  All in all, it is a lot of fun!

In contrast to the American school system, one can say that sports has a less important role at the Maerkische Schule. First of all we have to say that every student has to practice sports during their whole school career. In general every class has the same curriculum up to the end of 10th grade. Therefore they get to know all the different sports like athletics, tumbling, soccer, volleyball, badminton, hockey, softball, Frisbee, gymnastics, dancing and many more. In year 11 you have to specialize in a focal sport which can be chosen from the following: athletics, gymnastics/tumbling and dancing/aerobic.

In case of a soccer game, which is extremely rare, it can be seen that there are less students to watch the game compared to Bartow High School.  In Germany it is very popular to go to a public gym, especially the one called  “FitX”.


In conclusion, one can say that sports clubs at school are a big part of the American students’ lives. It is a possibility to meet friends without studying for school. Compared to that, we, Germans, do sports not at school but in our leisure time.