What is the difference: Competitive Soccer (Fairhope Academy) vs. Recreational Soccer

Updated 11/20/2017

How to decide what is right the soccer program for your child and your family

One of the most frequently asked questions is "What is Fairhope Academy?"(or Competitive) soccer and how is it different than recreational soccer?

Recreational Soccer (FSL)

· There is no selection/tryout process. Skill evaluations may be held to form teams in a fair and   balanced method.

· All players who register are assigned to a team.

· There is usually a one-time registration fee, which includes uniform.

· Players benefit from the opportunity for social interaction with other players their own age and physical fitness aspects of the game while also developing better soccer skills.

· All games are held at the Fairhope Soccer Complex every weekend/sometimes weeknight (Tuesday/Thursday) for 7-8 weeks.

· Typically, coaches are parent volunteers.

Competitive Soccer (Fairhope Academy)

· We hold player placements prior to each soccer season in order to evaluate/assess each player. Players' will be placed on a team that is in the best interest of his/her development.  For upcoming Fall soccer season, player placements are held in May and for Spring, player placements are held in early January.

· Players selected for Academy teams are committing to their team for the season.(Approximately 4-month season)

· Players selected for Academy teams are also financially committing to their team for the season.

• Additional costs for uniform and travel 

· Academy teams play in local playdates and tournaments. (Away playdates and tournaments are typically within an hour drive from our home soccer complex.) * Playdates are a one-day event where you play 2 games against other clubs around the area & tournaments are 2-day events

· All coaches are licensed and paid. Academy coaches are not volunteers.

How do I know what's right for my child and my family?

Before committing to a competitive (Academy) soccer team, you should evaluate several things about your child and your lifestyle:

  • Am I, the parent, willing to make the financial commitment of the club fees and travel expenses for each season?


  • Am I, the parent, willing to make the commitment of getting my child to two practices per week during the season? Fairhope Academy teams typically practice mid-August through early December for Fall season and mid-January through mid-May for Spring season.


  • Am I, the parent, willing to make the commitment of getting my child to games on the weekend, even out of town games? (Tournament/Playdate travel is usually within an hour drive from our home soccer complex)


  • Am I, the parent, willing to allow my child to play some games on Sunday or even during a weeknight in the event of a reschedule?


  • Does my child have time in their schedule? Can he/she balance school, homework, school sports, and/or other extra curricular activities to commit to an Academy team?


  • Does my child want to play soccer competitively rather than only 7-8 weeks as in a recreational program?


If you answered "yes" to the questions above, then Fairhope Academy is right for you!

If you still have some questions regarding our competitive soccer program, please feel free to contact Nick Cooper, Director of Coaching.

Contact Us

Contact Info

General Club Inquiry:

Mailing Address:
FSC PO Box 363
Montrose, AL 36559

Fairhope Soccer Complex:
18383 County Rd. 13
Fairhope, AL 36532 

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