Can you play high school football at 18

Many people are still in high school at 18 or 19. Can you play high school football at 18? What are the rules for older players?

can you play high school football at 18

Yes, you can still play high school football at 18 or 19. If you turned 19 before last September, you are too old to play. If you had a disability that prevented you from playing for a long time, you may be able to get around the age limit. 

As a high school football coach, I know about the limits on who can play high school football. You cannot play for more than four years or eight semesters.  

Is There an Age Limit for High School Sports?

18-year-olds and sometimes 19-year-olds can play high school sports. 

Some states have additional rules, but you won’t have to stop playing as soon as you turn 18. 

Depending on what time of the year you are born, you might still be in Grade 12 at 18, even if you finish in the usual four years. Certainly, an 18-year-old can play high school football during their last semester.

It may depend on whether you played football the whole time you were there. If you have already played for four years or eight semesters, you usually can’t keep playing. 

What Are the UIL Rules?

It depends on how old the student was at the beginning of last September, not the student’s current age. For example, if you were 18 on September 1st, 2021, you would still be able to play high school football in January 2022 or April 2022. Turning 19 would not matter, you could keep playing. 

Let’s assume a player turned 19 in February 2022. In that case, they would still play for the rest of the 2022 school year. However, they could not keep playing after September 1st, 2023. 

Rules for Missed Play

If you were temporarily disabled and this delayed your education by at least a year, you can keep playing even if you turned 19 before last September.

What is the Age Range for High School Sports?

The youngest players are at least as young as thirteen (younger 9th graders) and might be even younger if they start school early. The oldest players are at least nineteen and may be older in some states. 

How Much Does High School Football Gear Weigh 2

Some states let students aged 20 or older stay in school if they have certain problems that prevented them from graduating earlier. Other states let people over 20 or over 21 stay in high school simply because they haven’t graduated yet. 

Can You Play High School Football if You Graduate Early?

If you are no longer in high school, you quite likely can’t play for a high school team. I doubt that any states allow players to keep playing after they leave school. 

How Many Years Can You Play High School Sports For?

Different states have different rules. In California, you can only play high school sports for four years or eight semesters. Sometimes, this makes it impossible for a student to play on a high school team the last year they are there. 

If a student repeats a grade, they might run out of semesters and not be able to play their last year. Students that are in high school for five years for any other reason may run out of semesters.

Can Eighth Graders Ever Play High School Sports?

Usually, eighth graders are not allowed to play or practice with high school sports teams, at least not in California. If an eighth grader goes into grade nine half a year early, they can play high school sports right away. 

However, they won’t be able to play the last semester they are in high school. The four-year rule will prevent them from playing in the second half of grade 12. 

Can a Student Play After They Graduate?

No, if a student graduates, they cannot continue playing high school sports. If a student graduates high school in the winter, they cannot play during the spring semester. 

Can You Play College Football if You Didn’t Play in High School?

Yes, but it’s not common. High school football players are already above-average athletes, and less than a tenth of them go on to college football. Only one in 100 plays in the most competitive college football division. 

In other words, if you didn’t play for a high school team, you probably won’t be able to make a college football team. 

Can You Play College Football If You Didn't Play In High School

However, college football teams have walk-on tryouts. You can show up and try out even though you didn’t play for a high school team. They may be impressed by your skills and welcome you to the team. 

Can You Go Straight from High School to Professional Football?

You must have been out of high school for a few years to start playing for the NFL. You cannot enter the NFL right away, which is why players play college football in between. 

Usually, players are 21+ before they start playing for the NFL. However, if a player finishes high school early, they might start playing for the NFL at 19 or 20. Nineteen is very rare, but it has happened before. 

Anyone who enters the NFL draft gives up their eligibility to play college football. You cannot enter the NFL draft and then play college football if the NFL does not accept you. 

Not Everyone Enters the NFL Draft Right Away

Many players continue to play college football for another year or two after they can enter the draft. This is because they want to improve their skills further in college football. 

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, you can still play high school football at 18. It’s normal to still be in grade 12 at that age. 
  • You can still play at 19, as long as you didn’t turn 19 before last September.
  • You cannot play high school football for more than four years or eight semesters.
  • Some states have additional rules.
  • If you were disabled for a year, you can get around the usual age limit. 

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