what type of grades do you need to play high school football

Some students can’t play high school football because of poor grades. What type of grades do you need to play high school football? 

what type of grades do you need to play high school football

Different states have different standards. Fairly low grades may be accepted – a 2.0 GPA or a C average may be enough. Standards for college football are a bit higher but still fairly lenient even for competitive D1 schools. 

As a high school football coach, I encourage players to get good grades. Doing much better than the minimum standard makes it easier to make a college football team. 

What Type of Grades Do You Need to Play High School Football?

Academic standards for high school students are fairly but not very lenient. You can do somewhat poorly in school and still play football. However, you stop being eligible to play if your grades drop too low. 

Different states have different standards. To play in high school in North Carolina, you must have a C average or be above a 2.0 GPA. You don’t need good grades, but you do need to pass and do somewhat better than passing. A student with a mix of Cs and Ds might pass but not be able to play high school football. 

Other Requirements

In North Carolina, you cannot fail the year and still play high school sports. You must not fail English class, but you can fail other classes and still play high school sports. 

Your average might remain a C and your GPA might remain above 2.0 if you get an F in one or two classes. If you make up for failed classes during the summer, you won’t fail the whole year. 

what type of grades do you need to play high school football

How High is a 2.0 GPA?

A 2.0 GPA is fairly but not very low. It is not the same as a C average, but it might be comparable. Students with somewhat below-average grades are usually allowed on high school teams. 

How Does GPA Work?

GPA (grade point average) is a better way of measuring a student’s success than their average grade. While figuring out a student’s average grade is easier than determining their GPA, GPA is probably better. 

A college would rather look at a student’s GPA than a student’s average grade. GPA is a better estimate of how well the student will do in college. 

To determine GPA, you convert each grade on the 1 to 100 scale to a grade point between 0 and 4.0. You then add up the grade points and divide them by the number of classes to find the grade point average.

Calculating GPA

Different grades correspond to different grade points. Not every school uses the same system. A school might calculate your grade point average this way:

A+: 4.3 grade points

A: 4 grade points

A-: 3.7 grade points

B+: 3.3

B: 3 

B-: 2.7

C+: 2.3

C: 2

C-: 1.7

D+: 1.3

D: 1

D-: 0.7

F: 0

The GPA system does not differentiate between barely failing a course and getting a zero in a course. With regular grade averages, 0% is much worse than 40% because it pulls your average down more. With GPA, there is no difference between barely failing a course and getting a zero on everything. 

Requirements to Get into College Football

Standards for playing college football are not much higher, although higher levels of college football have somewhat higher academic standards. 

Not even the most competitive D1 schools expect excellent grades. Good but not great grades are enough for the most competitive college football division. 

grades do you need to play high school football

Requirements for D1 Football

You have to be a great player and a half-decent student to play D1 football. Many D1 players are on their way to the NFL. Both your GPA and your SAT scores matter to colleges. 

GPA Plus SAT and ACT Scores

If your GPA is unimpressive, you need excellent SAT/ACT scores to play D1 football. If your GPA is higher, you don’t have to do as well on the SAT/ACT. 

If you have a high GPA (3.550 or higher) then quite low test scores (400 on the new or old SAT or an ACT sum score of 37) are acceptable. 

The Sliding Scale

Having a slightly lower GPA means you have to have a slightly higher SAT/ACT score. If your GPA is 4.525 instead of 4.550, you need a 410 instead of a 400 on the SAT. 410 is still a low score, but the scores increase as your GPA decreases.

Some examples of GPA scores and minimum SAT/ACT scores are:

  • With a 3.000 GPA, you need a score of 720 on the new SAT, 620 on the old SAT, or a sum ACT score of 52.
  • With a 2.500 GPA, you need a score of 900 on the new SAT, 820 on the old SAT, or a sum ACT score of 68.

A score of 900 is not very high – the average is 1070. Standards are fairly lenient even for D1 football. 

grades do you need to play high school football

Is There a Minimum GPA for D1 Football?

Yes, if your GPA is too low they won’t let you play. The minimum GPA to play football your freshman year is 2.300. If you have a GPA between 2.000 and 2.300, you can only join the team as a redshirt. A redshirt doesn’t play at all during their freshman year, but does practice with the team and start playing their sophomore year. 

What About D2 and D3 Football?

D2 football is similar to D1 football but with somewhat lower standards. For D3 football, you only need to do well enough to remain in college. 

Key Takeaways

  • For high school football, different states have different standards. The standards are fairly low – for example, a 2.0 GPA or a C average.
  • Your GPA is your “grade point average” which you can calculate by looking up what grade point your grades are equivalent to and finding the average. Not every school calculates GPA in the same way. 
  • For D1/D2 college football, the NCAA sets the standards, so they are the same in different states. If you have a lower GPA, you need a higher SAT/ACT score to make up for it. 

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