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Sports Program Features

Sports program features

Scouts BSA Program Features for Troops and Crews, vol. 1-3, 2018 printing, includes the following:

  • Cycling
  • Rifle Shooting
  • Snowboarding and Skiing
  • Fitness and Nutrition
  • Soccer
  • Shotgun Shooting
  • Skateboarding
  • Swimming

NOTE: Archery is categorized as “outdoor program feature”. Historically soccer has also been a Cub Scouting program and may still be one in some councils.

Varsity Scouting 2008

For some history, the old Varsity Scouts program had a “Varsity Team Program Features - For Varsity Scout Teams and Venture Patrols”, © 2000, 2008 printing, in three volumes that included the following sports:

Backpacking, Basketball, Bowling, Canoe Camping, Caving, Cross-Country Skiing, Cycling, Discovering America, Fishing, Freestyle Biking, Frontiersman, Mechanics, Operation On-Target, Orienteering, Rock Climbing and Rappelling, Roller Hockey, Shooting Sports, Snow Camping, Soccer, Softball, Survival, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Waterskiing, Whitewater Canoeing.

Some Sports Related Merit Badges 2019

Merit badges may be an introduction to learning basic skills and not require competition.

Athletics Merit Badge

Scouts BSA’s Athletics MB includes selecting a athletic activity and knowing hazards, protective equipment, clothing and first aid for the activity. It also includes preforming in four of the following activities:

  • Group 1: Sprinting
  • Group 2: Long-Distance Running
  • Group 3: Long Jump OR High Jump
  • Group 4: Swimming
  • Group 5: Pull-Ups AND Push-Ups
  • Group 6: Baseball Throw
  • Group 7: Basketball Shooting
  • Group 8: Football Kick OR Soccer Kick
  • Group 9: Weight Training

Some of the MB requirements allow Scout to chose other athletic activities.

Updated: 2019-08-29

Soccer and Safety

Matt, what is the source for your statement, or is that just your opinion?


  1. Soccer is specifically included in the Scouts BSA Program Features for Troops and Crews - A Guide for Program Planning, vol. 2, 33111, 2018 printing, SKU 647791.

  2. Soccer was also included in Varsity Team Program Features For Varsity Scout Teams and Venture Patrols, vol. 3, 34839, 178 pages, ISBN 978-0-8395-4839-3, © 2000 Boy Scouts of America, 2008 Printing, pp. 11-28

  3. For a brief history of soccer in Scouting see " Scouting Through Soccer - Delivery Method Planning Guide - A Step-by-Step Planning Guide for Local Councils", 511-035, 2013 printing, 100 pages.

  4. Soccer and Scouting Program Helps - Complete Plans for Midweek Practices, Weekend Practices, and Games - Bear Season 4, 32239, 2005 Printing.

  5. I believe my council still has a “Scouting through Soccer” in at least one of our districts. I do not expect them to cancel it.

  6. BSA is in the process of consolidating websites. now redirects to .

Coach’s Notes

in Soccer and Scouting Program Helps - Complete Plans for Midweek Practices, Weekend Practices, and Games - Bear Season 4, 32239, 2005 Printing.

Fluid Replenishment, p. 18

It is essential that you keep your team hydrated during exercise. There are two hydration/rest breaks during each Soccer and Scouting practice session. Encourage your players to bring water or a sports drink to practice. Have extra on hand in case someone forgets. Be sure that your players replace the fluids that they have lost during exercise. If they don’t, you could have a medical emergency on your hands.

Soccer History Extract

Cambridge Rules, p. 43

History of the Game Fact Find
… Cambridge rules was adopted by most of England’s universities and colleges in 1848. But now, football was divided into two separate camps. Some colleges and schools preferred to follow rules drawn up by Rugby School—rules that permitted tripping, shin-kicking, and carrying the ball—all forbidden by the Cambridge rules. …

Prevention and Care of Injuries

in Varsity Team Program Features For Varsity Scout Teams and Venture Patrols, vol. 3, 34839, 178 pages, ISBN 978-0-8395-4839-3, © 2000 Boy Scouts of America, 2008 Printing, pp. 26-27.

Soccer is a relatively safe sport for players . But because it is a bodily contact game played with little protective equipment, injuries may occur.

All youth sports are as safe as the environment established by adult leadership for the sport . Soccer coaches should take all necessary precautions to help prevent injury and be prepared to respond when they do occur

Youth Soccer Safety Checklist

  • Players’ shoes have rubber cleats only (or are regular sneakers).
  • Players are encouraged to wear shin guards.
  • Goalkeepers wear proper protective equipment, including elbow, knee, and hip pads, and a sweatshirt and long pants or a sweatsuit.
  • The playing field is free from all obstacles and hazardous conditions.
  • There are no hooks or protrusions on the front of goals.
  • Teams warm up properly prior to practice sessions and games.
  • Rules and equipment are modified to adjust the physical demands of the sport to the appropriate developmental level of the players.
  • Teams are properly supervised and coached during practice and games.
  • Coaches are familiar with immediate steps to take when accidents do occur.
  • Players are not allowed to play when injured.
  • Players are taught to treat bruises and sprains with ice packs to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Practice sessions are reasonable in length and planned to include brief rest periods.
  • Game rules are enforced by officials and fouls are penalized.
  • Players are conditioned properly for game play. When injuries do occur, the players and the coach are familiar with the immediate recommended treatment.
  • First aid is the immediate handling of athletic injuries. If pain persists, refer players to their family physician for follow-up.
  • Never send an injured player back into a practice or game.
Injury Suggested First Aid
Muscle pulls, sprains, and bruises Use ice pack immediately to reduce swelling. Speed of application is essential.
Small cuts Apply pressure to reduce bleeding. Wash with antiseptic solution and apply sterile dressing if necessary
Nosebleed Have player pinch nostrils and hold until bleeding stops. Apply ice pack.
Foreign body in eye Pull upper lid down, holding eyelash. Wash out with eyecleaning solution.
Fainting or loss of wind Rest in cool place. Try to relax player and slow down breathing.
Scrapes and burns Wash with cleansing solution. If necessary, cover with gauze.
Elbow or knee injuries; jammed finger or toe Elevate area and apply ice pack. Refer to physician if pain persists.
Shin injury Apply ice pack and compression. Refer to physician if pain persists.
Back or neck injury Keep the player calm. Do not attempt to move or sit the player up if pain is severe. If pain is slight, apply ice pack.


Much of the material in the Varsity soccer chapter is adapted from the Y Soccer Coaches Manual and is used with permission of the Young Men’s Christian Association of the U.S.A.

Since three Scouts went to the hospital… Its coming.

You can post war and peace, but waterfalls, curveball are not authorized but sports where hospitalization are not?

Time comes to admit that a game even like baseball has less risk than soccer.


1 Like

Sports Injury Statistics and Research Studies

@MarrPrice what is your source? I have a Scout that ended up in the hospital last year because of an accident during a camp out. That doesn’t imply that camping will be removed from the program…

Here is the thing from just reading the G2S. I think the troop playing soccer is fine. But, the troop entering a soccer tournament (as one or more teams) is NOT within the guidelines.
See point 21 of the prohibited activities.

Now if we look at the FAQ it could end up as grey if they troop was only participating in say one event. But, why push it?

Q. Does the prohibition on club sports mean that my son or daughter can’t play basketball?

A. No. It means that the Scouting program does not exist to supply programming or insurance coverage to organizations that seek a charter only for a competitive sport. Our experience and the industry data have shown that this is a hazardous activity and risk, and it should not be a part of Scouting.

One thing that I notices (and thing the BSA should really look closer at their notification system) is the following page on gaga ball:

I have yet to see a gaga ball pit that meets the stated requirements.

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