U19 Youth Drone Soccer
Coed Programs for Grades 6-12 (Middle and High School)
Aviation is a Team Sport
U.S. Drone Soccer is an aviation workforce development program. Our mission is to help schools adopt accessible pathways for students into high-demand, high-paying aerospace careers.
DS U19 Youth programs gamify engineering problem solving and immerse students in the language and culture of aviation. Drone soccer can be implemented as classroom enrichment or after-school competitive clubs as students build, program, innovate, and learn to fly as a team. Full-contact gameplay takes place inside a netted arena that fits in any school. Over 115 institutions have joined our national esports league with competitions happening across the country, serving as a feeder program for advanced courses and aviation careers.
Advanced Drone Training for Educators
No prior drone experience is necessary! U.S. Drone Soccer provides Professional Development that combines best practices from both the aerospace industry and youth athletics. We want to help teachers earn CTE accreditation to fund lasting aviation pathways.
Industry Ready at Graduation
Did you know that the airline industry is cancelling thousands of flights because they are critically understaffed in high-paying technical positions? Drone operators are also in high demand, your students can earn a FAA PArt 107 Remote Pilot Certificate at the age of 16 and earn an estimated starting salary of $35-50 per hour!
All lessons are taught following FAA Crew Resource Management principles which is how professionals in the aerospace industry collaborate and apply engineering problem solving in high stress environments. Students can engage in a depth of learning with open-source drone technology that is modular and reparable. This early foundation paves the way to earning a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot License as preparation for their future - we are partnering with flight schools, two-year technical colleges, and four-year universities to offer life-changing opportunities to young people.
Comprehensive Aviation Pathways
We complete aviation pathways from college to elementary so that every student can visualize their future. Collegiate Drone Soccer programs train undergraduate students who serve as role-models, coaches, and referees for precollegiate outreach. High School teams can incentivize juniors and seniors to earn their FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot certificate to be hired as camp counselors for middle and elementary programs. This community model provides a robust support system for educators and an active competitive league for students.
Out of the Box Success
We provide everything educators need to be successful, with training and on-call support.
Low Recurring Costs
The consistency of the sport means that the program can easily be maintained/repeated with new students.
Students must build, program, and fly using professional-grade, open-source drone technology with direct industry applications.
Drone Soccer is the first robotic competition that is also a team sport governed by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI).
Taught like real pilot training with the vocabulary and culture of safety for future aviation careers.
Students and parents are so excited about Drone Soccer, they don’t care about all the real skills they are learning.
The best PD training I have ever attended. They offer phenomenal support for teachers and students who are new to Drone Soccer.
The knowledge base that the Drone Soccer program provides students for their future is truly inspiring.
Drone Soccer is a thrilling full-contact aerial sport. The top teams from around the country will be invited to the 2024 U.S. Drone Soccer National Championship 2024. The winning middle or high school team will become the U.S. National Team (20cm Class) and represent the United States at the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) 2024 Drone Soccer World Cup.
Recommended for Gender Equity and Diversity
All of our competitive teams must be Coed according to our Code of Conduct, which places an emphasis on recruiting diverse student teams. The FAA Advanced Aviation Advisory Committee specifically recommended U.S. Drone Soccer to improve gender equity in STEM fields during their February 23rd, 2022 meeting (Task Group #12: Integrating UAS Operations into K-12 Curriculums Recommendations). We were also featured in Diversity In Action Magazine for our impact on communities that have been historically excluded from aviation.
Drone Soccer matches are fast-paced contests where each team rams and block each other to prevent the opposing team's Striker from scoring. Matches played by teams 5v5. Each roster must be coed and may have a maximum of ten players and drones per team. A Match consists of three Sets of three minutes duration, with each team's Striker attempting to score more goals than the opposing team. The winner is determined by the best of three Sets, and between each Set teams must act like pit crews to quickly repair battle damage.
Onboarding and Implementation
Schools and districts have an easy onboarding process for administrators through our business to business (B2B) Portal. All requests are reviewed within 1-3 business days and you will be provided information and direct support from our team.
For all other nonprofit and for-profit organizations, we understand that building a youth program takes time. Our staff and network of partner organizations will support you along the way to establish a sustainable outreach program, including fundraising and grant assistance. We recommend you plan 45 days between initial purchase and student programs to allow for staff training and familiarization.
Launching Pilot Programs
Once your staff is trained with demonstration equipment, we will support you in launching your local league events. We recommend running a short camp program (10-20 students, 12-16 hours of engagement) and using these students as your demo pilots. With something new like Drone Soccer, seeing it in person is important and we recommend a public demo for civic leaders, district superintendents, CTE directors, and community sponsor companies.
All flight operations must take place indoors within a netted enclosure for safety and FAA compliance. Operations indoors are exempt from FAA regulations and do not require certifications for participants or registration of aircraft. Minimum recommended floor area is 30x40ft with 12ft ceiling height.
We worked with Michelin Inflatable Products on a durable, high quality Game Arena that can be set up by a single teacher in less than ten minutes. The result comes with a one year warrantee and any damaged air bladders can be easily replaced in minutes. The packed Game Arena is 45lbs and fits in the trunk of any car.
Free third-party software is required for the use of our products and participation in our program.
Durable & Reparable Hardware
Our drones are designed for full-contact gameplay and are as tough as we could make them. Every drone is made from professional-grade modular components that can be completely disassembled and rebuilt for the duration of the program. Your products will always be compatible with future products and you can upgrade or replace individual components easily from our online replacement store.
Low Ongoing Costs
With low upkeep for propellers and batteries, ongoing costs are a fraction of upkeep for similar robotics programs. Programs should estimate $1,500 for second year costs including replacement parts and league registration.
Complete League in a Box
We included everything necessary to support an organizations over a season. This includes a netted drone "arena" enclosure, educational license with access to support videos and educational materials, and drone equipment bundles that come with twelve individual kits supporting two teams (fully engaging 10-20 students).
Programs should budget $18,000 for startup and first year costs.
No, our products are only available to educational partners. Participating families can purchase equipment through their league location. If you do not have a league, please use the Enroll Now page to request information about bringing a program to your hometown.
Yes, this is very common. Training is helpful in preparing to meeting with community stakeholders and demonstrating the program. An average cost for three kits and certification training for three staff members is approximately $3000.
Yes, this is nearly non-negotiable. Fielding diverse coed teams is the first item of our Code of Conduct. Exceptions can only be made with through our waiver application process with approval from the U.S. Drone Soccer Rules Committee. This important aspect of the program introduces students to working in diverse groups, an important real world skill.
Drone equipment leaves our warehouse in 1-3 business days and ships by UPS ground. Batteries ship separately by ground from Tattu in Long Beach, California and may take a week to arrive. Arenas ship by freight from Michigan and arrive in 2-3 weeks.
We recommend you allow for 45 days from purchase to the start of student programs to allow for staff certification training and familiarization. We host virtual training sessions twice per month.
Students can be tournament ready in as little as 14 contact hours, which could be accomplished in a weekend camp or spread over 3-6 weeks of classroom learning depending on schedule. As a case in point, students who began a half-day summer camp on Tuesday won the Rocky Mountain State Games on Saturday.
Many follow-on expenses come from expansion of the program following demand from students and parents. Drone Soccer helped do double enrollment in aviation courses during program. We recommend that classrooms plan 10-15% of their initial purchase for ongoing annual costs. For a typical $12,000 initial purchase, following year costs could be estimated at $1,500 including parts and league registration.
Free software requires the use of a laptop (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and smartphone (Android, iOS). Our league management system is browser-based. Additional supplies that we do not provide includes items such as a fire extinguisher, metal bucket with sand, or spray paint.