High school students in the sports section follow the classic program while having 4 to 8 hours of extra sports per week, thanks to a flexible schedule.

Training that comes in addition to the mandatory EPS (physical and sports education), practice in a club and the commitment strongly recommended in the sports association of their establishment.

Each student is followed by the coordinator of the section, often the PE teacher. This ensures the smooth running of the young person’s career both in sports practice and in school results. He watches for signs of fatigue to avoid physical accidents and dropping out of school.


The sports sections in high school offer around 90 sports, but while sports such as football, rugby and handball are widely taught, other sports are offered in a few sections or even just one section.


Very selective, these sections welcome a maximum of 20 high school students per class. To apply, you must be affiliated with a sports club or the UNSS (National Union of School Sports). Even students who did not go through a sports section in college have their chances.

Registration is done directly with the establishments concerned on academic and sports criteria, during the 2nd term of the 3rd class.

For so-called “risky” activities, such as rugby or diving, you must provide a certificate of non-contraindication.


Provided by PE teachers, often accompanied by external speakers from a partner club or the federation, the teaching is essentially focused on technical and tactical development and on knowledge of the rules and refereeing.

Young people are also made aware of healthy lifestyles, balanced diets and are involved in the sports education actions of their establishment.

At the end of the final year, high school students in the sports section pass their baccalaureate normally, without skipping the compulsory PE test. An assessment of their course in the sports section can be made on their quarterly report or their school file. Depending on their acquisitions in the sports section, possibility of obtaining a UNSS “young official” diploma or a federal diploma.

Sports sections in agricultural high schools: towards dual qualification

While preparing for a diploma in agricultural education, students in SSEA (sports sections of agricultural education) can not only practice a sport in a reinforced way, but also learn how to supervise it. For this, several types of certifications or diplomas are offered: a passport of practice (such as the levels of divers), a federal diploma intended for voluntary supervision, a State diploma, a CQP or a professional title.


The sports sections offer students the opportunity to access competitions at the departmental or regional level, the first step towards high-level practice. However, they are only very rarely selected by Insep, the Espoirs centers or the training centers of professional clubs, because the federations detect the most promising very early on to integrate them into their structures.

Although the vast majority of young people from sports sections do not join high-level or professional sport, most choose to continue their training in the sports world. They can, for example, move towards a STAPS license or towards a DEUST AGAPSC (animation and management of physical, sporting or cultural activities).

In all cases, the passage through a school sports section testifies to a commitment to a demanding system and makes it possible to acquire the skills necessary for the intensive practice of a sport: sense of the collective, punctuality, diligence and rigor. An asset in a profile, in particular to apply for higher education courses via Parcoursup.

The sporting excellence sections, a new gateway to the top level

Separate from the school sports sections, the “sports excellence sections ” are located in a school with the “Generation 2024” label. Their organization is more marked “high level”: individual support by a PE teacher; landscaped courtyards; possible derogation from the school card; boarding school accommodation; preparation, at high school level, for a double baccalaureate diploma and federal or state diploma in the sporting activity practiced.

The list of students retained in these sections is drawn up by the sports federations or their regional leagues based on sports results, motivation and school records. Admission is under the authority of the rectors of the academic region.

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