High School Sports Participation Down For The First Time in 30 Years


The National Federation of State High School Associations released its recent study on the number of student athletes participating in high school sports, and findings showed that for the first time in 30 years, participation has declined.

The study showed that in the 2018-2019 high school sports season, students participating in sports was down 43,395 with the largest decline happening in 11-player football and basketball being the second highest decline.

According to the study, football saw a drop of 1, 006,013, while in basketball, there where almost 24,000 fewer participants. In a statement by NFHS executive director, Karissa Niehoff, she stated that “a decline in the number of public school students has been predicted for a number of years, so we knew our streak might end someday.” Niehoff added, “we have to work even harder in the coming years to involve more students in these vital programs, not only athletics but performing arts programs as well.

Although the overall participation numbers are down, the survey did show that there was an increase in the number of students participating in lacrosse, which is up 19%, boys soccer up nine percent, boys volleyball up 26% and girls volleyball up eight percent.

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