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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Aug. 29 – Michigan maintained its standing nationally in high school sports participation statistics for the 2010-11 school year released last week by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
For the third straight year, Michigan is seventh in overall high school sports participation -- – including sports in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association does not conduct post-season tournaments. The total for the 2010-11 year was 314,354, with 133,147 girls and 181,207 boys taking part. All three numbers are slightly higher than a year ago.
Girls participation was sixth nationally for the second straight year. It had been seventh in 2008-09 and fifth the two years before that. Prior to the 2007-08 school year, girls participation had ranked fourth nationally for five consecutive years; and overall participation was fifth for two straight seasons, ranking as high as fourth in 2004-05. The boys participation figure again ranks sixth. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2009, Michigan continues to rank eighth in both females and males of ages 14 through 17.
Eight girls sports held their positions nationally in 2010-11, while two sports moved up and four sports moved down. Softball rose to seventh from eighth place; and gymnastics was up to 11th from 12th. Basketball continued to drop, down to seventh from sixth a year ago, its lowest standing since the Federation began releasing national participation figures in 1971. Also down were cross country from fifth to sixth; lacrosse from 11th to 12th; and skiing from third to fourth. Holding in third place was tennis; bowling, competitive cheer and volleyball remained in fourth; golf stayed in sixth; and soccer is again eighth.
In boys sports, eight again remained in the same spots nationally in 2010-11, with one sport rising in the lists and five sports dropping. Basketball rebounded, rising to fifth from seventh. Dropping one spot nationally were ice hockey and skiing from third to fourth, boys swimming and diving from seventh to eighth, and wrestling from fifth to sixth. Cross country slipped two notches to ninth from seventh. Holding their own were bowling in third; football and tennis in fifth; golf and track and field in sixth; baseball and lacrosse in seventh; and soccer in eighth.
National participation in high school sports in 2010-11 set a new record again with 7,667,955 young people taking part. Nationally, 55.5 percent of high school students participate in sports, up four-tenths of a percent from a year ago; and in Michigan, that figure is 62.1 percent, an increase of 1.2 percent from a 2009-10.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.