09

MHSAA Sports Participation Numbers Stable; Top 300,000 for Fifth Year in Row

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 9, 2009
Contact: John Johnson
517.332.5046 or www.mhsaa.com

EAST LANSING, Mich. –July 9 For the fifth straight year in 2008-09, participation numbers for sports in which post-season tournaments are sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association topped the 300,000 mark, even as overall numbers dropped less than a percentage point.

The total for the 2008-09 school year was 304,343, a number that is down 0.9 percent from the 307,112 figure of a year ago and is the fifth highest total in the Association’s history.  Girls participation was down 1.3 percent from a year ago with 126,366 – its lowest point since 2003-04; and the boys total of 177,977 was down 0.6 percent – its lowest point since 2004-05.  The totals count students once for each sport in which he or she participates, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.

For the second straight year, records for participation were set in five sports – three for girls and two for boys.   Bowling and lacrosse each hit again a high-water mark for both boys and girls; and girls tennis also set a new mark.

Fall participation took the biggest single season dip at 2.7 percent, with football and girls swimming and diving each dropping over 1,100.  The drop of 1,121 in swimming represented a 17 percent decrease, while the 1,102 slip in football was a 2.4 percent fall.  Girls golf participation dropped 6.4 percent.  The only fall sport on the plus side was boys tennis by eight players over the previous year.

Winter and spring numbers were relatively stable with a 0.5 percent increase in participation in the winter; and a 0.03 percent decrease in the spring.   Girls gymnastics – one of the smallest sports in terms of participation – rebounded from a drop a year ago with a 156 increase in student-athletes – a 25 percent raise.  Boys bowling was up 9.1 percent (309 increase), and girls bowling was up 6.7 percent (170 increase).  In the springtime, girls tennis had the biggest jump percentage-wise and in raw numbers with an increase of 580 players – 6.1 percent.  Between the two seasons, 11 sports saw increases and 9 sports had decreases in participation.

Also of note in this year’s survey in other sports of interest:

•  Basketball participation from 2007-08 to 2008-09 remained stable.  Girls numbers were down 0.2 percent, and boys participation was up 0.3 percent; the girls figure of 18,187 the lowest since the Association began tracking the numbers in 1991-92, the boys total of 23,233 the second lowest in that same time span and the lowest in 10 seasons.  Since the 2006-07 survey, girls participation is down 5 percent and the boys number is down 3.6 percent.
 
•  Girls volleyball participation saw of 0.4 percent drop in 2008-09; the lowest it has been since the 1997-98 school year.  Since the 2006-07 survey, volleyball participation has dropped 3.5 percent.
 
•  Boys tennis, after a sharp decrease in players a year ago, had an increase of 0.4 percent this past school year.  However, since the 2006-07 survey, the sport has had a 12.8 percent drop in participation.  By comparison, girls tennis participation is up 2.4 percent in the same time period.
 
•  Boys golf saw an increase of 238 players over a year ago (3.1 percent) and is on the positive side since the 2006-07 survey, up 0.19 percent.  Girls golf numbers are off 1.8 percent since the 2006-07 survey.
 
•  And to put these numbers in better perspective, enrollments at MHSAA member schools are down 1.44 percent since the 2006-07 participation survey, and overall participation is down 2.8 percent.

The participation figures are gathered annually from MHSAA member schools to submit to the National Federation of State High School Associations for compiling its national participation survey.   Results of Michigan survey from the 2000-01 school year to the present may be viewed on the MHSAA Website – mhsaa.com – and clicking on Administrators under the Users Sections heading.

The following chart shows participation figures for the 2008-09 school year from MHSAA member schools in sports in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament:

 
BOYS
GIRLS

SPORT

SCHOOLS  (A)

PARTICIPANTS

SCHOOLS (A)

PARTICIPANTS (B)

Baseball

643/652/6

18,652

-

0/11

Basketball

745/747/3

23,214

714/735

18,187/19

Bowling

318/328/2

3,687

304/326

2,709/3

Competitive Cheer

-

-

331/332

7,320

Cross Country

596/622

8,356

578/614

7,633

Football - 11 player

636/655/47

45,199

-

0/58

Golf

547/560/49

7,673

343/339

3,609/70

Gymnastics

-

-

72/79

765

Ice Hockey

231/257/4

3,950

19

221/4

Lacrosse

103/107/1

4,249

72/66

2,136/1

Skiing-Alpine

95/107/1

846

90/107

628/1

Soccer

458/489/16

14,539

445/451

13,670/64

Softball-Fast Pitch

-

-

629/639

15,490

Swimming & Diving

218/274/7

4,696

229/287

5,468/59

Tennis

333/345/2

7,561

357/358

10,052/7

Track & Field-Outdoor

662/676

23,942

658/673

17,463

Volleyball

-

-

712/714

20,789

Wrestling

470/475/92

11,413

-

0/151

(A) The first number is the number of schools, reporting sponsorship on the Sports Participation Survey. The second number indicates schools sponsoring the sport including primary and secondary schools in cooperative programs as of May 20, 2009. The third number indicates the number of schools that had girls playing on teams consisting primarily of boys.

(B)The second number indicates the number of additional girls playing on teams consisting primarily of boys and entered in boys competition.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,600 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.

-0-

Farm Bureau Insurance and MEEMIC Insurance are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners

Actions: E-mail | Permalink |