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Participation In MHSAA Tournament Sports Tops 300,000 For Sixth Consecutive Year

Contact:  John Johnson or Andy Frushour 
517.332.5046 or media@mhsaa.com
 

 
EAST LANSING, Mich.  – July 13 – A good sign of the value schools place in their extracurricular athletic programs was revealed during the 2009-10 school year as participation numbers for sports in which post-season tournaments are sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association topped the 300,000 mark for the sixth consecutive year despite declining student enrollments.
 

Student enrollments at MHSAA member schools were down by 2.7 percent for the past school year, but the total participation figure of 301,833 was down only 0.8 percent from the previous season, and is still the sixth highest in the Association’s history.  Girls participation was down 0.4 percent from a year ago with 125,856 – its lowest point since 2003-04; and the boys total of 175,977 was down 1.1 percent – its lowest point since 2003-04.  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.  
 

Records for participation were set in seven sports – four for boys and three for girls.   Bowling and lacrosse again set new marks for both boys and girls; boys and girls cross country figures were both at an all-time high; and boys swimming and diving also set a new record.
 

Fall participation again took the biggest single season drop at 1.3 percent from the previous year; winter numbers were down only 0.2 percent; and while the spring figures were off 0.9 percent from 2008-09, that season displaced the fall as time of year with the most participation for the first time.  There were 112,409 participants in spring sports in 2009-10, compared to 111,937 fall participants.  Since the 2006-07 survey, fall participation is down 9.6 percent, winter sports are down 6.8 percent, while spring is up 2.6 percent. 
 

Overall participation is down 3.6 percent since the 2006-07 survey – 3.1 percent for boys and 4.3 percent for girls – and enrollments are down 4.1 percent in that same time period – equally split between boys and girls.
 

Also of note in this year’s survey in other sports of interest:
•  Girls cross country continued its upwards surge, its new mark of 7,925 is up 3.8 percent over the previous year, and participation in the sport is up 10.8 percent since 2006-07.
•  Girls volleyball participation saw of 2.9 percent drop in 2009-10; the lowest it has been since the 1995-96 school year.  Since the 2006-07 survey, volleyball participation has dropped 6.3 percent.
•  Boys tennis slipped to its lowest participation total since 1997-98.  Its losses since 2006-07 are the highest in terms of percentage of any sport at 14.4 percent.  By comparison, girls tennis participation is up 1.7 percent in the same time period.
•  Girls golf figures dropped 6.9 percent during the past school year, and the sport is down by that same number – 6.9 percent – since 2006-07.  Boys golf was down 1.4 percent in participation in 2009-10 and is off 2.3 percent since 2006-07. 
•  After stable participation numbers from 2007-08 to 2008-09, basketball figures dropped 2.9 percent for boys and 3.3 percent for girls in 2009-10; hitting the lowest point for both since the Association began tracking the numbers in 1991-92.  Since the 2006-07 survey, girls participation is down 8.2 percent and the boys number is down 6.4 percent.
•  All told, 13 sports had increases in participation in 2009-10 (7 boys-6 girls) and 15 sports had drops (7 boys-8 girls).  Since the 2006-07 survey, 8 sports have higher participation marks (5 boys-3 girls) and 20 sports have seen decreased participation (9 boys-11 girls).
 

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 Schools > Administrators > Sports Participation.
 

The following chart shows participation figures for the 2009-10 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
640/654/5
18,361
-
0/36
Basketball
743/747/3
22,505
702/737
17,580/45
Bowling
328/336/8
3,701
311/329
2,887/15
Competitive Cheer
-
-
332/333
7,528
Cross Country
605/630/3
8,409
585/621
7,925/10
Football - 11 player
639/661/29
43,644
-
0/34
Golf
549/561/52
7,565
334/336
3,424/76
Gymnastics
-
-
68/78
656
Ice Hockey
240/262/13
4,044
18
232/17
Lacrosse
105/105/3
4,306
75/73
2,234/5
Skiing-Alpine
96/108/1
793
97/107
653/1
Soccer
482/487/27
14,485
455/462
13,535/136
Softball-Fast Pitch
-
-
619/638
14,916
Swimming & Diving
259/273/9
5,480
269/283
6,260/97
Tennis
330/342/10
7,373
352/359
9,984/57
Track & Field-Outdoor
668/676/2
23,931
666/674
17,448/13
Volleyball
-
-
711/715
20,190
Wrestling
457/479/79
11,380
-
0/122

 (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 June 21, 2010. 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.

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Farm Bureau Insurance, Farmers Insurance, MEEMIC Insurance Company & Meijer are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners
 

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