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Participation Stays Steady In MHSAA Tournament Sports In 2010-11

Contact:  John Johnson 
517.332.5046 or media@mhsaa.com
 

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – July 25 – Participation numbers for high school sports in which post-season tournaments are sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association remained stable in 2010-11, topping the 300,000 mark for the seventh consecutive year.
 

A total of 301,921 participants took part in the 28 tournament sports offered by the Association in the past year – a slight increase over the 2009-10 school year figure of 301,833.  It’s the sixth highest number in the Association’s history.
 

Student enrollments at MHSAA member schools were down by 0.7 percent for the past school year.  Girls participation was up 0.3 percent from a year ago with 126,287; and the boys total of 175,634 was down 0.2 percent.  Since 2006-07, the student population at MHSAA member schools is down from 531,903 to 510,225 – a drop of 4.1 percent.  Participation in that time span has dropped from 313,093, a decrease of 3.8 percent.  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 again set in seven sports – four for boys and three for girls.   Once again, bowling and lacrosse 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.
 

Also of note in this year’s survey:

•  Boys tennis continues a downward slide, with this year’s participation of 7,091 the lowest total since 1994-95.  Its losses since 2006-07 are the highest in terms of percentage of any sport at 16.7 percent (1,426 participants).  By comparison, girls tennis participation is up 2.1 percent in the same time period.

•  Girls cross country set another record at 8,114, and participation in the sport is up 14.7 percent since 2006-07.  In that same time period, boys cross country participation is up 5.9 percent.

•  After three straight years of losses, girls volleyball participation saw an increase of 70 in 2010-11; but the numbers are down 5.9 percent in the past four years – a total of 1,285 players – a drop nearly 50 percent faster than the decline in student enrollments.

•  Basketball figures dropped 0.8 percent for boys and 1.2 percent for girls in 2010-11; also continuing a decline faster than the drop in student enrollments, which has participation in both sports at their lowest points since the Association began tracking the numbers in 1991-92.  Since the 2006-07 survey, girls participation is down 9.3 percent and the boys number is down 6.7 percent – the highest drops in raw numbers of all sports – girls are down 1,772 participants, boys 1,615.

•  A total of 10 sports have participating dropping at a faster rate since 2006-07 than enrollment numbers would suggest – boys tennis, girls swimming & diving, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls skiing, girls gymnastics, softball, and girls track & field.

•  Seven sports have seen significant increases in participation since 2006-07 – boys & girls cross country, boys and girls bowling, boys swimming & diving, and boys and girls lacrosse.  In percentages, boys lacrosse is up 29.6 percent – just over 1,000 participants; and girls lacrosse is up 38.9 percent – over 900 participants.

•  All told, 15 sports had increases in participation in 2010-11 (9 girls-6 boys) and 13 sports had drops (5 girls-8 boys). 

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 2010-11 school year from MHSAA member schools for sports in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament:

                                                              Boys                                                          Girls 

SPORT

SCHOOLS  (A)

PARTICIPANTS

SCHOOLS (A)

PARTICIPANTS (B)

Baseball

640/651/4

18,490

-

0/5

Basketball

745/7437/1

22,379

695/735

17,368/1

Bowling

336/339/7

3,749

328/335

3,027/21

Competitive Cheer

-

-

336/338

7,656

Cross Country

615/628/1

8,638

598/620

8,114/5

Football - 11 player

646/664/26

43,418

-

0/28

Golf

553/559/62

7,477

332/331

3,410/123

Gymnastics

-

-

61/73

633

Ice Hockey

247/268/19

3,945

21

252/26

Lacrosse

118/114/7

4,791

79/79

2,444/12

Skiing-Alpine

97/107/2

836

91/108

684/3

Soccer

484/486/25

14,650

463/467

13,649/75

Softball-Fast Pitch

-

-

621/635

15,166

Swimming & Diving

261/274/10

5,495

268/283

6,079/81

Tennis

324/339/9

7,039

357/354

10,020/52

Track & Field-Outdoor

666/681/3

23,696

661/677

17,198/62

Volleyball

-

-

713/712

20,260

Wrestling

466/481/94

11,031

38

154/164

(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 10, 2011. 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 1,500 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.
 

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