Girls Participation Numbers Hit New High in 2003-04
EAST LANSING, Mich. – June 23 – For the second straight year, girls' participation in high school sports set a new record at Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools across the state during the 2003-04 school year.
The total of 124,978 female participants in sports in which the Association sponsors post-season tournaments during the past school year topped last year's mark of 124, 393. Among all student-athletes, a total of 293,957 took part, falling just short of the 294,012 record set a year ago. Boys participation was the second highest ever, the 168,979 figure just behind the 2002-03 high of 169,619. 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. The participation figures in MHSAA tournament sports for girls are up 19 percent since the 1994-95 school year. Boys are up nine percent over the same time period, and overall participation is up 13 percent.
Volleyball continues to be the most popular sport for girls, with 21,320 participants in 2003-04. Girls sports hitting their all-time highs in participation last year were competitive cheer and soccer.
The most popular boys sport continues to be football, with 42,717 participants last year. The only boys sport to hit a new participation high in 2003-04 was ice hockey.
Bowling, the newest MHSAA post-season tournament sport, had 1,866 boys participants and 1,480 girls in its inaugural 2003-04 school year. Lacrosse joins the MHSAA schedule in the spring of 2005.
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. The results of the survey from the 2000-01 school year to the present may be viewed on the NFHS Web Site – www.nfhs.org . Nationwide results for 2003-04 will be available later this summer.
The following chart shows participation figures for the 2003-04 school year from MHSAA member schools in sports in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament.
( A) The second number indicates the total number of schools that sponsored the sport in MHSAA tournaments, including secondary schools in cooperative programs, as of May 26, 2004.
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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