FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 8, 2005
High School Sports Participation Numbers Top 300,000 Mark For First Time
EAST LANSING , Mich. - June 8 - All-time records for participation in high school sports were broken by Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools across the state during the 2004-05 school year, topping the 300,000 mark for the first time.
Among all student-athletes, a total of 304,568 participants in sports in which the Association sponsors post-season tournaments during the past school year took part, smashing the 294,012 record set in 2002-03. The girls numbers were record-setting for the third straight year – the total of 127,890 topping last year’s mark of 124,978. Boys participation was also its highest ever, the 176,678 figure surpassing the previous high of 169,619 in 2002-03. 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 22 percent since the 1994-95 school year. Boys are up 14 percent over the same time period, and overall participation is up 17 percent.
Volleyball continues to be the most popular sport for girls, with 21,564 participants in 2004-05, the sports’ third-highest total ever. Girls sports hitting their all-time highs in participation last year for the second straight year were competitive cheer and soccer, while cross country, swimming and diving, and tennis all set new participation records.
The most popular boys sport continues to be football, with 44,253 participants last year. Ice hockey set a new participation record in 2004-05 for the second straight year, and also setting marks were soccer and tennis.
Lacrosse, the newest MHSAA post-season tournament sport, had 3,032 male and 1,435 female participants. Bowling saw increases in both genders in its second year, with 2,350 boys and 1,955 girls – a total addition of nearly 1,000 participants.
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 national survey from the 2000-01 school year to the present may be viewed on the NFHS Web site – www.nfhs.org. Nationwide results for 2004-05 will be available later this summer. Results of Michigan survey from the 2000-01 school year to the present may be viewed on the MHSAA Web site – www.mhsaa.com – and clicking on Administrators.
The following chart shows participation figures for the 2004-05 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 participating schools, including secondary schools in cooperative programs, as of May 27, 2005. 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.
Farm Bureau Insurance and MEEMIC Insurance are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners