FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 31, 2006
Celebrate Participation! High School Numbers In Michigan
EAST LANSING, Mich. – May 31 – After setting a record for the second straight year and topping the 300,000 mark for the first time during 2004-05, the Michigan High School Athletic Association dubbed the 2005-06 athletic school year as a “Celebration of Participation.” The participation figures just in for the current year give even more reason to celebrate.
For the third straight year, all-time records in high school sports participation in Michigan were set. MHSAA member schools report that 313,589 participants took part in sports in which the Association sponsors post-season tournaments, surpassing last year’s record of 304,568.
Both girls and boys participation were at all-time highs. This year, there were 131,662 girls taking part in high school sports, topping last year’s mark of 127,890; and the boy’s figure of 181,927 passed last year’s record of 176,678. 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 14 sports – seven in each gender. Football’s total of 46,447 topped the 2002-03 figure of 44,480, and continues to be the most popular sport for boys. Ice hockey has hit a new high in each of 11 consecutive years, topping the 4,000 mark this year with 4,065. Soccer, tennis and track and field made it two consecutive years of new records; as did the Association’s newest sports – bowling and lacrosse.
Girls volleyball hit a participation all-time high in 2005-06 with 21,919, breaking the old mark of 21,678 set during 2002-03; and continues to be the most popular sport for girls in Michigan. Girls competitive cheer and soccer set records for the third straight year; tennis made it back-to-back record years along with new sports bowling and lacrosse; and track and field topped its previous record from 2001-02.
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 2005-06 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 2005-06 school year from MHSAA member schools in sports in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament:
(A) The first number is the number of schools, reporting sponsorship on the Sports Participation Survey. The second number indicates the total number of participating schools in MHSAA tournaments, including number of additional schools participating in the sport through cooperative programs, as of May 27, 2006. 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 1,700 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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