FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 9, 2008
Participation In MHSAA Tournament Sports
EAST LANSING, Mich. – June 9 – Strong participation numbers were recorded again during the 2007-08 school year in Michigan high school athletics, as the participation mark for sports in which postseason tournaments are sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association topped the 300,000 mark for the fourth straight year.
The total figure for the school year was 307,112, a number that is down 1.91 percent from the 313,093 figure of a year ago which was the second highest total in the Association’s history. Girls participation was down 2.65 percent from a year ago with 128,009; and the boys total of 179,103 was down 1.4 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 set in five sports – three for boys and two for girls. One of the MHSAA’s newest postseason tournament sports – lacrosse – again hit a high-water mark for both boys and girls; and cross country set new records in both genders. Boys soccer also set a new mark.
For the concluding Spring sports season, the only sport to see an increase in participation was boys track, which was up 0.6 percent from a year ago. The boys lacrosse figure was up 366 participants (9.7 percent) over last year, and girls lacrosse was up 254 players (14.4 percent).
Softball participation was down by 594 (3.6 percent); girls tennis decreased 344 (3.5 percent); girls soccer was off by 292 (2.1 percent); girls track and field 265 (1.5 percent); boys golf 247 (3.2 percent); and baseball 184 (1 percent). The softball figure was the lowest since the MHSAA began keeping survey data in 1991-92. The girls soccer participation was still its third highest total ever after 16 straight seasons of growth. The boys golf decline was at its lowest point in 12 years as 34 fewer schools sponsored the sport this Spring.
Overall Spring participation was down 1,161 (1 percent) from 2006-07.
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 by clikcing here.
The following chart shows participation figures for the 2007-08 school year from MHSAA member schools in sports in which the Association sponsors a postseason 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 12, 2008. 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
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,800 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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