Sport Sponsorship Should Be Up
March 25, 2016
MHSAA member schools plan to sponsor significantly more sports during 2016-17 than they indicated a year ago they would sponsor in 2015-16.
As of March 8, with only one more member school than at the same time in 2015-16:
Lower Peninsula Track & Field expects 16 more boys teams and 12 more girls teams next year than this year.
Bowling anticipates 15 more boys teams and 11 more girls teams.
In LP Golf, the anticipated increase is 12 girls teams, but a decline of 5 boys teams.
In LP Cross Country, the growth is projected to be 7 teams for each gender.
Girls Competitive Cheer and Girls Volleyball each expect 5 more teams next year; both Boys Lacrosse and Girls Lacrosse plan on 4 more teams; in skiing, it’s 5 more girls teams and 3 more boys teams; in LP Soccer it’s 4 additional boys teams and 2 additional girls teams. Baseball may be up 4 schools, while girls softball expects no change. Football expects a net gain of 4 schools; in Basketball, boys may grow by 2 schools, and no change is the current projection for girls.
In LP Tennis, girls now expect a 1-team decline; but boys could continue its dramatic slide, down another 9 schools next year.
The overall theme may be that, no matter how much schools are struggling for resources and resorting to outside funding, they value the high school brand of sports. They see school sports as a magnet for attracting students and an igniter of positive school and community spirit. In short, sports make most schools better.