Girls Events Set Record in 2013-14

September 18, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Michigan High School Athletic Association postseason tournaments drew more than 1.4 million fans in 2013-14 for the 15th straight school year, keyed in part by record attendance at girls events. 

Total attendance for 2013-14 was 1,423,229 fans, with 988,669 at boys tournaments and 434,560 spectators at girls tournaments. Attendance is kept for all sports except golf, skiing and tennis, for which admission typically is not charged.

Total attendance did fall 10,127 fans, or 0.7 percent, from 2012-13. However, the girls tournament total broke a previous record set during the 2009-10 school year, with three girls sports setting overall attendance records: volleyball (101,654 fans), lacrosse (5,737) and competitive cheer (25,996). Boys and girls bowling tournaments, conducted simultaneously, also set an attendance record with 12,595 fans.

Cheer attendance increased for the 11th consecutive year and 2.8 percent from 2012-13; Cheer Finals attendance increased for the fifth straight year to a record 7,766 fans. The Boys Ice Hockey Finals also set a record with 14,595 fans, an increase of 1,690 over the previous year, while ice hockey’s total tournament attendance (60,778) was up 2.9 percent with increases at the Pre-Regional and Quarterfinal levels as well. Bowling, in addition to an overall attendance record, also saw a record for its Finals of 4,100 fans. The Baseball and Softball Finals, played at Michigan State University for the first time, did not set a record – but did draw 5,297 fans, a 29-percent increase from the previous season.

Attendance at boys tournament events fell to its lowest total since 1993-94, although the decrease from 2012-13 was less than one percent. However, football, despite a 1.5-percent decrease in attendance from the previous season, remained the highest MHSAA tournament draw for the seventh consecutive year with 392,069 fans. Football Finals attendance (52,409) rebounded 10.6 percent from 2012-13 after a similarly significant drop following 2011-12.

Boys Basketball Finals weekend attendance also bounced back significantly, with a 21.7-percent increase from the 2012-13 event to a three-day total of 42,373 fans at the Semifinals and Finals. Regional attendance also was up 4.8 percent, although overall boys basketball tournament attendance was down 3.2 percent to 308,205 fans. Girls basketball attendance was down 2.8 percent to 161,569 fans with Finals weekend attendance down 11.8 percent from 2012-13 – although the total Finals attendance of 16,763 fans in 2013-14 was the second-highest over the last four seasons, and attendance at Regionals and Quarterfinals increased from the previous girls basketball season.

Volleyball attendance increased 5.7 percent from 2012-13 while setting a District record of 68,447 fans, 16 percent more than the previous record set during 2011-12. Girls lacrosse bounced back from a slight drop in 2012-13 to set a record for overall attendance with 5,737 fans including a record for Semifinal attendance. Softball (3.7 percent to 42,242 fans), girls soccer (0.9 percent to 27,072) and girls swimming and diving (3.2 percent to 5,084) also saw attendance increases from 2012-13 – with girls soccer enjoying an 18-percent increase at the District level – while gymnastics (1,877) saw its lowest tournament attendance since 2007-08.

Five more sports saw attendance increases in 2013-14: Individual wrestling (49,037) was up 2.8 percent, boys lacrosse (7,726) was up 6.1 percent, baseball (47,540) was up 3.9 percent, boys and girls cross country (17,300) increased 1.9 percent and boys soccer (28,903) drew 35 more fans total than during 2012-13. Boys and girls cross country postseason events, like for bowling, are conducted simultaneously.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 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 more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

MHSAA Accepting Student Advisory Council Applications for Class of 2026

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 11, 2024

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is seeking student-athletes to become members of its Student Advisory Council beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

Four boys and four girls from the Class of 2026 will be selected to two-year terms, and will meet on matters related to maintaining and promoting a proper perspective and sensible scope for high school sports in Michigan. Eight members from the Class of 2025 already are serving on the Council, while eight members from the Class of 2024 are leaving the Council this spring.

To be eligible for the committee, candidates must be a member of the Class of 2026, complete the official application including answering the three short-answer questions, submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be available for all scheduled meetings.

In addition, candidates should show a history of leadership on athletic teams as well as with other extracurricular activities, community service projects, or in the workplace; and show an understanding of the role of school sports and have ideas for promoting a proper perspective for educational athletics.

Applications are due to the MHSAA by 4:30 p.m. on April 22. Applications can be downloaded from the Student Advisory Council page of the MHSAA Website and must be returned via e-mail, fax or any mail delivery service

The Student Advisory Council meets six times each school year, and once more for a 24-hour leadership camp. In addition to assisting in the promotion of the educational value of interscholastic athletics, the Council discusses issues dealing with the 4 S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety (including health and nutrition) and the sensible scope of athletic programs. A fifth S – student leadership – is also a common topic. Members contribute to the planning of Sportsmanship Summits, Captains Clinics and other student leadership events, and assist with medal ceremonies at MHSAA championship events.

Newly-chosen members will join the following from the Class of 2025: Cale Bell, Sault Ste. Marie; Drew Cady, Oxford; Macy Jenkins, Milford; Isaiah Kabban, Harbor Beach; Ella Knudsen, Leland; Kaylee Kranz, Clinton; Joey Spada, Kalamazoo Central; and Aynalem Zoet, Grandville Calvin Christian.

The eight new members of the Student Advisory Council will be notified by May 3. The 2024-25 meetings are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25, Oct. 6, Dec. 8, Feb. 16 and April 27, in addition to the leadership camp June 18-19 and with a May 2025 meeting still to be scheduled.  Meetings will take place at the MHSAA Office in East Lansing, For additional information, contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA at (517) 332-5046 or [email protected].