Michigan Again 7th for Participation

August 19, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

For the seventh straight year, Michigan ranked seventh nationally in high school sports participation, according to statistics for the 2014-15 school year released recently by the National Federation of State High School Associations. 

That level of participation continued to best Michigan’s national ranking for total number of residents of high school age, which remained ninth for the third consecutive year, and Michigan also ranked ninth or higher in participation in 25 of 28 sports in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association conducts a postseason tournament.

Michigan’s participation ranking was based on a number of 295,660, with 124,633 girls and 171,027 boys taking part, and included sports in which the MHSAA does not conduct postseason tournaments. 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 state’s girls participation remained seventh nationally for the fourth consecutive year, while the boys participation figure continued to rank sixth. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures from 2014, Michigan ranks ninth in both females and males ages 14 through 17.

Two sports improved in national ranking this school year, while four sports dropped one or two positions. However, 13 sports bested the state’s overall national participation ranking of seventh, placing sixth or higher on their respective lists.

Michigan girls volleyball improved from fifth to fourth in the national participation ranking, and girls track and field from eighth to seventh. The four sports that ranked lower for 2014-15 were boys bowling falling from second to third, girls cross country from fifth to seventh, girls swimming and diving from ninth to 10th and wrestling from seventh to eighth.

The 11 other Michigan sports that ranked sixth or higher repeated their rankings from a year ago: football (11 and 8-player combined) at sixth, boys basketball at sixth, boys golf at sixth, boys ice hockey fourth, boys skiing fourth, boys tennis fifth, girls bowling fourth, girls competitive cheer fifth, girls golf sixth, girls skiing fourth and girls tennis also remaining fourth on its national participation list. 

The other Michigan sports that equaled their 2013-14 national ranking were girls basketball at seventh, gymnastics at 12th, girls lacrosse at 13th, girls soccer at ninth, softball at seventh, baseball at seventh, boys cross country also seventh, boys lacrosse eighth, boys soccer ninth, boys swimming and diving ninth and boys track and field seventh on its list.

National participation in high school sports in 2013-14 set a record for the 26th consecutive year with 7,807,047 participants – an increase of 11,389 from the year before. Girls participation also set a record for the 26th straight year, increasing this time 20,071 participants to 3,287,735 total. Boys participation fell 8,682 participants from 2013-14, but still totaled 4,519,312 after passing 4.5 million for the first time a year ago.

Boys soccer saw the largest gain nationally with an additional 15,150 participants, and that sport ranked fifth among boys sports behind 11-player football, outdoor track and field, basketball and baseball. Football (1,083,617) remained the most-played high school sport overall. Track and field remained the most popular girls sport with 478,726 participants, with volleyball moving ahead of basketball for the second spot in the girls rankings. Soccer and softball followed at fourth and fifth, respectively, on the girls sports list.

94 Schools Raise Trophies as Part of 2023-24 MHSAA Parade of Champions

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

June 19, 2024

A total of 94 schools won one or more of the 129 Michigan High School Athletic Association team championships awarded during the 2023-24 school sports year, with three teams earning the first Finals championship in any sport in their schools’ histories.

Southfield Arts & Technology celebrated its first MHSAA Finals team championship during the fall, winning the 11-player Division 1 football title. Evart and Watervliet closed this spring by celebrating their first Finals victories, Evart as champion in Division 3 softball and Watervliet as champion in Division 4 baseball.

A total of 25 schools won two or more championships this school year, paced by Marquette’s six won in girls and boys cross country, girls and boys swimming & diving, boys golf and boys track & field. Detroit Catholic Central was next with four Finals championships, and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Farmington Hills Mercy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Jackson Lumen Christi all won three. Winning two titles in 2023-24 were Ann Arbor Greenhills, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Bark River-Harris, Clarkston Everest Collegiate, Detroit Country Day, Escanaba, Flint Kearsley, Fowler, Grand Rapids Christian, Hancock, Hudson, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Ishpeming, Negaunee, Northville, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Rochester Adams, Traverse City Christian and Traverse City St. Francis.

A total of 25 teams won first MHSAA titles in their respective sports. A total of 47 champions were repeat winners from 2022-23. A total of 22 teams won championships for at least the third-straight season, while 11 teams extended title streaks to at least four consecutive seasons. The Lowell wrestling program owns the longest title streak at 11 seasons. 

Sixteen of the MHSAA's 28 team championship tournaments are unified, involving teams from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, while separate competition to determine title winners in both Peninsulas is conducted in remaining sports.

For a sport-by-sport listing of MHSAA champions for 2023-24, click here (PDF).

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.