Special from NFHS
As the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) heads into the next 100 years of leading high school sports and other activity programs nationwide, it will be doing so with a new logo.
The new logo was unveiled to the membership earlier this month at the close of the NFHS Centennial Celebration. The NFHS and its 51-member state high school associations celebrated the organization’s accomplishments at the 100th Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
The organization will continue to be branded as the NFHS in the new logo, and the N and F are connected as has been the case since 1979. However, the entire acronym is together on one line as opposed to the previous logo with the NF and HS on separate lines. While red and blue will continue to be the predominant colors, the new logo mixes white with red and blue to suggest a flag waving in the wind. The direction of the flag is pointing upward to symbolize forward-thinking and advancement.
The new design maintains a resemblance to the shield that has been a part of the NFHS logo since 1997. However, the logo is flared at the top, and the bottom of the logo does not have definitive borders, which suggests the organization has moved past its first 100 years and is expanding its reach as the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts programs in the United States.
While the organization’s logo from 1952 had four stars to signify the four charter members of the NFHS, the four stripes within the new logo represent the four homes of the organization during the first 100 years.
“We wanted to retain NFHS as the central component of the new logo because the organization’s national presence has continued to spiral upward in the 22 years since the NFHS acronym was adopted,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “However, as we celebrated our first 100 years, we felt it was important to establish a new look that would signify our ever-increasing role as the national leader in high school sports and performing arts programs.”
Counting the Centennial logo that was used during the 2018-19 school year, the new logo will be 10th used by the organization since the first one was adopted in the 1930s. The new logo was created by Section 127, an Indianapolis-based design company.
The NFHS was started in 1920 and had offices in Chicago until 1971, when it moved to Elgin, Illinois. The organization moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1979, and then in 2000 to Indianapolis, where it remains today.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association is a member of the NFHS, and Michigan is one of the four founding states of the national association.
Michigan continued to rank 10th nationally in high school-aged population during the 2022-23 school year and continued to best that ranking in participation in high school sports, according to the annual national participation study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Michigan ranked ninth for overall participation nationally, based on a total of 268,070 participants who competed in sports for which the MHSAA conducts postseason tournaments. The total counts students once for each sport played, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.
Michigan also ranked ninth nationally for both girls (111,569) and boys (156,501) participation separately, while ranking ninth for high-school aged boys population and 10th for girls according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Michigan’s national rankings in seven sports improved from 2021-22, while nine sports saw lower national rankings than the previous year. The biggest jumps came in girls volleyball and boys soccer, which both moved up two spots – volleyball to fourth-highest participation nationally, and boys soccer to eighth. Girls golf (fourth), softball (seventh), girls track & field (seventh), girls swimming & diving and boys swimming & diving (both eighth) also moved up on their respective national lists.
Participation in several more MHSAA sports also continued to outpace the state’s rankings for high school-aged population.
For girls, participation in bowling (fourth), tennis (fourth), cross country (sixth), basketball (seventh), competitive cheer (ninth) and soccer (ninth) all ranked higher than their population listing of 10th nationally. Among boys sports, bowling (second), ice hockey (fourth), tennis (fifth), golf (fifth), basketball (sixth), track & field (sixth), cross country (seventh), football – all formats combined (seventh) and baseball (eighth) exceeded that ninth ranking for population.
Only 11 states sponsor alpine skiing, but Michigan ranked third on both the girls and boys lists for that sport. Wrestling, with boys and girls totals counted together, ranked eighth.
Participation nationally rose more than three percent from 2021-22 to 7,857,969 participants, the first upward movement in participation data since the all-time record of 7,980,886 in 2017-18, which was followed by the first decline in 30 years in 2018-19 and the two-year halt in data collection by the NFHS related to the pandemic. (The MHSAA continued to collect and report its data during this time.) The national total includes 4,529,789 boys and 3,328,180 girls, according to figures obtained from the 51 NFHS member state associations, which include the District of Columbia.
Eleven-player football remained the most popular boys sport, and most popular participation sport overall, with the total climbing back over one million participants. The total of 1,028,761 participants marked an increase of 54,969 and 5.6 percent from the previous year. This year’s increase was the first in the sport since 2013 and only the second increase since the all-time high of 1,112,303 in 2008-09. There also was a slight gain (34,935 to 35,301) in the number of boys in 6-, 8- and 9-player football.
Next on the boys list were outdoor track & field, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, tennis, golf, and swimming & diving, respectively.
On the girls side, outdoor track and field (up 6.5 percent) and volleyball (3.6) remained in the top two spots, while basketball reclaimed the third position. Cross country ranked fourth, followed by softball, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming & diving and competitive spirit, respectively.
Texas remained atop the list of state participation with 827,446, but California closed the gap in second adding 25,000 participants to climb to 787,697. New York is third with 356,803, followed by Illinois (335,801), Ohio (323,117), Pennsylvania (316,587), Florida (297,389), New Jersey (272,159), Michigan (268,070) and Minnesota (219,094), which climbed into the top 10 past Massachusetts.
The participation survey has been compiled in its current form by the NFHS since 1971.