“Be the Example” is a driving philosophy during the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s annual Sportsmanship Summits, and this fall’s series – provided at four sites during the first two full weeks of November – will offer more opportunities for students to present their ideas to each other as a way of sharing best practices for sportsmanship on and off the field of play.
The MHSAA has conducted Sportsmanship Summits across Michigan for more than 20 years, and this year’s series kicks off Nov. 4 in Marquette and finishes Nov. 14 in Kalamazoo.
MHSAA staff, with assistance from school administrators and the MHSAA Student Advisory Council, conduct Sportsmanship Summits. More than 1,000 students from more than 100 schools are expected to take part in the four workshops, where they will discuss the line that separates good from bad sportsmanship, both as athletes during competition and when it comes to cheering at athletic events. Instruction will be based in part on insights gained during the Student Advisory Council’s Battle of the Fans competitions, which annually began recognizing the best student cheering section in Michigan during the 2011-12 winter season. Details for BOTF IX will be introduced during all four Summit stops.
This fall’s Summits again will feature hands-on breakout sessions and opportunities for students to meet with and discuss sportsmanship with local game officials, who will explain sportsmanship from their points of view and how they may differ from what students experience as competitors or fans. Members of the Student Advisory Council have developed and will instruct during another breakout session and also play a role in the opening all-Summit presentation. To conclude the Summits, the delegation from each participating school will meet to develop a sportsmanship campaign to implement upon returning to school.
Sessions will take place at the following:
• Marquette – Nov. 4 – NMU University Center – 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
• Warren – Nov. 6 – DeCarlo’s Banquet Center – 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
• Lansing – Nov. 11 – Crowne Plaza Lansing West – 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
• Kalamazoo – Nov. 14 – Downtown Radisson – 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Registration at each site is limited to the first 250 students and administrators. Schools are welcome to bring as many as 10 total representatives, including two administrators. For additional registration information, contact Andy Frushour at the MHSAA office – [email protected] or (517) 332-5046. Registration information also is available on the MHSAA Website.
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.