Tournament Attendance Tops 1.4 Million

September 17, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The 2012-13 school year marked the sixth straight that attendance at Michigan High School Athletic Association postseason tournaments totaled more than 1.43 million fans, with attendance at girls tournaments topping 430,000 for the fourth straight year.

Total attendance for 2012-13 was 1,433,356 fans, with 1,002,663 at boys tournaments and 430,693 spectators at girls tournaments. Attendance is kept for all sports except golf, skiing and tennis, for which admission typically is not charged.

Girls tournament attendance first topped 400,000 for a school year in 2008-09, then rose over 430,000 for the first time the following year. Helping fuel the total in 2012-13 was a record crowd of 25,290 for competitive cheer (District, Regional and Final rounds combined), and also a record attendance of 12,508 for the girls and boys bowling tournament.

Total attendance did dip slightly in 2012-13, down from 1,479,152 the year before, a drop of 3.1 percent and the lowest since 2006-07. However, four sports joined cheer and bowling with attendance increases from 2011-12 – girls basketball up 4.8 percent to 166,153 fans, gymnastics up 16.8 percent to 2,290, team wrestling up 1.2 percent to 28,863 and ice hockey up 6.5 percent with 59,037 fans this past season.

Football again was the most attended tournament for the sixth consecutive year with 397,944 fans in 2012 – although that represented a 7.3 percent drop from the 2011 playoffs. However, the Regional (5.6 percent) and Semifinal (6.3) rounds both saw increases in fans from the previous season.

Similarly, boys basketball again was second in attendance with 318,325 fans, despite a 1.4 percent decrease from 2011-12. However, the District, Regional and Quarterfinal rounds showed a combined increase of 2.4 percent over the previous season. Girls basketball attendance increased in every round from 2011-12 for an overall increase of 4.8 percent. The Finals weekend total, including semifinals and championship games for each class, was 19,003, the highest since 1992-93.

Girls lacrosse total attendance dropped 9.7 percent to 5,009 fans, but still totaled its second most as an MHSAA sport and set records for Semifinals (1,027) and Finals (1,171) attendance. Volleyball attendance (96,151) remained above 96,000 fans for the fourth consecutive year despite falling 3.2 percent from its 2011-12 record high. Girls soccer dropped less than half a percent from 2011-12 to 26,836 fans, but set a Regional round record with 10,574.

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

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 1.3 million spectators each year.