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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

October 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Prep sports continue to gain popularity

Participation in high-school sports is on the rise, both in Washington and nation-wide.

A recent press release from the WIAA addresses the subject:

RENTON, Wash. – According to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the number of high school sports participants across the country has reached an all-time high with nearly 7.8 million student-athletes, which is an increase for the 25th consecutive year.
 
In Washington, student participation remains above 150,000 for the fifth-straight year at 159,458.  Washington also remains in 17th place in participation by states.  Missouri has 172,494 at 16th place, while Indiana remains a spot behind Washington at 152,383.  The state with the most participation is Texas with 805,299 students.
 
“Washington remains one of the most active states in athletic participation and the WIAA member schools should be applauded for their efforts in providing opportunities for students,” WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said.  “The Association is committed to supporting the member schools and the value of school programs.”
 
Washington saw an increase in participation in one boys’ sport, track and field, as it was increased to 13,005 participants, 256 more than 2013.  In girl’s participation, cross-country saw the biggest influx with the addition of 251 student-athletes to 4,820 in 2014.  Next was swimming and diving, which is up 179 from 2013 to 4,497.  Girls track and field also saw a rise in numbers by 69 participants to raise the total to 9,988 students.  Volleyball remains Washington’s most participated girls’ sport with 10,924 students, while football is the leader on the boys’ side with 21,036 student-athletes.
 
At the national level, girls’ participation increased for the 25th consecutive year with an additional 44,941 participants from 2012-13 and set an all-time record of 3,267,664. Boys’ participation eclipsed 4.5 million for the first time (4,527,994), breaking the mark of 4,494,406 in 2010-11.
 
“This past year’s report on sports participation in our nation’s high schools was another great statement about the importance of these education-based programs,” NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner said. “We are encouraged that schools are continuing to respond to the funding challenges, and are particularly pleased to see that the increase this past year was evenly distributed between boys and girls.”
 
The participation survey has been compiled since 1971 by the NFHS through numbers it receives from its member associations. The complete 2013-14 High School Athletics Participation Survey is posted on the NFHS website at
www.nfhs.org.

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