According to the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s (TSSAA) Matthew Gillespie, the Volunteer State saw another increase in the number of students participating in sports. This trend appears to be nationwide.
Boosted by continued growth in several girl’s sports, participation in high school sports increased for the 23rd consecutive year in 2011-12, according to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Based on figures from the 51 NFHS-member state high school athletic/activity associations, which includes the District of Columbia, sports participation for the 2011-12 school year reached an all-time high of 7,692,520 participants – an increase of 24,565 from the previous year.
An additional 33,984 girls participated in high school sports last year, making the all-time record total 3,207,533. This also marks the 23rd consecutive year for an increase in the number of female participants with Outdoor track and field leading the way with 468,747.
While girls participation continued to climb, boys participation figures dipped for the first time since the 1992-93 school year, down 9,419 from last year’s number of 4,494,406 to 4,484,987. Seven of the top 10 boys sports registered drops in participation, with 11-player football leading the way with 1,095,993 boys playing.