How Many States Are Playing High School Sports?

With so many schools canceling or postponing their sports seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering how many states are actually playing high school sports. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, as of September 2020, only 13 states are allowing high school sports to be played.

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Introduction

The answer to how many states are playing high school sports during the pandemic may surprise you. Forty-four states plus the District of Columbia will have high school sports this fall, although a few are still undecided. Most schools are playing football, but there are also states offering other sports like soccer, cross country, field hockey, and volleyball.

Some schools are only allowing students to participate if they can prove they have had a negative COVID-19 test within the past two weeks. Others are requiring all participants to wear masks while competing. Some states are even holding their championships in empty stadiums.

Despite the challenges, the vast majority of states are moving forward with high school sports this fall.

Number of High School Athletes by State

High school sports are a cherished tradition in the United States, with millions of student athletes competing every year. But how many states are actually playing high school sports?

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), 49 states and the District of Columbia currently offer high school sports programs. The only state that does not offer high school sports is Alaska, which does not have any high schools that are members of the NFHS.

The NFHS is the governing body for high school sports in the United States, and its member schools are located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In order to be a member of the NFHS, a school must offer at least one sport that is sanctioned by the organization.

So, while Alaska may not have any high schools that offer sanctioned sports through the NFHS, it is possible that some private or charter schools in the state do offer high school sports programs.

Number of High School Sports Teams by State

The number of high school sports teams varies widely by state, with some states having significantly more teams than others. Here is a breakdown of the number of teams by state:

Alabama: 4,067
Alaska: 1,084
Arizona: 2,846
Arkansas: 2,131
California: 9,578
Colorado: 2,369
Connecticut: 1,742
Delaware: 720
Florida: 7,720
Georgia: 5,142
Hawaii: 530
Idaho: 1,221
Illinois: 5,282
Indiana: 3,969
Iowa: 2,886
Kansas: 2,452
Kentucky: 3,357
Louisiana: 2,948

Number of High School Athletic Programs by State

The number of high school athletic programs by state varies widely. Depending on the source, you may find that there are anywhere from around 5,000 to over 15,000 high school athletic programs in the United States.

The largest concentration of high school athletic programs is in California, where there are over 9,000 programs. Texas is next with over 5,500 programs, followed by New York with just under 5,000.

The state with the fewest high school athletic programs is Alaska, with fewer than 200. Other states with a relatively small number of programs include Wyoming (fewer than 300), Vermont (fewer than 400), and North Dakota (fewer than 500).

Participation in High School Sports by State

In the United States, high school sports are governed by each state’s athletic association. Participation in high school sports varies by state. Some states have large programs with many schools participating, while other states have smaller programs with only a few schools participating. The following table shows the percentage of high school students who participated in high school sports in each state in 2016-2017.

-Alabama: 41%
-Alaska: 24%
-Arizona: 34%
-Arkansas: 30%
-California: 33%
-Colorado: 38%
-Connecticut: 42%
-Delaware: 39%
-District of Columbia: 42%
-Florida: 39%
-Georgia: 36%
-Hawaii: 37%
-Idaho: 37%
-Illinois: 39%
-Indiana: 35%
Iowa: 40%
Kansas : 40 % Kentucky : 38 % Louisiana : 35 % Maine : 36 % Maryland : 41 % Massachusetts : 47 % Michigan : 40 % Minnesota : 41 % Mississippi : 37 % Missouri : 32 % Montana : 33 %

Conclusion

High school sports are a popular extracurricular activity in many states across the country. Participation levels vary greatly from state to state, but overall, high school sports are a significant part of the culture in many communities.

There is no one answer to the question of how many states are playing high school sports. Participation levels vary greatly from state to state, and there is no comprehensive data set that tracks this information. However, based on available data and anecdotal evidence, it is clear that high school sports are a significant part of the culture in many states across the country.

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