High school sports are a big deal in the United States. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, over seven million students participated in high school sports during the 2017-2018 school year. But what percent of high school students actually play sports?
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The number of high school students playing sports has been on the decline in recent years. According to a recent study, only about 41 percent of high school students in the United States played on a sports team in 2016. This is down from a peak of 51 percent in 2008.
Data on High School Sports Participation
The following data is from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). The NFHS is the governing body for high school sports in the United States.
In the 2015-2016 school year, there were 7,482,049 high school students who participated in sports. This number represents an all-time high and a 2.3% increase from the previous school year.
The most popular sport for high school students is football, with 1,098,316 participants. This is followed by outdoor track and field (697,972 participants), basketball (645,868 participants), and volleyball (549,256 participants).
Reasons for the Decline in High School Sports Participation
In recent years, there has been a decline in high school sports participation. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the number of students playing high school sports has declined by more than 3 percent since 2013.
There are a number of reasons for this decline, including the rising cost of playing sports, the increased focus on academic achievement, and the popularity of other activities such as video games and social media.
The rising cost of playing sports is a major factor in the decline of high school sports participation. Families are increasingly reluctant to pay for their child’s participation in sports, due to the high cost of equipment, travel, and other expenses.
The increased focus on academic achievement is also a major reason for the decline in high school sports participation. With the increasing emphasis on standardized test scores and college admissions, students are feeling pressure to spend more time on their studies and less time on extracurricular activities.
The popularity of other activities such as video games and social media is also contributing to the decline in high school sports participation. Students are spending more time on these activities and less time on physical activity.
The Impact of the Decline in High School Sports Participation
The number of high school students playing sports has been on the decline in recent years. According to a report from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the participation rate for high school sports fell from a peak of 7.8 million students in 2008-09 to 7.4 million students in 2016-17, a decline of 4.5%. This trend is concerning for a number of reasons.
For one, playing sports has a number of well-documented benefits for young people. Participation in sports has been linked with better grades and higher graduation rates, as well as improved physical health and mental well-being. Sports also teach important life skills like teamwork, leadership, and perseverance.
The decline in high school sports participation also has implications for the future of college and professional athletics. High school sports are an important pipeline for college and professional athletes, and the decline in participation could lead to a decline in the quality of these programs in the future.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the decline in high school sports participation, including increased competition from other activities like clubs and extracurriculars, concerns about safety and concussions, and the rising cost of participation. Whatever the reasons, it is clear that the decline in high school sports participation is having an impact on students and communities across the country.
In conclusion, approximately 20 percent of high school students play sports. This number has remained relatively steady over the past few years, although there has been a slight decrease in the overall percentage of students who participate in sports. There are a number of reasons why students choose not to play sports, including lack of interest, time commitments, and financial considerations. However, for those students who do choose to participate in sports, the benefits can be significant.