INDIANAPOLIS — Participation in high school sports increased for the 24th consecutive year in 2012-13 and passed the 7.7 million mark for the first time, 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 associations, which includes the District of Columbia, sports participation for the 2012-13 school year reached an all-time high of 7,713,577 participants – an increase of 21,057 from the previous year.
An additional 15,190 girls participated in high school sports last year, moving the girls all-time record to 3,222,723 and marking the 24th consecutive year for an increase in the number of female participants.
After its first decrease in 20 years last year, boys participation started on the upswing again with an additional 5,867 participants. The boys total of 4,490,854 is second all-time to the 4,494,406 in 2010-11.
A sizable increase in “adapted sports” participation also contributed to the rise in 2012-13 figures. With seven states offering programs for students with disabilities in 14 sports, the number of participants rose almost 3,000 to 8,747 (girls and boys combined).
The top 10 states by participants remained in the same order as last year, with Texas and California topping the list. The remainder of the top 10 was New York, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida and Minnesota.
Although only one of the top 10 states registered an increase in participation (New Jersey), overall, 30 states re- ported higher figures from the previous year.
The participation survey has been compiled since 1971 by the NFHS through numbers it receives from its member associations. The complete 2012-13 High School Athletics Participation Survey is available on the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.