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Q: kids who play high school sports ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: kids who play high school sports
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: smackdab-ga
List Price: $19.50
Posted: 22 Mar 2004 19:23 PST
Expires: 21 Apr 2004 20:23 PDT
Question ID: 319429
Overview: Looking to find out how many kids are playing sports in the USA.
          And, looking to find out how often they participate.
          The results should be for an average school year.

This is the way I would go about searching for the info., but there
might be better or more accessible use your judgment...

1) Number of high schools in the USA
2) Top 5 most popular sports for boys (reasonable guess is ok)
3) Top 5 most popular sports for girls (reasonable guess is ok)
4) Average number of players on each sport (boys&girls)
   (how many kids have the opportunity to play even if they are not a starter)
5) Average number of "games" in a "season" for each sport (boys&girls)

This is my first question so it is hard for me to estimate the
price...Since I am accepting estimates, I priced it a bit lower than
if I wanted exact numbers...if you are a high school coach this likely
could be done quickly and without the internet ;-)

Exact numbers are not needed, so estimates are OK.  
If an estimate is not obvious, please indicate your reasoning.
I expect that some popular sports are regional, don't know how to handle this.

Subject: Re: kids who play high school sports
Answered By: tar_heel_v-ga on 22 Mar 2004 20:13 PST

Thanks for an interesting question.According to the National
Federation of State High School Assoctiations, in the 2002-2003 school

There was a total enrollment of 12,356,000 in US high schools
6,845,096, or 55.4% participated in athletics

The most popular boys programs based upon the number of schools:
Outdoor Track and Field-15,195
11-player football-13,642
Cross Country-12,574
Swimming and Diving-5,588

The 10 most popular sports for boys and the number of participants:
11-player football-1,023,142
Outdoor Track and Field-498,027
Cross Country-191,833
Swimming and Diving-94,612

The most popular girls programs based upon the number of schools:
Outdoor Track and Field-15,032
Fast Pitch Softball-14,007
Cross Country-12,083
Swimming and Diving-6,120
Competitive Spirit Squads-4.644

The 10 most popular sports for girls and the number of participants:
Outdoor Track and Field-415,602
Fast Pitch Softball-357,912
Swimming and Diving-141,468
Competitive Spirit Squads-111,191

One thing to keep in mind is that these numbers reflect multiple
participation.  In other words, athletes that competed in two sports
are counted twice, three sports, three times, etc.

If you are interested in other sports and the participation levels,
you can view the information at
 You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded at, to view the document.  Some additional
interesting information can be found:

Participation in School Athletics:
Gives nice demographic breakdowns such as race, parental education,
and college plans of high school athletes (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School
Interscholastic Level

I hope this answers your question.  If you need additional
clarification, please let me know.  Thanks again for your question.



Search Strategy:
High School Athletics Participation

National Federation of State High School Associations
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