For the third straight school year, Michigan in 2018-19 had the eighth-most participants in high school sports nationally according to statistics recently released by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), again outpacing the state’s national ranking of 10th for total number of residents of high school age.
Michigan’s participation ranking was based on a number of 292,947, with 126,342 girls and 166,605 boys taking part in high school athletics. The totals count students once for each sport in which he or she participates, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.
The state’s girls participation ranked eighth nationally for the third straight year, while boys participation fell back to eighth, after moving up one spot to seventh during 2017-18.
A total of 19 sports bested the state’s overall national participation ranking of eighth by placing seventh or higher on their respective lists.
Two sports that fell on participation lists still outpaced Michigan’s overall participation rank – girls volleyball fell one spot to fifth, while girls competitive cheer fell one spot to sixth on their respective rankings lists. Other local sports that ranked eighth or higher in 2018-19 were baseball (eighth), girls basketball (sixth), boys basketball (seventh), girls and boys cross country (both seventh), 11-player football (sixth), boys golf (sixth), girls softball (seventh), and boys track & field (seventh).
Girls soccer slotted ninth on the list, holding to its 2017-18 ranking and placing still ahead of where Michigan slotted for high school-aged population. Michigan wrestling participation fell two spots to ninth nationally, but still outpaced population, and boys soccer fell one spot to 10th.