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Volume 26 No. 227
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Participation In High School Sports Declines For First Time In 30 Years

Participation in high school sports in the U.S. has declined for the "first time in 30 years," according to a study cited by Logan Newman of USA TODAY. A report by the National Federation of State High School Associations shows that in the '18-19 school year, there was a "decline of 43,395 from the year prior." The last time the report found a decline was in '88-89. The sports with the "largest declines were two of the most popular ones: 11-player football and basketball." Boys 11-player football "touched its lowest mark" since '99-00, dropping in 44 of the 51 states counted (including DC). However, "boys 6-, 8- and 9-player football teams expanded." Additionally, "girls 11-player football has doubled over the past 10 years." Basketball had the "second-largest decline," as almost 24,000 "fewer students participated in the sport, and the girls total of about 399,000 is the lowest" since '92-93. Volleyball has "seen growth for both genders, rising 26% for boys and 8% for girls" since '12. Overall, '18-19 saw the "third-highest number of athletes the study has ever recorded" (USA TODAY, 8/27).