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Record-Setting Athletic Participation Numbers Posted
At MHSAA Schools For Third Straight Year

EAST LANSING, Mich. - June 6 - For the third straight year in 2001-02, participation in high school sports took place in record numbers at Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools across the state.

There was a total of 301,544 participants in sports in which the Association sponsors post-season tournaments during the past school year, topping last year's mark of 287,036. Among the student-athletes, a record 127,178 girls participants took part, up from 119,586 last year; and boys participation also hit a new high of 174,366, up from the old record of 167,450 last year. 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 participation figures for girls are up 21 percent since the 1994-95 school year. Boys are up 12 percent over the same time period.

Volleyball continues to be the most popular sport for girls, with 21,527 participants in 2001-02, just short of last year's record of 21,572. Girls sports hitting their all-time highs in participation last year were basketball, competitive cheer, golf, soccer, softball, and track and field.

The most popular boys sport continues to be football, with last year's 44,411 participants an all-time high for the second straight year. Other boys sports hitting new participation highs last year were ice hockey, soccer, tennis, and track and field.

The participation figures are gathered annually from MHSAA member schools to submit to the National Federation of State High School Associations for compiling its national participation survey. The results of the survey from 1990-01 may be viewed on the NFHS Web Site - www.nfhs.org.

The following chart shows participation figures for the 2001-02 school year from MHSAA member schools in sports in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament:

           BOYS                     GIRLS

Sport         Schools (1)     Participants   Schools (1)    Participants

Baseball      632/646         19,573		

Basketball    725/724         23,804         717/720        20,821 / *6

Comp. Cheer                                  162/153        4,063

Cross Country 574/612         7,562          550/594        6,572 / *47

Football      618/642         44,411 / *30

Golf          567/577         8,313          317/303        3,837 / *26

Gymnastics                                   87/102         1,063

Ice Hockey    180/200         3,341 *8


Skiing        88/106          1,138          87/106         823 / *26

Soccer	    423/434         13,742         373/369        12,813 / *141

Softball-FP   608/637         17,052

Swim/Diving   237/268         4,393          251/271        6,585 / *39

Tennis        340/356         7,983          336/352        8,912 / *16

Track & Field

Outdoor	    639/662         22,635         645/656        18,539 / *16

Volleyball                                   699/701        21,527

Wrestling	    448/471         11,700 / *180


(1) The second number indicates the number of schools that sponsored the sport in MHSAA tournaments, including secondary schools in cooperative programs.

* Indicates the number of girls participating on boys teams.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.

Farm Bureau Insurance is a year-round MHSAA Corporate Partner