Renton, Wash. - According to the 2014-15 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the number of student-athletes in Washington state rose to 160,245, the WIAA announced Wednesday.
The Evergreen State’s student participation was 787 more than 2013-14 and kept Washington in 17th place out of the 51 State Associations in total participants.
“I commend our school coaches and administrators for providing a broad range of activities for a diverse student population,” WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said. “The data and the trends that we see have a positive outlook for high school activities and athletics in this state.”
In boys athletics (92,160), Washington increased 600 participants with the largest difference coming from Track and Field (13,539), which saw 534 more participants than the previous year. Baseball also had a major influx in participation with 9,595, an increase of 348. Football (22,090) was next with 179, while Basketball (11,145) had 83.
On the girls side, the Association reported 68,085 participants, a gain of 187. Seven sports increased from last year’s numbers with Softball (7,416) leading the way with an increase of 566. Track and Field (10,163) had the next largest growth with 175 competitors, and Tennis (7,174) rounded out the top three with 145.
At the national level, girls participation set an all-time mark of 3,287,735, while the boys reported 4,519,312 student-athlete participants. Among the top 10 boys sports, Soccer registered the largest gain with an additional 15,150 participants, while Wrestling (11,306) and 11-player Football (9,617) had the largest declines in participation. Besides Soccer, other top 10 boys sports that had increases in the number of participants were Baseball (3,938) and Basketball (425).
Six of the top 10 girls sports registered national increases in participation this past year, led by Competitive Spirit Squads (5,170 additional participants) and Cross Country (3,495). While Track and Field remained the number one sport for girls with 478,726 participants, Volleyball (432,176) moved ahead of Basketball (429,504) to secure the second spot. Ten years ago, Basketball was ranked first for girls, followed by Track and Field, then Volleyball.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) service organization and rule-making body that was formed in 1905 to create equitable playing conditions between high school sports teams in Washington. The Association consists of nearly 800 member high schools and middle/junior high schools, both public and private, and is divided into nine geographic service districts. The state staff administers Association policies, rules and regulations and provides other assistance and service to member schools.
The WIAA oversees athletics and fine arts in Washington state and hosts 120 WIAA state championship events for the following sports and activities: baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, dance & drill, debate, drama, football, golf, gymnastics, music, softball, swimming & diving, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling. WIAA state championships run from early November through late May. These programs provide students with valuable life skills and are an integral part of the total education process.
For more information:
Sports and Activities Information Director