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MHSAA Member Schools Enjoy Significant Rebound in Sports Participation in 2021-22 | Michigan High Schools Athletic Association

Participation in Michigan High School Athletic Association-sponsored sports rebounded significantly in the 2021-2022 school year, despite a slight drop in enrollment among MHSAA’s 750 member high schools.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 was followed by a significant decline in MHSAA sports participation in 2020-21. However, attendance for the last school year ending this spring saw a 6.6% increase from 2020-21 to reach a total of 260,542 participants in the 28 sports for which MHSAA sponsors tournaments according to -season – even though statewide enrollment fell 0.76% to 440,728 students. this past school year.

Girls’ participation increased by 6.8% to 109,128 athletes, while boys’ participation increased by 6.5% to 151,414. MHSAA overall participation totals count students once for each sport they participate in, meaning that students who are multi-sport athletes are counted more than once.

A total of 23 sports saw their participation increase in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21. Ten sports recorded double-digit percentage increases, men’s athletics (27.2% to 22,120 participants), women’s athletics (22.4% to 15,594 participants) and men’s skiing (22.4% to 1,001 attendees). Wrestling (17.1%) and men’s bowling (16.2%) also saw double-digit increases, along with women’s tennis (11.4% tennis), women’s bowling (11.2%), women’s competition (10.6%), men’s golf (10.5%) and girls’ lacrosse (10%). The major wrestling boost came in part due to an almost 300% increase in the number of girls participating with 620 taking to the mat for the first season of the MHSAA offering a Girls Championship Division at its individual wrestling finals.

Girls Golf (8.1%), Girls Skiing (7.6%), Boys Basketball (6.4%), Girls Soccer (6.3%), Girls Swimming and Diving boys (6.1%), boys lacrosse (5.8%), softball (3.6%), girls basketball (3.1%), baseball (3.0%), boys tennis (2.8%) , soccer (2.4%), girls volleyball (2.0%) and swimming and girls swimming. diving (1.2%).

Five sports saw their participation decrease in 2021-2022. The decline in boys’ participation in soccer can be considered negligible, at only 0.21% with 28 fewer participants. Declines in girls’ cross country (1.4%) and boys’ ice hockey (1.2%) participation were also slight, followed by boys’ cross country with a 3.9% decrease and girls’ gymnastics with 4.6% fewer participants than the previous school year.

Football, with a total of 33,284 participants in the 11 and 8 player formats, remained the most played sport in the 2021-22 school year. Men’s athletics (22,120) and men’s basketball (20,017) were next in total attendance, followed by women’s volleyball (18,798) – the most popular women’s sport – baseball (16,528) and l women’s athletics (15,594).

While the majority of sports are still going back to their pre-COVID participation totals, golf and skiing have posted some of their highest totals in some time. Boys’ golf (6,829) had the highest number of participants since 2012-13, and girls’ golf (3,875) its highest total since 2003-04. The men’s ski total (1,001) was the highest since 2002-03, and last season’s women’s ski total (837) was the highest for the sport since 1998-99.

Attendance figures are collected annually from MHSAA member schools for submission to the National Federation of State High School Associations for the compilation of its national attendance survey. Michigan survey results from the 2000-01 school year to present can be viewed at MHSAA website.

The following table shows attendance figures for the 2021-22 school year from MHSAA member athletic schools in which the Association is sponsoring a post-season tournament:

BOYS

GIRLS

sport

Schools (A)

Speakers

Schools (A)

Participant (B)

Baseball

657/12

16,505


-/23

Basketball

730/4

20,006

721

13 596/11

Bowling

422/14

4,059

415

2,684/26

Competitive support



360

5,741

Cross country

669/1

8,057

668

7 150/1

Soccer – 11 players

531/105

30,955


-/129

8 players

118/16

2,181


-/19

Golf

528/62

6,705

367

3,875/124

Gymnastic



102

585

Ice Hockey

313/14

3,160


-/14

The Crosse

179/9

4,759

126

3,053/14

Ski

125/5

993

119

837/8

Soccer

500/12

13,126

490

11,826/35

Soft ball



648

11,800

Swimming & Diving

274/20

4,311

281

5 174/48

Tennis

308/18

6,040

340

7,936/27

Racetrack

694

22,120

695

15,594

Volleyball



722

18,798

Struggle

492/249

8,437

/620

(A) The first number is the number of schools reporting sponsorship in the Sport Participation Survey, including elementary and secondary schools in cooperative programs as of May 15, 2022. The second number indicates the number of schools that had girls playing in teams made up mostly of boys.

(B) The second number indicates the number of additional girls playing in teams composed mainly of boys and entered in the men’s competition.

The MHSAA is a private, nonprofit, voluntary membership corporation of more than 1,400 public and private high schools and colleges that exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or taxes support MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament fees from schools. Member schools that follow these rules are allowed to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

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