Participation in prep sports continues to grow

SACRAMENTO – High school sports participation continues to increase in California and is at an all-time high for the third consecutive year according to the 2015 California Interscholastic Federation Sports Participation Survey.

Up by 1.01% since the previous survey in 2014, 772,659 student-athletes are competing in California high school athletic programs.

“The continued growth in education based athletic participation means that more students than before are learning the life-long lessons achieved through high school sports.” stated CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake. “High school sports directly and dramatically influences the values and actions that our state and our nation need to help create a better future.”

Along with the overall participation increase in high school athletics there were a few sports that saw noticeable increases across both genders. Lacrosse saw the largest percentage increase, a combined 4.85% or 735 more participants (8.8% or 532 increase for girls; 2.53% or 203 increase for boys), followed by volleyball with a 2.35% increase or 1,299 more participants (2.42% or 1,032 increase for girls; 1.91% or 311 increase for boys). Additionally, for the girls, wrestling participation increased by 21.2% as 483 more girls are partaking in the sport for 2,771 total participants as of 2015.

Football continues to lead the top 10 boys’ sports with 103,725 participants, which increased by 0.25% since 2014. Track and field (54,854) is the second most popular sport followed by soccer (49,307), which increased participation by 1.52% since 2014; basketball (44,809) and baseball (44,361) round out the top five boys’ sports. Additionally, for the first time since 2012 boys’ volleyball knocked boys’ water polo out of the top 10 boys’ sports with 16,553 participants.

For girls, track and field continues reign as the top 10 sport with 45,433 participants, which increased by 1.94% since 2014. Soccer still trails a close second (44,809), which increased participation by 2.25% since 2014, followed by volleyball (41,741), basketball (33,988) and softball (32,904).

This press release is provided by the CIF State Office in Sacramento

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