Participation in high school sports had declined in recent years, with much of the blame cast toward the pandemic’s grip that suffocated the normalcy in American culture.
But the numbers in 2023 are showing positive trends, a rise that has not been seen in high school sports since 1995.
According to a study conducted by Lending Tree, the numbers obtained from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) show that nearly 6 million students participated in sports during the 2022-23 calendar, a 3.1% increase from 2021-22.
And while that overall bump is lower than the record-high of 2017-18, where some 6.1 million students played high school sports, the increase is a welcomed progression in the grand scheme of the “New Normal.”
However, the most interesting data from the study goes beyond the macro and spotlights a micro-focused breakdown of each state’s participation numbers, which includes boys’ and girls’ percentages toward the overall total.
Which states have the highest participation rates?
Although some of rankings across the country weren’t surprising, the answer to both questions came with a heavy dose of astonishment.
Take a look …