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High school sports participation increases for 23rd consecutive year

August 23, 2012 |  7:39 am

Participation in high school sports increased nationwide by 24,565, aided by an increase in girls' participation, according to the 2011-12 annual high school athletics participation survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

It was the 23rd consecutive year of increases.

Participation has reached an all-time high of 7,692,520 participants.

Boys' participation dropped for first time since the 1992-93 school year, down 9,419 to 4,484,987. Seven of the top 10 boys' sports had drops in participation. Baseball, soccer and cross country had increases. Lacrosse, which ranks No. 11, topped the 100,000 mark with about 5,000 additional participants.

Girls' sports added 33,984, reaching an all-time high of 3,207,533. Track and field (468,747), basketball (435,885) and volleyball (418,903) are the top sports. Soccer (370,975) moved past softball (367,023) into fourth place as the most popular girls' sport.

Texas and California lead the states with 808,806 and 781,912 participants, respectively.

-- Eric Sondheimer