Participation in athletics registers small uptick in California
Revenues may be down throughout California, but participation in high school athletics is up.
According to the 2009 California Interscholastic Federation Sports Participation Survey, there were a total of 736,727 high school athletes participating in sports last year, an increase of 1,224--or 1.6%--from the last survey conducted two years ago.
"The increase, although slight, is still a testament to the fact that our California schools and student-athletes are very much interested in increasing the athletic programs we have," CIF Executive Director Marie Ishida said in a statement.
Participation was up in both boys' and girls' sports, the survey found. Lacrosse registered the biggest gain with a 45% increase in participation among both boys and girls. Other boys' sports with notable increases were swimming (14.1%), volleyball (7.6%) and wrestling (6.5%). Track and field experienced the biggest growth among girls' sports with a 7.5% increase, followed closely by swimming and diving (7.3%).
Track and field also replaces soccer as the most popular sport for girls with 41,736 participants. Football remains the top sport for boys--despite a 3.4% drop in participation--with 104,224 participants. Track and field is a distant second with 51,689 participants, followed by basketball (42,521) and baseball (42,064).