In 2017, 59% of tenth graders engaged in school sports. Participation among twelfth graders declined significantly from 56 to 53 percent between 1991 and 2003. The proportion grew to 58 percent in 2012 before decreasing to 55 percent in 2017. (Appendix 1).
These numbers may be high because athletes are more likely to participate in sports. For example, 84% of boys and girls involved in basketball at the middle school level were also involved in basketball last year. Without this adjustment, the true percentage of students participating in school sports would be higher than reported.
Also, there is evidence that athletes tend to do better academically so they have an advantage when it comes to getting into college. According to data from the National High School Sports Report, between 2004-05 and 2013-14, student-athlete participation rates increased for all major sport types except for soccer and softball. There was no change for baseball or football.
Finally, some schools may increase their chances of success by encouraging athletic participation. One study found that youth athletics programs that emphasize competition and winning will often draw young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who might not otherwise participate in sports.
The most accurate way to determine how many students are athletes is to look at official government statistics. However, even if we assume that every student at a given school is an athlete, this would only account for half of all students.
For example, in 2017, 46 percent of tenth grade children whose parents did not complete high school participated in school athletics, compared to 72 percent of those whose parents had completed graduate school. For eighth and twelfth pupils, the inequalities are comparable (Appendix 1).
No, not at high schools. Prior to the release of the 2018 data, high school sports participation had climbed for 30 years in a row. Consider that just 1.84 million high school pupils engaged in athletics in 1988. Since then, the figure has risen by more than 300 percent.
In 2017, for example, 46 percent of tenth-grade pupils whose parents did not finish high school participated in school athletics, compared to 72 percent of those whose parents had completed graduate school. For eighth and twelfth pupils, the inequalities are comparable (Appendix 1).
Trends in the proportion of students participating in school athletic teams to some extent during the school year vary by grade level. From 1991 through 2001, participation rates among eighth graders were stable, ranging between 67 and 69 percent.
According to the organization, 55.5 percent of all high school pupils participate in sports. Though sports programs continue to expand, the rate of growth has decreased. Sports involvement has risen by around 100,000 students every year over the last decade; the 40,000 growth over the last year is the least since the late 1980s.
The most popular sport at the high school level is basketball, followed by American football, baseball, soccer, and racing cars. Football is the most played sport at the college level. Basketball is the most popular sport at the youth level (i.e., elementary schools, middle schools, and junior high schools).
Women are less likely than men to play a role in determining which sport they will take part in. This is particularly true for young women; many feel that if they want to play sports they should be able to do so without worrying about whether it is "appropriate" for their gender. Others believe that sports are for boys or for men and thus aren't interested in playing them.
There are several factors that may influence a person's interest in participating in sports. Gender, race, economic status, location, age, ability, prior experience, and personality traits such as aggression or competitiveness have been shown to affect who participates in sports.
People use different reasons for participating in sports. The three most common reasons are enjoyment, health benefits, and skill development.
Approximately 7,342,910 boys and girls participated in high school athletics between 2006 and 2007. While young sports participation is increasing, 15% have never engaged in sports. Among black and white children there are no significant differences in sports participation.
The number of youth participating in sports has increased since 1964, when only 12% of boys and 10% of girls aged 6-17 were involved in athletics. Today, that figure is close to 25% for boys and 20% for girls.
Among all children aged 6-17, black children are less likely than white children to play basketball, football, or soccer. But when you account for the fact that black children are less likely to be active in general, they represent about equal numbers at each sport. For example, among children who play basketball, black children make up 26% of the population but account for 37% of the players.
Similarly, among children who play football, black children make up 18% of the population but account for 28% of the players. There are several factors that may explain this disparity including access to sports facilities and coaches, family support, and income.
Black children also tend to be less likely to play team sports such as baseball or hockey.
Millions of teens in the United States participate in team sports each year. More over half of all teens participate in middle or high school athletics, according to Gallup.
The United States government publishes little statistics on sports participation and physical activity rates, and none on adolescents under the age of 18.
Only six out of ten youngsters aged five to fourteen participate in sports outside of school. Boys participate in sports at a higher rate (70%) than girls (56%) do.
The 9–11 age group had the greatest involvement rate (66%), while children aged 5-8 years had the lowest participation rate (56%). Outside of school hours, children who participated spent an average of five hours each fortnight playing and/or practicing in organized sports. This amounts to about 30 hours per year for all youth participants.
Children aged 10-14 years were the most likely to report playing in more than one sport at a time (28%), while those aged 5-9 years were most likely to say they did not play in any sport (22%). Almost half of all children reported that they received some form of payment for playing sports during childhood. The majority of this money was provided by parents (95%) with other relatives contributing only slightly more than 7% of total expenditures.
Almost all children reported having access to at least one type of athletic equipment during their childhood. Basketball was the most common form of athletic equipment used by children across all age groups. Other popular forms of athletic equipment included football, soccer, and cricket.
Tennis was the most expensive sport to play during childhood, with monthly costs averaging $115 for all age groups. Baseball was the cheapest sport, costing on average $5 per month.