Back to School: NY Schools 3rd in Number of Athletes

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Inc.  has announced over a half million student-athletes in its 787-school membership participated in interscholastic athletics during the 2017-2018 school year, according to its annual participation survey.

The data is presented based on a 99.49% return of the participation survey from NYSPHSAA athletic administrators. The results show a total of 562,207 student-athletes which breaks down to 301,347 boys (53.6%) and 260,860 girls (46.4%) who participated on varsity, junior varsity, freshmen, or modified interscholastic athletic teams. There were 31,760 total interscholastic athletic programs offered with the highest number of student-athletes (269,101) participating in varsity programs.

“I am encouraged by the fact that we have over half a million students participating in athletics within our association,” said Dr. Robert Zayas NYSPHSAA executive director.  “Research continues to provide evidence that students who participate in athletics receive better grades, attend school at a greater rate, receive less discipline referrals and graduate at an increased percentage when compared to their non-participating classmates.  NYSPHSAA works each day to explore and implement new participation opportunities for students to not only enhance their education, but the rest of their life.”

New York is third in the country behind Texas and California for the total number of student-athletes participating in high school athletics according to the latest National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) Participation Survey. The NFHS survey includes high school level participants, while the NYSPHSAA survey results include both high school and modified level programs and participants.

This is the third consecutive year results have yielded a decrease in participation. NYSPHSAA recently instituted more accurate and reliable data collection efforts which may be a possible factor relating to the decreased numbers. It should also be noted that enrollment numbers continue to decline across the state.

Complete participation survey information

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