Participation numbers mean nothing if the quality of the add-ons (to say nothing of those above them) is falling, and they're largely field-fillers, required because all the high-enders are moving over to the all sports.
Daisy wrote:What are the seasons for these various sports? And do students double up for sports in the same season?
I have been trying to talk my grandson into track, but it is parallel with his beloved baseball (soccer is also played in spring, that would be his #2). Yes, it is very hard, often impossible to squeeze two parallel sports in.
Grandson Charley Lonewolf, 12, just grad 6th grade. Accomplished in soccer and basketball, he has resisted all entreaties to run age group track,even though he has won the Presidential Fitness All-Around and grade appropriate half mile or mile in his large school every year since the third grade and won the PF City Ch mile as a fifth grader. (He was on forced brain rest recovering from a severe concussion after being mugged on layup playing basketball and could not do the Fitness test this year.) He lives in an area that has a choice of where to attend Jr High. His parents are being "recruited" by the coach at three Jr Highs for him to run x-country. Today, he decided to go out for X-country, reasoning it would compliment and not interfere with his soccer ambitions. So, finally, we will see him run x-c.. Maybe next spring, track.
He has been juggling soccer and basketball. Don't know if he can do three. Question: does this count as one participant in each of multiple sports or just one sports participant?
a. Swimming was right below those top ones b. EVERY sport has the meaningless add-ons. The very high-enders stay becauser they've already achieved big things in THIS sport (except, of course, for the very high-end football/bballers) c. Boys vball is indeed miniscule. d. Fball and vball are combined because they represent the 'same thing' in HS. I guess it's hard to explain unless you're at a HS. e. Doubling in the same season is very rare nowadays.
I'll be optimistic when the US high school coaches (and middle schools) reach 50% IAAF certified; otherwise, the "participation" is just wasted by caretakers and babysitters who don't know how to coach or identify talent. Then you have states like Ohio that are organizationally incompetent; preventing kids from free-for-all transfers and restricting "seasons" and practices.
Track is year 'round sport and the "restrictions" need to lifted so that in every state kids can practice every day.
The item no one is pointing out about these numbers is # of teams each sport has. Football and Track are 2 of the few sports which do not cut participants. At least I've never heard of anyone getting cut from those sports in HS (for anything other then grades or discplinary reasons). So, there maybe more participants official on the books for those sports but I have to believe that if the B-Balls didn't cut players they might have move participants. Whats a HS roster in Basketball 14 and Baseball 20? While in big Football schools will carry 60-80?
My kids future HS has a rec basketball league for those not on the HS's Var, JV or Freshman teams and they are filling 6-8 teams of 12 every year. and I'm sure that sort of thing is not counted by the NFHS.