What Percent of Students Play Sports in High School?

What percentage of high school students play sports? This is a question that is often asked by parents and guardians. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, about 41 percent of high school students participated in sports during the 2017-2018 school year.

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Participation in high school sports is often seen as an important part of the teenage experience. But just how common is it for students to play sports in high school?

A new study from the nonprofit research organization participation in High School Athletics finds that just over half of all high school students (51.7 percent) play sports. That’s down from 57.5 percent in 2008, and 77 percent in 1971.

The report, which surveyed more than 1,000 high school students across the country, found that while boys are more likely than girls to play sports (60.8 percent vs. 42.5 percent), the gap has been narrowing in recent years. In 2008, 68 percent of boys and 47 percent of girls played sports.

The most popular sport among high school students is basketball, with 26.7 percent of respondents saying they play it. Football comes in second at 15 percent, followed by track and field (9.4 percent), soccer (8.9 percent), and cross country (5.5 percent).

The study also found that student athletes are more likely to come from higher-income families than their non-athletic peers: 38 percent of student athletes come from families earning $100,000 or more per year, compared to 28 percent of non-athletes.

The Benefits of Playing High School Sports

Playing high school sports has many benefits for students. In addition to improving physical health, high school sports can also improve mental health and social skills.

High school sports can improve physical health by increasing fitness levels and reducing obesity. In addition, playing sports can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Mental health benefits of playing high school sports include improved mood, reduced stress levels, and increased self-esteem. Sports can also help students develop social skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership.

High school sports offer many benefits to students, both physically and mentally. These benefits can help students succeed in school and in life.

The Drawbacks of Playing High School Sports

While a majority of students in the United States participate in some form of organized sports during their high school years, there are a number of drawbacks that can come with being a student athlete.

The most obvious drawback is the time commitment that is required in order to compete at the high school level. Practices, games, and travel can take up a significant amount of time, which can lead to students missing out on important aspects of their education. In addition, student athletes often have to miss school days in order to compete in away games or tournaments.

Another potential drawback is the potential for injuries. While all sports come with some risk of injury, contact sports such as football and hockey carry a particularly high risk. Injuries can range from minor strains and Sprains 2 major ones that require surgery and can sideline a student athlete for an extended period of time.

Finally, there is the issue of college scholarships. While it is true that many student athletes do receive scholarships to compete at the collegiate level, the vast majority of those scholarships are partial scholarship and do not cover the full cost of attendance. In addition, only a small percentage of high school athletes will go on to compete at the Division I level, where full scholarships are more prevalent.

The Importance of High School Sports

High school sports play an important role in the lives of many students. They provide an opportunity to compete, interact with other students, and learn important life lessons. In addition, they can help students stay physically active and improve their overall health.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), approximately 7.8 million high school students in the United States participated in sports during the 2017-2018 school year. This represents an increase of nearly 500,000 students from the previous school year.

The most popular sport for high school students is football, with nearly 1.1 million participants. Other popular sports include track and field (nearly 800,000 participants), basketball (nearly 700,000 participants), and baseball (just over 500,000 participants).

While most high school students play sports for fun, some also have aspirations of playing at the collegiate level. According to the NCAA, there are nearly 480,000 student-athletes competing in 24 different sports at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country.

Whether they are playing for fun or competition, high school sports offer many benefits for students. In addition to physical activity and improved health, they can also teach teamwork, discipline, and responsibility. For many students, high school sports provide a much-needed outlet from the rigors of academics and can help them succeed both on and off the playing field.

The Role of High School Sports in College Admissions

The role of high school sports in college admissions has come under scrutiny in recent years. Some believe that student-athletes have an unfair advantage, while others contend that athletic involvement enhances students’ college applications.

A 2016 study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling found that, of students who applied to four-year colleges, 12 percent identified as student-athletes. This number has remained relatively steady over the past decade, despite an increase in the overall number of college applications.

The report also found that student-athletes are more likely to apply to colleges that offer athletic scholarships and have higher admission rates than the general population. In some cases, this may give them an advantage in the admissions process.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all student-athletes are admitted to their first-choice colleges. In fact, many student-athletes choose to attend colleges where they can play sports at lower levels (such as Division III schools). For these students, athletics is not the primary factor in their college decision.

There is no easy answer when it comes to the role of high school sports in college admissions. Some students benefit from their involvement, while others do not. Ultimately, it is up to each individual student to decide whether or not playing sports will enhance their college application.

The Impact of High School Sports on Student Athletes

High school sports are a big part of many students’ lives. But what impact do they have on student athletes?

There are a few ways to measure the impact of high school sports on student athletes. One way is to look at graduation rates. Studies have shown that students who play sports are more likely to graduate from high school than those who don’t.

Another way to measure the impact of high school sports is to look at college enrollment rates. Studies have shown that student athletes are more likely to enroll in college than those who don’t play sports. This is especially true for low-income and minority student athletes.

Research has also shown that student athletes have better mental health outcomes than their non-athlete peers. Student athletes are less likely to experience anxiety and depression and more likely to have higher self-esteem and body image satisfaction.

So, what percent of students play sports in high school? It depends on where you look, but data from the National Federation of State High School Associations shows that about 41% of high school students in the United States participate in some kind of sport.

The Pros and Cons of High School Sports

High school sports offer many benefits to students, including the opportunity to stay physically active, establish lifelong friendships, and develop teamwork skills. However, high school sports also have some disadvantages, such as the potential for injuries and the pressure to perform well.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not students should participate in high school sports. Some students and their families feel that the benefits outweigh the risks, while others prefer to focus on academics and other extracurricular activities. Ultimately, the decision is up to the individual student and their family.

The Future of High School Sports

With the increasing popularity of club sports and other extracurricular activities, the percent of students who play sports in high school has been on the decline in recent years. However, participation in high school sports is still very popular, with approximately 60% of students playing on at least one team.

The future of high school sports is uncertain, as schools grapple with budget cuts and dwindling resources. However, the benefits of high school sports are well-documented, and many stakeholders are fighting to ensure that these programs continue to be a part of the high school experience. Only time will tell how this issue will play out, but for now, high school sports remain a vital part of many students’ lives.

How High School Sports Can Benefit Everyone

Sports have been a big part of high school for many years. They can provide students with many benefits, including improved physical and mental health, teamwork skills, and social opportunities.

Physical health is one of the most obvious benefits of playing sports. Exercise has been shown to improve overall fitness levels, help control weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In addition, playing sports can help reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing.

Teamwork skills are another benefit that can be gained from playing sports. Students who participate in team sports learn how to work together towards a common goal. They also learn how to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts. These skills will be beneficial in both their personal and professional lives.

Finally, playing sports can provide students with social opportunities. They can meet new friends and build relationships with others who share their interests. Participating in sports can also help students develop leadership skills and learn how to work effectively in a group setting.


In conclusion, it is evident that a huge percent of high school students play sports. This number has been increasing over the years, and it is expected to continue increasing. This is due to the many benefits that sports offer to students, such as increased physical fitness, teamwork skills, and social interaction.

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