Led by a decline in football for the fifth year in a row, participation in university sports fell for the first time in 30 years, according to an annual survey by the National Association of State University Associations in 2018-19.  The total number of 7,937,491 participants in the 2018-19 school year was a decrease of 43,395 compared to the 2017/18 school year, when the number of participants in high school sports reached a record high of 7,980,886.
The last decline in sports participation was recorded during the school year 1988-89. California
"We know from recent polls that the number of teenage youths has declined and a decline in the number of students in public schools has been predicted for some of them. Karissa Niehoff, director of the NFHS, said in a statement:" The Data from this year's survey remind us that in the future we will have to work harder years to get more students involved in these important programs – not just athletics but also performing arts programs.
Although the number of participants in 11-player football for boys has dropped, the number of schools offering this sport has remained constant. The survey found that 14,247 schools offer football for 11 players, an increase of 168 over the previous year. A comparison of the numbers over the last two years shows that the average number of boys involved in 11-player football per school has fallen from 73 to 70, including the university and lower-level teams.
While participating in The 11-Player Football for Boys sank in all but seven states, participating in 6-, 8- and 9-player football brought in 156 schools and 1,594 participants nationwide, with the biggest increase in 8-player football for boys from 19,554 to 20,954 was recorded. In addition, in the last 10 years, girls' participation in 11-player football has doubled from 1,249 in the 2009/10 school year to 2,404 in the last year.
"The survey confirms with certainty that schools are not giving up the sport of football, which is great news," said Niehoff. "We are of course concerned about reducing the number of boys participating in the 11-player game but we are thrilled that states find other options by launching six- or eight-player. "Player football in situations where numbers have declined.
" While we acknowledge that the decline in football participation is partly due to concerns In terms of the risk of injury, we continue to work with the associations of our member states, the national high school and other groups, to make the sport as safe as possible. Each state has rules that limit the amount of contact before the season and during training, and every state has protocols and laws for concussions. It's safer than ever. We also work with groups such as US Football to reduce contact and provide the right attacking skills at the youth level to increase interest as children reach middle and high school. & # 39; & # 39;