Michigan High School Sports Huge Rebound 2021-22
EAST LANSING, Mich. – July 13 – Participation in Michigan High School Athletic Association-sponsored sports rebounded tremendously during the 2021-22 school year.
Female / Male Athlete Gains:
Girls participation increased 6.8 percent to 109,128 athletes, while boys participation was up 6.5 percent to 151,414. The overall MHSAA participation totals count students once for each sport in which they participate, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.
A total of 23 sports saw increases in participation during 2021-22 compared to 2020-21.
Ten sports saw double-digit percentage increases:
- boys track & field (27.2 percent to 22,120 participants)
- girls track & field (22.4 percent to 15,594 participants)
- boys skiing (22.4 percent to 1,001 participants)
- Wrestling (17.1 percent) and boys bowling (16.2 percent) also saw double-digit increases,
- girls tennis (11.4 tennis), girls bowling (11.2 percent), girls competitive cheer (10.6 percent)
- boys golf (10.5 percent) and girls lacrosse (10 percent)
Females Wrestling Gains Not Coming from Trans Community:
Wrestling’s major boost came in part because of a nearly 300-percent increase in girls participants with 620 taking the mat for the first season of the MHSAA offering a girls championship division at its Individual Wrestling Finals. According the MHSAA source the gains is pent up demand from biological girls not necessarily trans-girls.
Football Continues Its Dominance:
Football, with a combined 33,284 participants over the 11 and 8-player formats, remained the most-played sport during the 2021-22 school year. Boys track & field (22,120) and boys basketball (20,017) were next for total participants followed by girls volleyball (18,798) – the most popular girls sport – baseball (16,528) and girls track & field (15,594).
Golf and Skiing Were The Covid Winners:
While the majority of sports are still building back to their pre-COVID participation totals, golf and skiing posted some of their highest totals in some time. Boys golf (6,829) had its most participants since 2012-13, and girls golf (3,875) its highest total since 2003-04. The boys skiing total (1,001) was its highest since 2002-03, and the girls skiing total this past season (837) was the highest for that sport since 1998-99.