LATHAM, NY – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Inc. (NYSPHSAA) has announced over a half million student-athletes in its 783-school membership participated in interscholastic athletics during the 2016-2017 school year, according to its annual Participation Survey submitted by athletic administrators around the state.
The data is presented based on a 97.45 percent return of the participation survey (783 member schools) from athletic administrators. The results show a total of 571,064 student-athletes, 305,958 (53.6 percent) boys and 265,106 (46.4 percent) girls, participating in varsity, junior varsity, freshman, and modified levels in 2016-17. The total number of athletic teams competing in interscholastic athletics was 33,911 this past year, which is a decrease of 78 teams compared to the 2015-2016 school year. In 2016-17, the highest participation came at the varsity level where 15,317 varsity teams competed in NYSPHSAA’s membership. Within those varsity teams, 271,753 student-athletes were members of them.
“We are proud that nearly 600,000 student-athletes participated in some form of interscholastic athletics this past school year,” said Robert Zayas NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “This survey provides us critical information on how many student-athletes are engaging in school-sponsored athletics which are key to developing life skills and characteristics of being a well-rounded person.”
This is the second consecutive year results have yielded a decrease in participation. In 2015-16, there were a total of 575,903 participants which was a decrease of approximately 0.84 percent or 4,839 participants. NYSPHSAA believes a possible factor attributed to the decrease may be the growth of athletes specializing in one sport, which appears to be a national trend impacting many State Associations.