Lacrosse continues to expand when most sports are not.  And lacrosse is among the fastest growing sports that are in the top 15 in popularity.  Data on school sponsorship and student participation are compiled annually by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).  The tables below, which are also available as PDF files to facilitate printing (sponsorship and participation), show in most cases the top 16 boys' and girls' HS sports in terms of schools and participation for 2016-2017 with comparable data for earlier years.  Also see the graphs beneath the tables.

Note that the NFHS universe is limited, so there are about 1,100 boys' and over 600 girls' lacrosse teams and their participants not included in the totals.  In many states, the NFHS umbrella does not include all schools.  High schools in states where lacrosse is not officially sanctioned are simply not reflected in the NFHS figures.

B O Y S - S P O N S O R S H I P
SportSchools% Change
201120122013201420152016201716
17
01
17
Basketball18,15018,09917,85618,12618,07218,28818,214-0.4%6.3%
Track & Field (outdoor)15,95416,21815,74716,27116,35816,54716,6990.9%11.2%
Baseball15,86315,83815,63215,78915,89915,95615,9790.1%8.0%
Cross Country14,09714,15514,14814,47314,63514,92015,0871.1%23.2%
Football (11-player)14,27914,24114,04814,26214,15414,04714,0990.4%4.8%
Golf13,68113,62413,41513,49313,52813,50313,223-2.1%3.2%
Soccer11,50311,60011,62611,71811,83812,05412,1881.1%23.8%
Wrestling10,40710,40710,48810,66810,59710,68510,629-0.5%13.0%
Tennis9,8399,8419,7309,8499,7259,7239,7250.0%-0.4%
Swimming & Diving6,8997,0017,0017,1017,1567,2207,3421.7%36.1%
Track & Field (indoor)2,6382,6442,9512,8092,8232,9983,2077.0%53.3%
Lacrosse2,1922,3382,4362,5352,6772,7522,9005.4%209.2%
Bowling2,4542,4672,5112,5892,6392,6832,8355.7%257.1%
Volleyball2,0782,1802,2572,2852,2872,3332,4002.9%39.9%
Ice Hockey1,6121,5961,6011,5851,6031,6071,6100.2%22.2%
Team Tennis1,4141,8571,8671,8091,5651,5681,540-1.8%101.6%

B O Y S - P A R T I C I P A T I O N
SportParticipants (Thousands)% Change
201120122013201420152016201716
17
01
17
Football (11-player)1108.41096.01086.61093.21083.61083.31057.4-2.4%4.4%
Track & Field (outdoor)579.3575.6574.5580.3578.6591.1600.11.5%22.0%
Basketball545.8535.3538.7541.1541.5546.4550.30.7%1.9%
Baseball471.0474.2474.8482.6486.6488.8491.80.6%9.2%
Soccer398.4411.8411.0417.4432.6440.3450.22.3%35.3%
Cross Country246.9248.5249.2252.5251.0257.7266.33.3%41.3%
Wrestling273.7272.1270.2269.5258.2250.7244.8-2.3%-0.1%
Tennis161.4159.8157.2160.5157.2157.2158.20.6%10.1%
Golf156.9152.7152.6152.6148.8146.7141.5-3.6%-12.5%
Swimming & Diving133.9133.8138.2138.4137.1133.5138.43.7%55.8%
Lacrosse95.7100.6101.7106.7108.5109.5111.82.1%167.4%
Track & Field (indoor)70.369.478.773.775.276.782.27.1%62.0%
Volleyball50.049.550.452.154.555.457.23.2%43.9%
Ice Hockey36.935.735.235.435.935.235.20.2%6.4%
Bowling28.327.428.428.129.129.630.11.6%197.1%
Team Tennis28.436.233.030.525.025.525.60.2%113.2%

G I R L S - S P O N S O R S H I P
SportSchools% Change
201120122013201420152016201716
17
01
17
Basketball17,76717,76817,49317,75417,65317,89017,9340.2%7.0%
Track & Field (outdoor)16,03016,14315,71216,21716,30916,50816,6580.9%12.6%
Volleyball15,47915,56915,56515,67215,53415,75515,9921.5%17.6%
Softball (fast pitch)15,33814,14215,06715,22515,11515,30415,4400.9%26.8%
Cross Country13,83913,97013,91814,26714,28714,69814,8801.2%26.8%
Soccer11,04711,12711,35111,35411,50211,67611,8231.3%32.3%
Tennis10,18110,05810,00510,11710,09910,12210,1210.0%5.4%
Golf9,6099,6679,5689,8159,82410,04610,0760.3%32.9%
Swimming & Diving7,1647,2217,2497,4297,5267,5597,7212.1%34.7%
Competitive Spirit4,2664,9164,8474,9195,3585,4326,54120.4%95.1%
Track & Field (indoor)2,5982,5882,9152,7902,8162,9883,1866.6%56.0%
Bowling2,4362,4512,4942,5492,6402,7082,8214.2%226.5%
Lacrosse1,9992,1182,2122,3362,4462,5722,7175.6%247.0%
Field Hockey1,8081,7881,8201,7951,7531,7631,7740.6%10.0%
Gymnastics1,5061,4951,5161,5261,5501,9031,562-17.9%2.2%
Team Tennis1,4571,8941,8761,8151,5831,5861,552-2.1%70.9%

G I R L S - P A R T I C I P A T I O N
SportParticipants (Thousands)% Change
201120122013201420152016201716
17
01
17
Track & Field (outdoor)475.3468.7467.9478.9478.7486.0494.51.8%19.0%
Volleyball409.3418.9420.2429.6432.2436.3444.81.9%13.8%
Basketball438.9435.9433.1433.3429.5429.4430.40.2%-4.9%
Soccer361.6371.0371.5374.6375.7381.5388.31.8%33.0%
Softball (fast pitch)373.5367.0362.5364.3364.1366.7367.40.2%4.9%
Cross Country204.7212.3214.4218.1221.6222.5226.01.6%42.6%
Tennis182.1180.9181.1184.1182.9183.8187.52.0%14.1%
Swimming & Diving160.9160.5164.0165.8166.8166.7170.82.4%22.3%
Competitive Spirit96.7108.3116.5120.6125.8125.5144.214.9%62.9%
Lacrosse74.975.077.382.084.888.193.56.2%188.5%
Golf71.871.171.172.272.674.875.61.1%27.0%
Track & Field (indoor)60.460.068.366.165.269.272.44.6%61.0%
Field Hockey62.060.661.961.560.559.860.51.3%-0.6%
Bowling25.825.325.525.826.125.926.62.7%144.8%
Team Tennis30.337.232.931.726.325.725.80.2%66.3%
Gymnastics19.719.119.619.218.617.717.91.1%-14.2%


*** Click on graphs to view them full size. ***




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