Survey: 43% of Michigan HS athletes play multiple sports

August 1, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A survey released Tuesday by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) showed that nearly 43 percent of the state’s high school athletes play more than one sport.

The survey was conducted by the MHSAA’s Task Force on Multisport Participation, which was created in 2016 to promote multiple sports and address issues that lead to specialization. Nearly 80 percent of the state’s schools responded to the survey, which showed that 157,823 (42.5 percent) of Michigan athletes play more than one sport.

From the MHSAA:

The MHSAA Task Force on Multisport Participation has undertaken the initiative of measuring multisport participation in MHSAA member schools for the dual purposes of identifying significant broad themes and recognizing “achievers” — that is, schools that surpass the norm given their enrollment, location and other factors that affect school sports participation.

Identifying schools with high levels of multisport participation, as well as trends, and questions that might be researched will help point school-sponsored sports leadership toward policies, procedures, and programming that will tend to increase multisport participation and improve the experience of students in interscholastic athletic programs of Michigan and beyond.

Among the findings were that more boys (46.3 percent) than girls (38.7 percent) play multiple sports. Multisport participated also tended to be higher in the state’s smaller classes (55.2 in Class D) when compared to larger classes (39 percent in Class A).

“It’s now well-known that students who specialize in one sport year-round are prone to all kinds of health hazards. This is serious business; we have to find out the ways and means to promote the multi-sport experience,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said on MHSAA’s Second Half. “This survey will help us identify best practices. If I’m an administrator, and another school of the same size and same demographics has twice the multi-sport participation as my school, I want to know why. What are they doing to encourage that culture?”

Click here to see the complete results from the participation survey.

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