National participation numbers continued their upward climb for the 23rd consecutive season, but Idahos numbers dropped for a third straight year.
The annual high school athletics participation survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations shows that sports participation reached an all-time high for the 2011-12 school year with 7,692,520 athletes, an increase of nearly 25,000.
But Idahos numbers fell from 45,768 in 2010-11 to 44,919. The sport to experience the largest drop was boys track and field, which had 244 fewer athletes compete.
Only three Idaho sports increased in participation, with the greatest jump coming in girls volleyball (+227). The numbers in boys and girls cross country also rose.
Nationally, football (1,095,993 boys) and track and field (468,747 girls) held the top spot as the most popular sports. In Idaho, football (7,812) and volleyball (3,743) remained the preferred sports.
While girls participation continued to climb nationally, boys participation figures dropped for the first time since the 1992-93 school year.
HELP HORSESHOE BEND
If youll be heading home from the McCall area after the long holiday weekend, save a few bucks in your wallet for the Horseshoe Bend sports programs.
Members of the football and volleyball teams will be along Highway 55 in Horseshoe Bend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to seek donations and help keep their programs afloat.
Two failed levies forced the district to cut about $20,000 from this years sports budget.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX