Lacrosse continues to expand rapidly 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 2011-2012 with comparable data for 2004-2011.  Also see the graphs beneath the tables.

Boys' lacrosse again placed 13th in sponsorship (number of schools) and 11th in participants (nmuber of athletes). Girls' lacrosse also finished 13th in sponsorship but was 10th in participation.  Note: The NFHS's universe is limited, so there are about 1,100 boys' and 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 NFHS figures.

B O Y S - S P O N S O R S H I P
SportSchools% Change
200620072008200920102011201210
11
01
11
Basketball17,53517,76217,86117,86917,96918,15018,099-0.3%5.6%
Track & Field (outdoor)15,49715,70915,83515,93616,01115,95416,2181.7%8.0%
Baseball15,29015,45815,72015,69915,78615,86315,838-0.2%7.1%
Football (11-player)13,72713,92213,98714,10514,22614,27914,241-0.3%5.8%
Cross Country13,11013,35413,48513,64713,94214,09714,1550.4%15.6%
Golf13,26713,54113,64713,54313,69313,68113,624-0.4%6.3%
Soccer10,58011,06611,12211,13911,37511,50311,6000.8%17.8%
Wrestling9,7449,44510,09010,25410,36310,40710,4070.0%10.7%
Tennis9,7069,4389,5769,4999,9169,8399,8410.0%0.8%
Swimming & Diving6,2246,3586,4286,5586,8206,8997,0011.5%29.7%
Track & Field (indoor)2,3942,7253,0953,1722,5462,6382,6440.2%26.4%
Bowling1,9542,0892,2612,4272,4512,4542,4670.5%210.7%
Lacrosse1,3951,5881,8151,9842,0682,1922,3386.7%149.3%
Volleyball1,7262,0062,0062,1922,0892,0782,1804.9%27.0%
Team Tennis1,1381,5431,3421,8321,4191,4141,85731.3%143.1%
Ice Hockey1,5031,5761,5641,6011,6111,6121,596-1.0%21.2%

B O Y S - P A R T I C I P A T I O N (thousands)
SportParticipants (Thousands)% Change
200620072008200920102011201210
11
01
11
Football (11-player)1071.81104.51108.31112.31109.31108.41096.0-1.1%8.3%
Track & Field (outdoor)534.0544.2548.8558.0572.1579.3575.6-0.6%17.0%
Basketball546.3556.3552.9545.1540.2545.8535.3-1.9%-0.8%
Baseball470.7477.3478.0473.2472.6471.0474.20.7%5.3%
Soccer358.9378.0383.6383.8391.8398.4411.83.4%23.7%
Wrestling251.5257.2259.7267.4272.9273.7272.1-0.6%11.1%
Cross Country208.3216.1221.1231.5239.6246.9248.50.6%31.9%
Tennis153.0156.9156.3157.2162.8161.4159.8-1.0%11.2%
Golf161.3159.7160.0157.1157.8156.9152.7-2.6%-5.6%
Swimming & Diving107.5106.7111.9130.2131.4133.9133.8-0.1%50.7%
Lacrosse65.071.582.988.590.795.7100.65.2%140.6%
Track & Field (indoor)59.762.567.267.467.770.369.4-1.3%36.8%
Volleyball42.946.246.849.350.550.049.5-1.1%24.4%
Team Tennis20.623.627.133.428.928.436.227.3%201.7%
Ice Hockey36.336.036.737.336.536.935.7-3.2%8.0%
Bowling22.023.326.427.027.728.327.4-2.9%171.3%

G I R L S - S P O N S O R S H I P
SportSchools% Change
200620072008200920102011201210
11
01
11
Basketball17,27517,45817,56417,58217,71117,76717,7680.0%6.0%
Track & Field (outdoor)15,41715,57815,77215,86415,92316,03016,1430.7%9.2%
Volleyball14,57814,88115,00915,06915,38215,47915,5690.6%14.5%
Softball (fast pitch)14,71014,96814,84615,17215,29815,33814,142-7.8%16.1%
Cross Country12,98913,14613,29413,45713,80913,83913,9700.9%19.0%
Soccer9,97010,50310,54310,54810,90111,04711,1270.7%24.5%
Tennis9,8169,6789,6949,73210,16610,18110,058-1.2%4.7%
Golf8,8169,0469,4479,3449,6519,6099,6670.6%27.5%
Swimming & Diving6,5596,7086,7666,9027,1717,1647,2210.8%26.0%
Competitive Spirit3,9143,7434,5104,7484,8794,2664,91615.2%46.7%
Track & Field (indoor)2,3082,3672,6592,6772,5112,5982,588-0.4%26.7%
Bowling1,8712,0122,3212,3452,4352,4362,4510.6%183.7%
Lacrosse1,3491,4801,6241,7801,8851,9992,1186.0%170.5%
Team Tennis1,1781,5881,3831,8811,4421,4571,89430.0%108.6%
Field Hockey1,6681,4931,7601,8181,8271,8081,788-1.1%10.8%
Gymnastics1,4841,5161,4541,4951,5181,5061,495-0.7%-2.2%

G I R L S - P A R T I C I P A T I O N (thousands)
SportParticipants (Thousands)% Change
200620072008200920102011201210
11
01
11
Track & Field (outdoor)439.2444.2447.5457.7469.2475.3468.7-1.4%12.8%
Basketball452.9457.0449.5444.8439.6438.9435.9-0.7%-3.7%
Volleyball390.0405.8398.0404.2404.0409.3418.92.3%7.2%
Soccer321.6337.6346.5344.5356.1361.6371.02.6%27.0%
Softball (fast pitch)369.1373.4371.3368.9378.2373.5367.0-1.7%4.8%
Cross Country176.0183.4190.3198.2202.0204.7212.33.7%33.9%
Tennis173.8176.7172.5177.6182.4182.1180.9-0.7%10.1%
Swimming & Diving147.4143.6147.2158.9158.4160.9160.5-0.3%14.9%
Competitive Spirit98.695.2111.3117.8123.696.7108.312.0%22.3%
Lacrosse52.054.861.164.968.874.975.00.1%131.4%
Golf64.266.369.269.270.971.871.1-0.9%19.4%
Field Hockey62.363.962.664.663.162.060.6-2.2%-0.5%
Track & Field (indoor)58.156.159.859.960.160.460.0-0.7%33.4%
Team Tennis22.525.928.836.630.830.337.222.8%140.4%
Bowling20.120.925.423.824.925.825.3-1.6%133.4%
Gymnastics17.418.918.118.818.719.719.1-3.0%-8.5%



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




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