NFHS: Lacrosse among most popular prep sports in US

SEATTLE — According to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for the 2011-12 school year, lacrosse ranked among the most popular prep sports in the nation.

With national participation in all high school sports having increased for the 23rd consecutive year, lacrosse ranked among the top 10 girls sports with 74,993 participants and 11th among boys sports with 100,641.

Based on figures from the 51 NFHS-member state high school athletic/activity associations, which includes the District of Columbia, sports participation for the 2011-12 school year reached an all-time high of 7,692,520 participants – an increase of 24,565 from the previous year.

In 2011-12, national girls participation in all sports, including lacrosse, increased over the previous year by an additional 33,984, making the all-time record total 3,207,533. National boys participation figures dipped for the first time since the 1992-93 school year, down 9,419 from last year’s number of 4,494,406 to 4,484,987. Lacrosse, which topped 100,000 participants for the first time, increased.

According to annual NFHS surveys, overall Washington state participation in high school sports has decreased slightly year-over-year for three of the past four years (2011-12: 164,858; 2010-11: 165,509; 2009-10: 165,571; 2008-09: 141,486; 2007-08: 142,620).

According to the Washington State Chapter of US Lacrosse, Washington state, which is not among the 21 states that sanction the sport, lacrosse has maintained an average annual double-digit growth rate throughout the past decade.

In 2012, just over 4,000 student-athletes attending some 200 WIAA-member schools played lacrosse in Washington state.

View the full NFHS press release High School Sports Participation Achieves All-Time High
View the NFHS Annual Participation Surveys 2007-08 through 2011-12
For more information on lacrosse and the WIAA visit

About High School Lacrosse in Washington State

Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the US and in Washington state has experienced double-digit annual growth throughout the past decade. With a 34-year local history, 157 individual boys and girls high school teams are available to students attending nearly 200 WIAA schools across eastern and western Washington.   Governed by the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association and the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association, the sport is played during the spring season and capped by annual boys and girls state championships in late May.  To learn more about lacrosse in Washington or to receive daily high school results visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @WashingtonHSLAX. To learn more about the history, traditions and values of lacrosse, college opportunities available to students and the 21 US states now sanctioning high school lacrosse visit


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— Mike McQuaid, Sports Information Director, US Lacrosse – Washington State Chapter

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