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Old 09-22-2022, 09:02 AM   #1
betterstill
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Default Girl's basketball drops in popularity

From a WSJ article
7/20

Two decades ago, girls’ basketball was the queen of high school sports. Nearly half a million players crowded into gyms nationwide, and schools carried packed rosters of varsity, JV and freshman teams.

But last school year, basketball dropped to the fourth-most-popular girls’ sport by participation, according to the data released this month by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Girls’ basketball has lost 19% of its players since 2002, while the top girls’ sport, track and field, grew 10%, along with volleyball (+15%) and soccer (+27%).

Though boys’ and girls’ high school sports participation overall declined 4% since 2019 in the first post-pandemic national survey, girls’ basketball dropped 7%.

Several forces are driving the decline. More athletes are sticking to one sport nearly year-round. Schools have added other sports for girls, which have lured athletes away from basketball. Some girls see basketball as too difficult to play, or even not “girly” enough, coaches say.

In Texas, powerhouse girls’ basketball teams are drawing as many players as ever, some through open-enrollment policies, but other programs limp along with depleted rosters. Girls’ basketball participation in the state has dropped 38% over 20 years—despite the state’s surging population overall.

“A lot of athletes are specializing sooner,” said Brooke Brittain, the girls’ basketball coach and co-athletic coordinator at Mansfield High in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“I think club volleyball and softball and soccer in some respects are doing OK because they don’t require the physical task on your body that maybe basketball does,” said Josef Sigrist, former coach of the West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High girls’ basketball team.

“VB is negatively affecting BB participation. I’m grateful for the depth of VB talent in this state, but not at the demise of BB.” (Creighton coach)

The number of girls’ basketball teams in Nebraska has dropped 12% over two decades, meanwhile, the number of girls playing high school sports overall in Nebraska rose nearly 11% in the last decade.
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