<table valign="top" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" leftmargin="0" topmargin="0" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="3" border="0" valign="top">High School wrestling participation grows for boys and girls in 2007-08

</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" border="0" valign="top" width="430"> Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
09/04/2008
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</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="3" border="0" valign="top"> The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has released its 2007-08 High School Athletics Participation Survey, and the sport of wrestling has grown in all five categories identified.

The statistics for boys wrestling grew during the 2007-08 season concerning the number of athletes participating.

In 2007-08, there were 259,688 boys competing in wrestling, an increase of 2,422 wrestlers from the previous year (a 0.9 percent increase).

In 2007-08, there were 10,090 boys wrestling teams, an increase of 645 from the previous year (a 6.8 percent increase).

Wrestling remained the No. 6 most popular boys sport in terms of number of participants and the No. 8 most popular sport in terms of number of teams.

Girls wrestling increased in both major categories.

The number of girl wrestlers in high schools grew to 5,527 athletes, an increase of 479 wrestlers from the previous year (a 9.5 percent increase)

The number of teams with girl wrestlers in 2007-08 was 1,287 teams, an increase of 60 teams (a 4.9 percent increase).

When combining the number of boys and girls involved in wrestling in 2007-08, the total number grew to 265,215, which increased 2,921 athletes for the year. This amounts to a 1.1 percent increase in total wrestlers for the year.

The number of girl high school wrestlers has gained every year since 1990, a streak of 19 straight years of growth in participation.

For the 18th consecutive year, the number of student participants in high school athletics increased overall.

There was a total of 7,429,381 in 2007-08 in all sports, an increase of 86,471 for the year.

The top 10 states for boys wrestling participation were: 1. California (25,896); 2. Illinois (16,535); 3. Ohio (14,004); 4. New York (13,932); 5. Michigan (11,533); 6. New Jersey (9,839); 7. Pennsylvania (9,000); 8. North Carolina (8,801); 9. Minnesota (8,437); 10. Florida (8,011)

The top 5 states for girls wrestling participation were: 1. Texas (1,602); 2. California (1,142); 3. Hawaii (415); 4. Washington (386); 5. Florida (383)

TEN MOST POPULAR BOYS PROGRAMS

Participants
1. Football ? 11-player, 1,108,286
2. Basketball, 552,935
3. Track and Field ? Outdoor, 548,821
4. Baseball, 478,029
5. Soccer, 383,561
6. Wrestling, 259,688
7. Cross Country, 221,109
8. Golf, 159,958
9. Tennis, 156,285
10. Swimming and Diving, 111,896

Schools
1. Basketball, 17,861
2. Track and Field ? Outdoor, 15,835
3. Baseball, 15,720
4. Football ? 11-player, 13,987
5. Golf , 13,647
6. Cross Country, 13,485
7. Soccer, 11,122
8. Wrestling, 10,090
9. Tennis, 9,576
10. Swimming and Diving, 6,428

NFHS PRESS RELEASE ON PARTICIPATION
High School sports participation increases again; Boys, Girls and Overall participation reach all-time highs

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 4, 2008) ? For the 19th consecutive year, the number of student participants in high school athletics increased in 2007-08, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Based on figures from the 50 state high school athletic/activity associations, plus the District of Columbia, that are members of the NFHS, participation for the 2007-08 school year set an all-time high of 7,429,381, according to the 2007-08 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS. In addition, boys and girls participation figures reached all-time highs, with 3,057,266 girls and 4,372,115 boys participating in 2007-08. The girls figure surpassed the total of 3,021,807 set last year, while the boys figure eclipsed the former record of 4,367,442 set in 1977-78.

Through the survey, it was also determined that 54.8 percent of students enrolled in high schools participate in athletics.

?This is certainly another great report on the interest of high school sports in our nation?s schools,? said NFHS Executive Director Robert F. Kanaby. ?The fact that we experienced all-time records for both girls and boys reflects the fact that the high school sports participation experience is more viable than ever and is of great interest to our nation?s young people. In addition, the results support the NFHS 2008-2011 Strategic Plan, in which the organization committed to providing stronger leadership and support for high school athletics and fine arts activities.?

Two years ago, the NFHS began a new brand identity emphasis using a communications tag line of ?Take Part. Get Set for Life.?? In addition to its chief task of writing playing rules for high school sports, the NFHS is striving to gain awareness and support from state and local governments, media, corporate partners, and especially students and their parents.

Competitive spirit squads gained the most female participants in 2007-08 with 16,130, followed by soccer with 8,913 and cross country with 6,973.

Lacrosse gained the most participants among boys sports in 2007-08 with 11,336, followed by soccer with 5,562, swimming and diving with 5,158 and cross country with 5,042.

In terms of combined participation, the emerging sports of bowling and lacrosse continued their rise in popularity with significant percentage increases. Overall participation in bowling increased 17 percent, while lacrosse participation was up 14 percent.

Basketball remained the most popular sport for girls with 449,450 participants, followed by outdoor track and field (447,520), volleyball (397,968), fast pitch softball (371,293), soccer (346,545), cross country (190,349), tennis (172,455), swimming and diving (147,197), competitive spirit squads (111,307) and golf (69,243).

In boys sports, 11-player football once again topped the list with 1,108,286 participants, followed by basketball (552,935), outdoor track and field (548,821), baseball (478,029), soccer (383,561), wrestling (259,688), cross country (221,109), golf (159,958), tennis (156,285) and swimming and diving (111,896).

Texas held its title as having the most sports participants with 779,049, followed by California (735,497), New York (380,870), Ohio (346,571), Illinois (336,646), Michigan (315,734), Pennsylvania (286,992), New Jersey (256,837), Minnesota (230,068) and Florida (227,157).

The participation survey has been compiled since 1971 by the NFHS through numbers it receives from its member associations. The complete 2007-08 Participation Survey is available on the NFHS Web site <www.nfhs.org>.</www.nfhs.org></td></tr></tbody></table>