High school football participation drops 3% in California

high school footballSan Juan Hills High School (California)
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The California Interscholastic Federation is reporting that 11-man high school football participation dropped to 91,305 during the 2018-19 high school sports season. It’s the fourth straight year that participation numbers have dropped in the sport.

The drop is 3.16 percent from the previous year or 2,981 players. It’s still the most popular boys’ sport in the state.

Related: NFHS 2017-18 participation survey

“As in previous years, we have noticed a steady and continued decrease in football participants. It is imperative that we continue to partner with organizations such as USA Football and their Football Development Model which provides a road map for how we coach, play and learn the game at every level,” said CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti.

8-man football participation only dropped by 20-players from 2,088 to 2,068.

CIF High School Football Participation


Overall, high school sports participation continues to increase in California and is at an all-time high for the seventh consecutive year according to the 2018-19 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Sports Participation Survey. Up by 0.67% since the previous survey in 2017-18, 814,004 student-athletes are competing in education-based athletic programs in California.

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Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.