Picking the numbers apart
We told you earlier that participation in athletics in Maryland public high schools was up five percent from last year, according to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. We even told you that football, soccer and track and field were the three highest participation sports across the board.
What we didn't do was break down sports participation rates by gender, which we are pleased to do now. Football led the way among boys with 15,272 playing last year. Track and field came in second, with 6,291 participants, followed by soccer (6,081), lacrosse (5,633) and baseball (5,578). Basketball, in case you were wondering, came in sixth with 5,387 participants.
On the girls side, soccer was the leading sport, with 5,665 girls taking part, followed by softball (5,426), track and field (5,097), basketball (4,722) and volleyball (4,701).
Among the the oddities within the numbers is that eight girls played football and nine girls played baseball in the state last year. Fifty-five boys played softball, while two boys took to the field hockey pitch.