Sports

Learn more about student sports in and out of schools, including how athletics affect students’ health, well-being, and academic achievement

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Statistics on School Sports: How Many Students Play Sports? Which Sports Do They Play?
Browse key data on school sports, including how often girls and boys are participating and which ones they are choosing to play.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland launches sports betting at Sports & Social Maryland, Dec. 10, 2021.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland launches sports betting at Sports & Social Maryland, Dec. 10, 2021.
Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun via TNS
Student Well-Being States Tackle Teenage Gambling as Sports Betting Grows
The portrait of a new problem gambler is emerging: the high school student.
Marsha Mercer, Stateline.org, July 13, 2022
7 min read
Monique Lopes, 16, far left, dresses with unidentified football players at Pepin High School prior to practice Monday, Sept. 27, 1999, in Pepin, Wis.
High school girls get ready for football practice at Pepin High School in Pepin, Wis., in a 1999 photo.
Steve Kinderman/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP
Equity & Diversity 5 Ways Title IX Transformed School Sports (and More)
On the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights law, here are five ways it transformed sports and schooling and still does.
Apoorvaa Mandar Bichu, June 22, 2022
4 min read
Permian High School players run drills at the start of the school's evening team football practice Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Odessa, Texas.
Permian High School players run drills as evening football practices get under way in Odessa, Texas, last August. A national group is calling for reshaping traditional high school sports programs so that more students can be involved in them.
Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP
Student Well-Being Should School Sports Prioritize Participation Over Competition? What a New Report Says
The Aspen Institute's report proposes eight strategies for making school sports more fun and less selective.
Ariel Gans, May 2, 2022
8 min read
A group of co-ed students, basketball players huddle together on the court and raise their fists in triumph and solidarity. The shot is from overhead.
E+/Getty
Student Well-Being School Sports Are Back. Where Are the Athletes?
Amid the pandemic and its disruptions, many young athletes lost interest in school sports.
Ariel Gans, April 20, 2022
5 min read
Illustration of the colors of the Ukrainian flag superimposed over sporting equipment.
Paul Campbell/iStock/Getty
Social Studies Opinion An Unlikely Tool Can Help Students Understand the Russia-Ukraine War: Sports
For some students, sports can help make sense of the complexities of war. Here are three strategies.
Anne-Lise Halvorsen, Donald R. McClure & Jacinda Bowman, March 17, 2022
4 min read
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iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being To Play or Not? CDC, Schools Diverge on Sports
Omicron has made sports riskier this winter and schools are all over the map on whether the games must go on.
Sarah D. Sparks, January 12, 2022
4 min read
Laur Kaufman, 13, of Harlingen, waves a flag at a rally against House Bill 25, a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls school sports, outside the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.
Laur Kaufman, 13, of Harlingen, Texas, waves a flag at a rally at the state capitol in Austin against a bill that would restrict transgender students' access to single-sex sports teams.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP
Equity & Diversity Transgender Students and School Sports: Six Things to Know About a Raging Debate
States have considered a surge of legislation that would restrict transgender students from teams that align with their gender identity.
Evie Blad, October 22, 2021
9 min read
Claudia Carranza, of Harlingen, hugs her son, Laur Kaufman, 13, at a rally against House Bill 25, a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls school sports, outside the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.
Claudia Carranza, of Harlingen, hugs her son, Laur Kaufman, 13, at a rally against House Bill 25, a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls school sports, outside the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP
States ‘Hateful’: White House Blasts Texas’ Pending Restriction on Transgender Student Athletes
Abbott hasn’t said when he’ll sign House Bill 25 into law, but there’s no doubt he will, having pressed for the trans sports ban all year.
Todd J. Gillman, The Dallas Morning News, October 20, 2021
3 min read
Image of a gavel.
Marilyn Nieves/E+
Law & Courts 'I Just Want to Play.' Judge Halts W. Va. Law Barring Transgender Girls From Girls' Sports
Ruling for an 11-year-old transgender girl, the judge holds that the law likely violates the equal-protection clause and Title IX.
Mark Walsh, July 22, 2021
3 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Athletes Over NCAA in Case on Education-Related Compensation
In a case watched in high school sports, the justices hold that some limits on college athlete compensation violate federal antitrust law.
Mark Walsh, June 21, 2021
5 min read
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., on March 11, 2021, to protest a proposed ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues.
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., to protest a ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues, one of dozens of measures considered in state legislatures this year.
Stephen Groves/AP
Law & Courts Let Transgender Student Play on Girls' Team, Feds Say, Supporting Her Suit Over a State Law
A West Virginia law barring transgender girls from girls' sports teams violates Title IX and U.S. Constitution, the Justice Department says.
Evie Blad, June 17, 2021
3 min read
Maddy Niebauer and her 10-year-old transgender son, Julian, from Middleton, Wis., take part in a rally for transgender rights at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. on May 26, 2021.
Maddy Niebauer and her 10-year-old transgender son, Julian, from Middleton, Wis., take part in a rally for transgender rights at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. on May 26, 2021.
Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP
Equity & Diversity Video Transgender Students: 'People Suffer When They Can’t Do What Makes Them Happiest'
Transgender students in nine states are required to play only on sports teams that match their gender assigned at birth. A look at the impact of that requirement.
Eric Harkleroad, June 16, 2021
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Kaylee Domzalski/Education Week
Student Well-Being Video Where Friendship Happens When School Goes Online
With school online and social interactions limited, senior Nate Bone found a new group of friends through his school’s cross country team.
Kaylee Domzalski, June 14, 2021
2:00
Herriman cheerleaders carry the American flag before the start of a high school football game against Davis, on Aug. 13, 2020, in Herriman, Utah. Utah went forward with high school football this fall despite concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that led other states and many college football conferences to postpone games in hopes of instead playing in the spring.
Cheerleaders carry the American flag before the start of a high school football game last year in Herriman, Utah. Utah's Test-to-Play program required students and staff participating in extracurricular activities like cheerleading to regularly undergo testing for COVID-19.
Rick Bowmer/AP
Student Well-Being What the Research Says Strict COVID-19 Testing Can Keep Extracurriculars Going, CDC Finds
New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds Utah's coronavirus testing prevented outbreaks following sports events.
Sarah D. Sparks, May 21, 2021
3 min read