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.
Colin Prater hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament on June 12, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C.
Colin Prater hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament on June 12, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C.
Frank Franklin II/AP
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words How This 'Goofy Science Teacher' Made It to the U.S. Open in Golf
High school science teacher and golf coach Colin Prater just played in one of the world's most prestigious golf tournaments.
Elizabeth Heubeck, July 9, 2024
6 min read
AA studio shot of a Mario Kart diecast vehicle from the video and animated Nintendo series.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being How Video Games Can Combat Chronic Absenteeism (Yes, Really)
In one district, middle school esports clubs are helping to boost attendance and student engagement.
Alyson Klein, July 2, 2024
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion Youth Sports Are About More than Just Winning
A good athletics program introduces students to life lessons, and a good coach understands his or her impact.
Rick Hess, June 18, 2024
4 min read
Connor Allen, of Cranberry, Pa. picks his character before a round of "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" during the Steel City Showdown esports tournament at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, on May 11, 2019 in Pittsburgh.
Students get ready before an esports tournament at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, on May 11, 2019 in Pittsburgh.
Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
School Climate & Safety Gaming Is Part of Teen Life. These Districts Use It for Better Student Outcomes
Scholastic esports is attracting students who would otherwise not participate in extracurricular activities.
Lauraine Langreo, June 7, 2024
4 min read
Demonstrators advocating for transgender rights and healthcare stand outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Jan. 24, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. The rights of LGBTQ+ students will be protected by federal law and victims of campus sexual assault will gain new safeguards under rules finalized Friday, April19, 2024, by the Biden administration. Notably absent from Biden’s policy, however, is any mention of transgender athletes.
Demonstrators advocating for transgender rights and healthcare stand outside of the Ohio Statehouse on Jan. 24, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. The rights of LGBTQ+ students will be protected by federal law and victims of campus sexual assault will gain new safeguards under rules finalized Friday, April19, 2024, by the Biden administration. Notably absent from Biden’s policy, however, is any mention of transgender athletes.
Patrick Orsagos/AP
Federal New Title IX Rule Has Explicit Ban on Discrimination of LGBTQ+ Students
The new rule, while long awaited, stops short of addressing the thorny issue of transgender athletes' participation in sports.
Libby Stanford, April 19, 2024
6 min read
UConn guard Hassan Diarra (10) scores past Purdue guard Myles Colvin (5) during the second half of the NCAA college Final Four championship basketball game on April 8, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz.
UConn guard Hassan Diarra scores past Purdue guard Myles Colvin during the second half of the NCAA college Final Four championship basketball game on April 8, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. A 2nd grade class in North Carolina completed one of the best March Madness brackets in the nation for the annual tournament.
David J. Phillip/AP
Teaching & Learning This 2nd Grade Class Picked One of the Best March Madness Brackets in the Nation
The exercise was supposed to be just for fun. Then, this class' picks just kept winning.
Caitlynn Peetz, April 17, 2024
2 min read
A middle school football team practices Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Oklahoma City.
A middle school football team practices in Oklahoma City in 2022.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Student Well-Being SEL Could Move Into School Sports. What That Might Look Like
Massachusetts is considering a bill to establish guidelines on how school athletics incorporate SEL.
Lauraine Langreo, April 12, 2024
5 min read
A young student is celebrated like a pro athlete for earning an A+!
Chris Kindred for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion What March Madness Can Teach Schools About Equity
What if we modeled equity in action in K-12 classrooms after the resources provided to college student-athletes? asks Bettina L. Love.
Bettina L. Love, March 20, 2024
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion School Sports Matter. How to Make Them Matter More
The skills we hope sports will teach are the very ones that help produce successful graduates and responsible citizens.
Rick Hess, March 18, 2024
8 min read
Blue concept image of coach and team discussing soccer tactics with ball in foreground.
Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being How Coaches Can Be a Source of Mental Health Support for Student-Athletes
Coaches interact with kids all the time and are well placed to support students' mental health—but they need more training.
Madeline Will, March 11, 2024
5 min read
Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver greets a child at one of the organization’s events.
Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver greets a child at one of the organization’s events.
Courtesy of Special Olympics
Special Education Q&A Schools Should Boost Inclusion of Students With Disabilities, Special Olympics Leader Says
Schools have work to do to ensure students with intellectual and developmental disabilities feel a sense of belonging, Tim Shriver said.
Evie Blad, January 24, 2024
6 min read
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn on Feb. 7, 2019.
Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., on Feb. 7, 2019.
Pat Eaton-Robb/AP
Law & Courts Lawsuit Over a Transgender School Sports Policy Revived by Federal Appeals Court
The 2nd Circuit court stressed that it was not deciding the underlying issue in the case of whether Title IX bars such a policy.
Mark Walsh, December 15, 2023
3 min read
Monterey High's Tyvonte' Cornish (94) tackles Odessa High's Ivan Miranda (13) by a shirt tail in the fourth quarter. Odessa High School played Monterey High at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2019.
Monterey High School student Tyvonte' Cornish, left, tackles Ivan Miranda, of Odessa High School, in Odessa, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2019.
Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP
Recruitment & Retention Athletic Trainers Are Often Missing From the Sidelines in School Sports
Advocates say athletic trainers are in short supply, despite efforts to require schools to keep them on hand.
Elizabeth Heubeck, November 30, 2023
5 min read
Graham Bacigalupi, of Team Louisiana, watches from the dugout during the DYB, formerly Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League tournament in Ruston, La., on Aug. 8, 2023.
Graham Bacigalupi, of Team Louisiana, watches from the dugout during a Little League tournament in Ruston, La., on Aug. 8, 2023.
Gerald Herbert/AP
Student Well-Being Kids Are Getting Priced Out of Youth Sports. How Schools Can Help
The rising costs of participating in organized youth sports is making these activities unaffordable for many families.
Arianna Prothero, November 30, 2023
3 min read