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Press Release: Participation in DC High School Athletics Continues to Increase

By Josh Barr, 09/04/19, 9:15AM EDT


Participation in interscholastic athletics continues to increase in the District of Columbia.

Washington, DC – Participation in interscholastic athletics continues to increase in the District of Columbia. A record 14,644 students participated in D.C. high school athletics during the 2018-19 school year, according to figures provided by the DC State Athletic Association to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

“The DCSAA is focused on increasing opportunities for student-athletes and being as inclusive as possible,” DCSAA Executive Director Clark Ray said. “It is exciting to know that we are reaching so many student-athletes. Mayor Bowser and her administration continue to place an emphasis on creating ways to help our students and this is one more way to measure DC’s overall success.”

“Not only are students getting a high quality education in DC, but they are getting access to high quality athletic programs and facilities, and all the support they need to make Every Day Count,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We know that sports are an important part of the school experience, and are associated with adaptive thinking, academic success, as well as strong physical and mental health. We could not be prouder of our more than 14,000 student-athletes.”

Although high school athletic participation declined nationwide for the first time in 30 years, participation in the District rose 15.8 percent from the 2017-18 school year. Year-over-year increases occurred in most sports, including several non-traditional sports, such as Ultimate Frisbee and Rugby.

The DCSAA also holds a chess state championship (which is not included in the reported figures) and this year will add esports competition as it seeks to include more students in extracurricular activities.

“One of our primary goals is to find ways to engage more students,” Ray said. “It is satisfying to know that our efforts have been successful and we will keep developing more ways to reach more and more of the District’s schoolchildren.”

To learn more about the District of Columbia State Athletic Association, please visit

About the District of Columbia State Athletic Association
The mission of the District of Columbia State Athletics Association (DCSAA) is to serve member schools and the maximum number of their student-athletes by providing leadership and support for interscholastic athletic programming that will enrich the education experiences of all participants.

The DCSAA preserves and promotes the educational significance of interscholastic athletics by:
• Providing for fair competition between member schools;
• Promoting sportsmanship and ethical behavior;
• Establishing and enforcing standards of conduct for student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and spectators;
• Protecting the physical well-being of student-athletes and promoting healthy adolescent lifestyles; and
• Promoting participation of female and disabled students on member teams.