Friday, September 5, 2008

Lacrosse was fastest growing high school sport for boys in 2008

Source : ESPN

INDIANAPOLIS -- More high school students than ever before are playing high school sports, according to a group representing the country's state high school athletic associations.

The National Federation of State High School Associations, citing figures from its 50 members and the District of Columbia, said a record 7,429,381 students took part in high school athletics in the 2007-08 school year. That represents 54.8 percent of students enrolled in high schools last year, according to the study.

"This is certainly another great report on the interest of high school sports in our nation's schools," NFHS executive director Robert F. Kanaby said. "The fact that we experienced all-time records for both girls and boys reflects the fact that the high school sports participation experience is more viable than ever and is of great interest to our nation's young people." The 2007-08 numbers also set all-time highs along gender lines, with 3,057,266 girls and 4,372,115 boys participating in 2007-08. The girls' figure surpassed the total of 3,021,807 set in 2006-07, while the boys' figure eclipsed the former record of 4,367,442 set in 1977-78.

According to state-by-state results, Texas had the most high school athletes with 779,049, followed by California (735,497), New York (380,870), Ohio (346,571), Illinois (336,646), Michigan (315,734), Pennsylvania (286,992), New Jersey (256,837), Minnesota (230,068) and Florida (227,157).

Among girls, basketball remained the most-played sport with 449,450 participants, followed by outdoor track and field, volleyball, fast-pitch softball and soccer. Competitive spirit squads gained the most female participants in 2007-08, followed by soccer and cross country, according to the report.

For boys, football was the most-played sport with 1,108,286 participants, followed by basketball, outdoor track and field, baseball and soccer, according to the report. Lacrosse gained the most participants among boys, followed by soccer, swimming and diving, and cross country.

When numbers for boys and girls are put together, the largest-growing high school sport in 2007-08 was bowling, with a 17 percent overall increase in participation. Lacrosse was close behind with a 14 percent increase, according to the report. The NFHS has compiled the survey from its member associations since 1971. The full report is available at the association's Web site.

Monday, September 1, 2008

NJ Pride Close Team Offices

Source: Inside Lacrosse Blog

The New Jersey Pride have closed their offices and general manager Steve Ferretti will be managing the Pride as the team’s only full-time employee throughout the offseason, sources confirmed this week.

The Pride are one of a number of teams looking to solidify ownership issues over the coming months, leading to widespread speculation about relocation for at least three teams around the league.

The Pride have been owned by a limited liability company associated with New Balance since June, and played a game against the Barrage in Portland, Ore., on August 9. The Pride’s situation is markedly different from the Barrage, who were owned and operated by the MLL all season and are also looking for a new home.

“From what I understand, the game we had in Portland was hosted by the Lumberjax, and every layman can figure out maybe Portland wants to own a team, but it’s a very fluid thing that changes week to week,” Ferretti said.

The coaching staff and team roster remain in tact, though a number of players have expressed concern over how many of their teammates would be willing to play home games on the other side of the country.

When reached for comment, MLL Commissioner Dave Gross said he was not in a position to comment on any of the clubs’ ownership.