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.
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion Searching for Common Ground: High School Football’s Risks and Rewards
Safety concerns with high school football are real, but the sport also has value for student athletes.
Rick Hess, September 13, 2022
4 min read
Sivan Kotler-Berkowitz, 17, a transgender student-athlete, plays soccer with his brother, Lev, at a Massachusetts park on Sept. 3, 2022.
Sivan Kotler-Berkowitz, 17, a transgender student-athlete, plays soccer at a Massachusetts park.
Angela Rowlings for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Transgender Student Athletes 'Just Want to Play.' Will Federal Law Assure They Can?
As state debates rage, the U.S. Department of Education promises to update Title IX. But details and timing remain uncertain.
Libby Stanford, September 8, 2022
10 min read
Football players are silhouetted as they practice in the early morning sun at Cooper High School in Abilene, Texas, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. It was the first day for Cooper varsity practice.
Football players are silhouetted as they practice in the early morning sun at Cooper High School in Abilene, Texas.
Ronald W. Erdrich/The Abilene Reporter-News via AP
School Climate & Safety How the Uvalde Tragedy Is Affecting Texas High School Football Games, Stadium Security
Texas school administrators are reevaluating their in-school and extracurricular security policies and instituting new ones.
Lia Assimakopoulos, The Dallas Morning News, August 24, 2022
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Searching for Common Ground: Rick and Pedro Go to the Movies Again
Movies and TV shows like "Lean on Me" and "Friday Night Lights" center on real education issues and can help the public work through them.
Rick Hess, August 18, 2022
5 min read
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