PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – High school athletics participation has increased for the 33nd consecutive year and last year reached an all-time high with more than seven and a half million players, according to a report by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Despite financial challenges, there was an overall jump of 39,000-plus participants since the previous school year.

For boys, eleven player football led the way with more than a million kids competing. For girls, lacrosse has emerged in popularity with close to 75,000 players; but track and field again had the highest female numbers.

Although participation of girls was not as high as last year, the girls’ increase more than doubled the rate of boys during the past 20 years — 63% to 31%.

However, Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project in comparing boys’ and girls’ participation with regard to Title IX, urges that girls’ athletics should be a higher priority.

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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