Participation in high school athletics in Colorado hits an all-time high

State track boys

(Ryan Casey/

More students than ever before are participating in high school athletics in Colorado.

The participation survey for the 2016-17 was recently completed, and resulting data was published for the first time on Tuesday. It shows that 60.26 percent of students enrolled at CHSAA member high schools participated in sports during the 2016-17 school year, a total of 139,969 athletes.

Both figures are the highest since the yearly survey began after the 1988-89 season.

In addition, 23.53 percent of enrolled students participated in activities, meaning 83.79 percent of students participated in some form. That percentage is the highest since 2012-13, and the fourth-highest in the survey’s history. There were 54,649 participants in activities.

This is the fourth time in the past five years that at least 83 percent of students are participating in some activity.

“That’s amazing to see that many kids participating in high school activities,” CHSAA commissioner Paul Angelico said. “Participation is our top priority, and recent changes with that goal in mind — including new classifications for three girls sports — seem to be helping.”

New classifications in girls golf, girls swimming and girls tennis for the 2016-17 season may have helped spark this most recent growth. Those three sports alone saw an additional 1,682 students participate in 2016-17.

All participation numbers are turned in by schools on the survey each year.

The full data can been seen on the participation database page.