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

Legend Chaparral girls soccer

(Kevin Keyser/

The total number of student participating in high school activities in Colorado hit an all-time high in 2018-19, and total trends continued on an upward trajectory.

This past school year, a total of 199,714 students participated in high school sports or activities across the state, including 143,614 athletes and 56,100 activity participants.

The total participants and athletic participants are both the most in the history of the association, which has been tracking participation data each year since 1988-89. The activity participants are the most since the 2003-04 school year.

"We're very happy to see that the opportunities for students continues to grow in Colorado," said CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green. "Colorado schools provide diverse and broad-based activities and athletics for students of all interests."

Find complete data in our Participation Database.

The method through which the data was gathered this past school year was done so at the individual student level on CHSAA's digital registration platform, as opposed to the overall school level, which makes for more complete information.

"We are excited to now be using the CHSAA Digital Platform as the source of the data," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bethany Brookens, who oversees the participation survey. "It has lifted a huge burden off of our schools, and the information collected is now even more accurate than it has been in the past."

This year, a total of 82.53% of the total membership enrollment participated in high school activities in one form or another. That includes 59.35% in sports, and 23.18% in activities. This marks the 21st consecutive year that sports participation has been above 54% of the total membership enrollment, and eighth of the past nine that it has surpassed 58%.

CHSAA's largest activity is music, with 41,499 participants. Football is the second-largest with 16,888 participants, the sport's highest figure since 2012-13, and is followed by boys basketball (11,723), girls volleyball (11,672), boys track (10,243), and girls basketball (9,045).

Boys basketball saw the largest increase in terms of percentage, growing 27% from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Girls basketball had the second-biggest growth, jumping up 24%.

Girls volleyball showed the third-fastest growth (23%) and hockey and spirit (both 13%) were fourth.

Overall, 14 sports and two activities showed growth from the previous season.