Thursday, August 11, 2011

Track & Field and Cross Country participation UP!

Found at the Napa Valley Register and the following link:
http://napavalleyregister.com/sports/columnists/marty-james/logar-ties-for-th-at-richmond/article_1b4605f0-c30d-11e0-8d88-001cc4c03286.html

High school sports participation in California is on the rise, according to the 2011 CIF Sports Participation Survey. Up by 2.9 percent since the previous survey in 2009, an additional 21,006 student-athletes are competing in California high school athletic programs; 757,733 boys and girls combined.
“The increased growth and interest in high school athletic participation is encouraging even during these hard economic times when some of our schools are forced to reduce their sports programs,” CIF Executive Director Marie M. Ishida said on the organization’s website. “Athletics is an integral part of the high school experience and as more student-athletes decide to compete, the CIF will continue to foster the best possible experiences for all participants.”
Collectively, track and field experienced the largest increase (9.8 percent) for both boys and girls for a combined 9,122 new participants. Additionally, cross country also registered notable growth (9.4 percent increase) from 2009 for a combined 4,564 total increase of boys and girls competing.
The CIF’s 1,517 member schools participated in the survey as part of the National Federation of State High School Associations nationwide survey that measures the number of students competing in sports in the country.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can't stop the movement.

Anonymous said...

Oh great, let's all promote the fact that XC/track is the sport for unathletic losers who can't cut it in other sports, so have to resort to the XC/track no cut policy.

Albert Caruana said...

That's your opinion.

JP said...

To be fair, cross country does have the reputation of being the sport for people who can't hack it in other sports... hence the virtually zero recognition it usually gets (unless you go to University of Oregon).

Jeff Deuel said...

My solution to the XC reputation problem: We will now refer to it NOT as 'Cross Country', but 'Lacross Country'. Members of the team will instantly become irresistible to the opposite sex and the subjects of nonstop coverage in print and television media. Downside: From now on, you can only refer to one another as 'bro' or 'breh'.

Albert Caruana said...

HA!

Anonymous said...

And they might just commit a few murders as well (especially if they go to Duke)...

A Winslo said...

As a former Cardinal it pains me to admit it, but I can't say how many times I've been blown away by the atmosphere in Eugene, Oregon. At Stanford, we were lucky to even have 30+ people show up to some of the meets (Big Meet, etc.) and unless you were in football, volleyball, basketball, etc. it didn't matter what you did, you were a second class and irrelevant sport.

Knowing someone who was on the Oregon team, I was amazed to learn how well track athletes were treated and how the whole city had an awareness of the sport. This has to be one of the few schools where cross country is one of the "cool" sports. If only we could spread that to the rest of the country...

Anonymous said...

Interesting subject, At The School I coach My school and other sports admire us, Matter of fact Football Coach and his players applauds our kids at practice, during our meets and they stop there practice to cheer our team on! On Monday 1st day of practice Football Coach yelled out loud, Hello XC and Lets make this a Great Year. He Always Have!The water Polo Team shares the pool with us for X training. There's been many time the football coach would have loved one of our athletes on his program! Our Football Team is 14 times League Champions and 3 times CCS Champions! In 1999 we were 1200 plus students with 25 kids on the Team now with 735 actual numbers not charter We are at 50 kids! It's up to the Coach and the athletes to earn the respect and to put the work in then the school and comunity would be behind the program!

Marty said...

If you go look at the national survey stats, this has been the trend for several years. I think I calculated an average growth nationwide in XC of about 4-5% per year. That's huge growth.

Yeah, yeah, there's that rep of the un-athletic kids joining, etc., but I guarantee you the slowest ones are still faster than 99% of the rest of the student body by the end of the season. When they see the progress they make in only one season, it's something they can be proud of. More importantly, it often leads to a lifetime centered around fitness. I'm a perfect example: one of the worst track athletes in history in my county, but by the time I was in my mid-20's I was winning small races and running marathons. I'm still competing in track, road, XC, triathlon, cycling, swimming - and loving every minute of it!

Peter Brewer said...

Without getting too carried away by the inequities, football will always be king on the high school campus. Cross Country can be better promoted, to be sure, but the best promotion is the pride and carriage of the athletes themselves.

It would be nice if the mechanism of a high school (e-mail bulletins, school broadcast announcements, administrators showing up to workouts and competitions, school paper coverage, et cetera) also included cross country and the other "minor" sports as well as football, basketball and baseball. But that doesn't happen without a lot of culture change and that takes time. This is the same time the coach needs to do the actual work of coaching, so it is an uphill battle.

It is interesting to note, from a previous post here, that it is possible to garner respect from the football program and other sports, even if not from the student body at large. This perhaps is even more worthwhile than the overall recognition of the student body.

Anecdote: A few years ago I approached the football team and issued a friendly challenge. My cross country team would gladly participate in the football team drills and workout for a day. The football team would have to participate in our workout the next day. The head coach starting laughing, and declined. The JV coach also found it amusing, and did not opt to take up the challenge. I approached the freshman football team, and offered the same deal, but with my girls' varsity. They, too, demurred. At that point my runners had "ownage" of the football team.