Thursday, July 19, 2007

Government Releases New Numbers on College Sports Participation

The Government Accountability Office periodically publishes a statistical profile of collegiate athletics participants and teams. The latest report, released last week, shows increasing number of participants and teams of both sexes. Women's sports are growing faster than men's, but men still have the majority of opportunities. The abstract is here; the report is here. Here's a nutshell:
  • The numbers of both men's and women's intercollegiate sports teams increased from 1991-1992 to 2004-2005.
  • Women's teams showed greater gains (44%) than men's teams (15%) during that time.
  • The numbers of both male and female athletic participants increased from 1991-1992 to 2004-2005.
  • Female participants showed larger rates of increase (63%) than male (21%).
  • Men's participation levels were greater than women's throughout this time period, both in absolute terms and relative to their respective enrollments. (Compare 217,000 male athletes to 153,000 female athletes)
  • In the following sports, the number of men's teams rose >5% during the period of study: golf, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, indoor and outdoor track.
  • In one men's sport, wrestling, the number of teams decreased by >5%. In other sports, the changes were mixed so the trend could not be reported either way.
  • Most women's sports saw the number of teams grow by >5%. Only basketball and gymnastics saw a growth rate <5%.

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