Over the past five years, the participation rates in boys high school volleyball has risen 12.0 percent, the second most among any sport, according to NFHS.org.
There are currently 22 states that have high school volleyball as an option for boys. California outranks them all with 759 schools that offer the sport, equating to 18,187 participants in the 2015/2016 season. Pennsylvania comes in second with 213 schools, while Illinois falls third with 199 programs offering boys volleyball. Note: all of these statistics exclude club volleyball.
The growth is allowing more opportunities for men to play volleyball at the collegiate level. In the past thirty years these has been a 2.5% growth in the number of colleges that offer men’s volleyball, from 8.4% to 10.9% in the 2015-2016 season.
According to the NCAA, the number of rosters sports in college volleyball has grown from 1,183 athletes in the 2000-2001 season to 2,197 in the 2015-2016 season. In Division III, where there is no opportunity for a scholarship to play men’s volleyball, there has been a significant rise at 153% in participation.
Along with boys volleyball improving their participation numbers, girls high school numbers continue to increase, with a 4.2 percent rise in the past five years.
Although men are not able to compete at the collegiate level, yet, in beach volleyball, the numbers are on the rise since the NCAA recognized it in 2015. From the 2011-2012 season there has been a 400% increase in participation to the 2015-2016 season, where there were a total of 56 programs (5% of total members) and 909 athletes.
We charted 5-yr sport participation trends in high schools. Good or bad news for your sport?
(Data from @nfhs_org, does not include club) pic.twitter.com/jpZKuMD7KF
— NCAA Research (@NCAAResearch) March 10, 2017