11-Player Football Participation in U.S. High Schools 2009-2022, by Gender

Football has long been a popular sport in American high schools, drawing in enthusiastic players and passionate fans. Over the years, the sport has seen fluctuations in participation rates, with variations between genders. In this article, we will explore the trends in 11-player football participation in U.S. high schools from 2009 to 2022, focusing on the differences between male and female athletes.

Football has traditionally been a male-dominated sport in American high schools, with significantly higher participation rates among boys. However, in recent years, there has been a growing interest in promoting female involvement in the sport. Let’s delve into the specific numbers and see how they have evolved over the past decade.

2009-2012: The Early Years

From 2009 to 2012, football participation in U.S. high schools remained relatively stable. The total number of players, including both genders, hovered around [insert number here]. During this period, male athletes constituted the majority of players, accounting for approximately [insert percentage here] of the total participation. On the other hand, female athletes made up [insert percentage here].

2013-2016: A Time of Transition

Between 2013 and 2016, we witnessed a slight decline in football participation in high schools across the United States. This decline affected both boys and girls, indicating a general decrease in interest in the sport. However, the gender gap remained fairly consistent, with male athletes still comprising the majority of participants.

2017-2020: A Resurgence in Female Participation

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in female participation in 11-player football. From 2017 to 2020, the number of girls joining their high school football teams has steadily risen. This surge can be attributed to various factors, including increased awareness and opportunities for female athletes, along with the efforts to break down gender barriers in sports.

Although female participation has grown, it is still significantly lower than male participation. Girls make up only a small fraction of the total football players, typically hovering around [insert percentage here]. However, the upward trend suggests a positive shift towards more inclusivity in the sport.

The Impact of 2021-2022

As of the most recent data available, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football participation has not been fully analyzed. The pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives, and high school sports have not been immune to its effects. It is likely that the numbers for 2021 and 2022 may deviate from previous trends, as schools and athletes navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic.


Football participation in U.S. high schools has seen various trends over the past decade, particularly in terms of gender differences. While boys have traditionally dominated the sport, there has been a positive increase in female participation in recent years. Despite this progress, the gap between male and female involvement in 11-player football remains significant.

As we move forward, it is crucial to continue promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities for athletes of all genders. By encouraging and supporting female athletes, we can foster a more diverse and vibrant football community within American high schools.

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