Is Girls Basketball Losing Ground?

Girls’ basketball was among the leaders in popularity in high school sports two decades ago.

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According to a Wall Street Journal report published Tuesday, however, the sport has lost 19 percent of its participation since 2002.

The article explores possible reasons for the decline in popularity as it’s fallen behind.

Track and field grew 10% in the last year, while volleyball and soccer also saw participation increases of 15% and 27%, respectively.

One factor is the trend toward specialization, encouraging kids to play only one sport year-round.


The costs of elite club programs also factor into which sports families choose.
With the overlap between soccer, volleyball, and basketball seasons, girls might decline to play high school basketball so as not to miss other club competitions.


Other conjecture from experts is that the sport has a perception problem.

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That argument is murky, with the fan bases of women’s college basketball and the WNBA growing exponentially year over year.

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