American Water Polo

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Water Polo Ranks Among the Fastest Growing High School Sports Per the National Federation of High Schools

BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- The National Federation of High Schools released the numbers for the fastest growing sports and water polo ranks among the top six for both boys and girls with growth of 5.5% and 7.9%, respectively, from the 2011-12 to 2015-16 academic years.

In boys' sports, water polo saw an increase of 1,136 athletes from 2011-12 to 2015-16 (5.5%) to trail fencing (14.1%), volleyball (12.0%), indoor track & field (10.6%), lacrosse (8.8%) and soccer (6.9%).  Water Polo does beat out cross country (3.7%), cross country skiing (3.3%), baseball (3.1%), outdoor track & field (2.7%) and basketball (2.1%) among sports that saw growth.  Swimming & diving (-0.3%), football (-1.6%), ice hockey (-1.6%), tennis (-1.6%), golf (-4.0%), rifle (-4.1%), wrestling (-7.9%), alpine skiing (-12.3%) and gymnastics (-19.1%) all experienced loses.

Among the sports that experienced growth, boys' water polo (1,136) ranks behind soccer (28,565), outdoor track & field (15,505), baseball (14,596), basketball (11,139), cross country (9,197), indoor track & field (7,382) and volleyball (5,950) in terms of the number of new competitors from 2011-12 to 2015-16. Cross country skiing had the fewest number of new athletes with 141.

Girls' water polo had a rise of 1,481 competitors (7.9%) as rifle (33.2%), lacrosse (17.4%), indoor track & field (15.4%) and fencing (9.2%) were the sole athletic endeavors that had a greatest increase than water polo (.79%).  Ice hockey (7.7%), cross country skiing (6.1%), golf (5.2%), cross country (4.8%), volleyball (4.2%), swimming & diving (3.9%), outdoor track & field (3.7%), soccer (2.8%), bowling (2.1%) and tennis (1.6%) also had growth. Softball (-0.1%), field hockey (-1.3%), basketball (-1.5%), gymnastics (-7.3%), alpine skiing (-8.3%) and rowing (-58.3%) all lost competitors from 2011-12.

Overall, girls' water polo had the ninth largest increase (1,481) among the sports that experienced growth with volleyball (17,406), outdoor track & field (17,222), soccer (10,554), cross country (10,254), indoor track & field (9,217), swimming & diving (6,291), golf (3,676) and tennis (2,930) ranking ahead of water polo, with ice hockey (681), bowling (533), rifle (327), cross country skiing (283) and fencing (163) trailing behind.