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The Value of Participation

The mission of the Minnesota State High School League is to provide educational opportunities through interscholastic athletic and fine arts programs for the 200,000 students who participate in them and to provide leadership and support for the 456 high schools that are members of the League.

Decades of research prove that students who participate in high school activities tend to have:

  • higher grade-point averages
  • better attendance records
  • lower dropout rates
  • fewer discipline problems than non-participating students.

National studies repeatedly report that high school activities:

  • build character
  • increase self-confidence
  • relieve tension
  • support classroom learning by generating school pride, a sense of community, and by nurturing a feeling of belonging that makes students want to achieve.

These studies also show that students who participate in athletic and fine arts programs are more likely to:

  • graduate from high school
  • stay off drugs
  • attend college
  • avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Still, more statistics reveal that participation in activities encourages the aspirations of youth and provides young people with countless opportunities to develop leadership skills.

A Minnesota study of more than 300 schools showed—

  • The average student had a grade-point average of 2.68 (on a 4.0 scale), but the grade-point average of student athletes was 2.84 and 2.98 for students involved in the fine arts—speech, drama, music and debate.
  • The average student was absent 8.76 days a year.
  • Athletes were absent 7.44 days.
  • Fine arts participants were absent only 6.94 days a year.

Values of Participation

  • What High School Students Say...

  • What High School Principals Say...

  • The Key to a Successful Future
    by David V. Stead, MSHSL, Executive Director

    Print Ads
    The MSHSL, in its effort to promote the values of participation, is making a series of print ads available to its membership. The print ads include facts about the benefits young people receive when they participate in interscholastic athletic and fine arts programs.
  • Sports Releases Tension (LO Rez)
  • Sports Releases Tension (HI Rez)
  • Graduation Rates (LO Rez)
  • Graduation Rates (HI Rez)
  • Attendance Records (LO Rez)
  • Attendance Records (HI Rez)

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