How many schools play high football in the US?

High school football is a really popular sport at that level. Every Friday evening, people from communities all over the country come together to support their local teams and players, of which there are about 16,000 teams and a million players.

High school football games can mean a lot more than just what happens on the field. They can hold special significance and bring communities together.

Notably, high school football is where college football talent often starts to shine. This makes people more interested in both college teams and players. That’s why high school football rankings, stats, and fans often keep an eye on high school football scores.

The importance of high school football in the US


In the school year 2023-2024, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), there were around 15,810 high school football teams all across the US. These teams were in every state, including the District of Columbia, and were from both public and private schools. In total, around 1.03 million individuals took part in high school football, including players, coaches, and officials. High school football is loved by a lot of people in the United States. Many folks play it, and it’s important to the way communities and their history and culture come together.

Tradition: High school football has a long history and is deeply connected to local communities. Many people in the US go to these games to feel a part of their community, show off their school pride, and keep old traditions alive.

Community Togetherness: High school football brings folks together and makes them feel like they’re all part of one team. Students, parents, old students (alumni), and folks who live nearby join forces to back their school and community.

Growing Personally: Students who play high school football learn a lot about growing as a person. Football needs discipline, hard work, and sticking with it. It teaches important skills like teamwork, leadership, and not giving up when things get tough.

Getting Noticed and Chosen: High school football is a big step towards playing in college and maybe even the NFL. Coaches and scouts from colleges often come to watch these games to see if there are talented players they want to recruit. Doing well in high school football can lead to getting offers for college scholarships and chances to play at a higher level.

Helping the Local Economy: High school football can also give the local community an economic boost. The games make money for schools and also help local businesses like restaurants, hotels, and stores.

The history of high school football in the America

The story of high school football in the US dates back to the late 1800s when the sport gained popularity in schools and colleges. Here are some important moments in the history of high school football in the US:


  • In 1882, the very first high school football match took place between two Massachusetts schools, Boston English and Boston Latin.


  • Around the early 1900s, high school football grew in popularity across the nation. Many schools started forming teams and competing against each other.


  • In 1910, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) was established. It became the organisation overseeing high school sports all over the country.


  • During the 1920s and 1930s, high school football became a big deal in culture. Many people attended games and cheered for their local teams.


  • In the 1940s and 1950s, high school football’s popularity kept rising. Lots of communities even built new stadiums and facilities to meet the growing demand for the sport.


  • The 1960s and 1970s were a time of change and improvement for high school football. New rules were put in place to keep players safe.


  • The 1980s and 1990s saw high school football becoming even more of a cultural influence. Many games were shown on TV and broadcasted on the radio.


  • In the 2000s and 2010s, there were more discussions about player safety and the potential effects of playing football on health. This led to new safety rules being introduced.


Even now, high school football still matters a lot in American culture. People all over the country go to games, support their local teams, and honor the traditions and history of the sport.

High school football stays really liked and widely played in the US, with lots of student-athletes joining in each year. But, the sport is dealing with changes and things to think about in today’s state of high school football. Let’s talk about some important factors:

Safety worries: Lately, people have been looking at high school football more closely to keep players safe, especially concerning head injuries and concussions. Because of this, they’ve brought in new rules to make things safer, like having fewer hard-contact practices and stricter rules for tackling and blocking.

Less people joining: While high school football is still popular, some parts of the country have seen fewer students taking part. This is because more kids are focusing on other sports, worries about safety, and changing interests in general.

Getting noticed and seen: High school football is an important step if you want to play college football or maybe even go to the NFL. But how players get noticed is changing. Social media, the internet, and other sports getting bigger all affect how students are picked and recruited.


Money matters: High school football teams often have money problems. Schools and groups that support the teams need to find money for gear, field upkeep, and other costs. This can make it hard for some schools to keep their teams, especially if fewer kids are signing up or if the area is facing money issues.


Even with these things to deal with, high school football is still a big part of American culture. Many schools and communities really value it and feel proud of it. The sport is changing to stay safe and fit into how things are now, and it’s something that many people care about and enjoy.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) said that during the 2023-2024 school year, there were around 15810 high school football teams in the US. This count includes teams for both boys and girls.

The amount of high school football teams isn’t the same in all states. Some states, like Texas and California, have lots of teams. But other places, like Vermont and Alaska, have fewer teams.


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