The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its membership believe that interscholastic sports and fine arts activities promote citizenship and sportsmanship. They instill a sense of pride in community, teach lifelong lessons of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitate the physical and emotional development of our nation’s youth.

There is no better time than today to assert "The Case for High School Activities." Education and community leaders across the nation must be made aware of the facts contained in this material. From interscholastic sports to music, drama and debate, activities enrich a student's high school experience, and the programs must be kept alive.

At a cost of only one to three percent (or less in many cases) of an overall school's budget, high school activity programs are one of the best bargains around. It is in these vital programs – sports, music, speech, drama, debate – where young people learn lifelong lessons as that compliment the academic lessons taught in the classroom.


The NFHS supports co-curricular endeavors through many avenues, including:

Rules Writing Process- The NFHS produces more than eight million copies of publications and support materials annually for 15 rules books covering 17 sports. The NFHS publishes case books, officials’ manuals, hand books, and simplified and illustrated books in many sports.

The NFHS Coaches Education Program- The NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Course provides a unique student-centered curriculum for interscholastic coaches that assists coaches in creating a healthy and age appropriate sport experience. The course can be taken either online or in a face to face blended delivery option.

National High School Activities Week – The nation's high schools are encouraged to promote the values inherent in high school athletics, speech, music, drama, debate, and spirit squads during this week-long celebration in the third week in October.

Public Service Announcements: Various sportsmanship messages are created and distributed in electronic and radio formats. In addition, healthy lifestyle messages that tackle difficult but current topics such as steroid usage, and hazing education.

High School Activities: A Community Investment in America – This presentation is a NFHS educational product. It documents the value of high school athletic and activity programs through an excellent PowerPoint presentation with videos on a CD-ROM. You can order this CD-ROM by calling NFHS customer service at 800-776-3462.


Benefits of Co-curricular Activities

Activities Support the Academic Mission of Schools. They are not a diversion but rather an extension of a good educational program. Students who participate in activity programs tend to have higher grade-point averages, better attendance records, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline problems than students generally.

Activities are Inherently Educational. Activity programs provide valuable lessons for practical situations – teamwork, sportsmanship, winning and losing, and hard work. Through participation in activity programs, students learn self-discipline, build self-confidence and develop skills to handle competitive situations. These are qualities the public expects schools to produce in students so that they become responsible adults and productive citizens.

Activities Foster Success in Later Life. Participation in high school activities is often a predictor of later success – in college, a career and becoming a contributing member of society.