NFHS: A Case for High School Activities

courtesy NFHS

The National Federation of High School Associations has done an outstanding job of explaining the benefits of high school activities, and in its Case for High School Activities, the NFHS goes into detail on how high school activities enhance the education of high school student-athletes.

The NFHS states:

“The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and its member state associations champion interscholastic sports and performing arts activities because they promote citizenship and sportsmanship in the 11 million students who participate nationwide. Activity programs instill a sense of pride in school and community, teach lifelong lessons and skills of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitate the physical and emotional development of the nation’s youth. 

There is no better time than now to assert “The Case for High School Activities.” Education and community leaders across America need the facts contained in this material documenting the benefits of participation in interscholastic sports, music, theatre, debate, and other activities, to provide support needed for these programs. These activities provide important developmental experiences that enrich a student’s high school experience and entire life, and these programs must be protected and sustained. “

The cost benefit of high school activities is explained by the NFHS succinctly:

“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 today’s best bargains. It is in these vital programs – sports, music, speech, theatre, debate – where young people learn lifelong lessons that complement the academic lessons taught in the classroom. From a cost standpoint, activity programs are an exceptional bargain when matched against the overall school district’s education budget.” – NFHS

The NFHS supports co-curricular activities in the following ways:

  • Rules-writing Process – The NFHS produces more than eight million copies of publications and support materials annually for 14 rules books covering 16 sports. The NFHS publishes case books, officials’ manuals, handbooks, and simplified and illustrated books in many sports.
  • The NFHS Learning Center – 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. With over than one million courses viewed and taken, this tool enhances the education for the adults who have committed to the betterment of their young people.   More information can be accessed by going to
  • National High School Activities Month – The nation’s high schools are encouraged to promote the values inherent in high school athletics, speech, music, theatre, debate and spirit squads during this celebration in the month of October.
  • Public Service Announcements – Various sportsmanship messages are created and distributed in electronic and radio formats, as well as 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 an NFHS educational product.  You can order this CD-ROM by calling NFHS customer service at 800-776-3462.
  • SPORTSMANSHIP. IT’S UP TO YOU.™ TOOLKIT – This initiative is designed to improve sportsmanship in schools and the community.   You can order this toolkit by calling NFHS Customer Service at 800-776-3462.

In our 9 part series with OnFocus on the NFHS and the benefits of high school activities, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at 8 benefits of participating in high school co-curriculars. Watch for additional information here with

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]