Michigan sees increase in high school basketball teams opting out of state playoffs

The number of high school boys and girls basketball teams opting out of the state tournaments this year has more than doubled compared to the previous two seasons.

According to numbers from the Michigan High School Athletic Association, a combined boys and girls total of 90 basketball teams have chosen not to participate in this year’s state tournaments. That is an increase of 109.3 percent from the 43 opt-out teams recorded last year and a 200 percent increase from the 30 recorded two years ago.

Despite the noticeable difference, the MHSAA expressed that there is no cause for concern with the increase in numbers.

“We’re not concerned, for a few reasons,” MHSAA communications director Geoff Kimmerly wrote in an email. “The percentage of the whole is still very small. Also, a number of schools that opted out are the same as have opted out previous years because of low numbers, etc.

“Others that opted out have been opting out of all sports this school year and hopefully will return to all activities when they decide the time is right.”

OPT OUT NUMBERS Total teams Total opt out D1 opt out D2 opt out D3 opt out D4 opt out
Girls Basketball 718 58 3 11 10 34
Boys Basketball 727 32 0 6 5 21
Overall 1445 90 3 17 15 55
OPT OUT PERCENTAGES Total teams Total % opt out D1 % opt out D2 % opt out D3 % opt out D4 % opt out
Girls Basketball 718 8.077994429 0.417827298 1.532033426 1.39275766 4.735376045
Boys Basketball 727 4.401650619 0 0.825309491 0.687757909 2.888583219
Overall 1445 6.228373702 0.207612457 1.176470588 1.038062284 3.806228374

Heading into this basketball season, the MHSAA listed 727 boys basketball teams and 718 girls basketball teams on its official list, meaning 6.2 percent of the 1,445 total boys and girls teams have opted out. However, the total number of schools on the MHSAA’s official list is collected in March of the previous school year.

“It’s important to keep in mind that a great majority opting out are our smallest schools,” Kimmerly said. “The way the process works is schools tell us in March (of the previous school year) what sports they intend to play – but often we have schools that are hoping to have numbers but don’t when the time comes to start a season.”

Among the 90 schools opting out this year, 55 (61.1 percent) of them are in Division 4 schools. For boys, any school with enrollment less than 190 are placed in Division 4 while girls teams with enrollment under 194 are Division 4.

BOYS Team Total Opt Out Percent
Division 1 181 0 0
Division 2 182 6 3.296703297
Division 3 182 5 2.747252747
Division 4 182 21 11.53846154
Total 727 32 4.401650619
GIRLS Team Total Opt Out Percent
Division 1 179 3 1.675977654
Division 2 179 11 6.145251397
Division 3 179 10 5.586592179
Division 4 181 34 18.78453039
Total 718 58 8.077994429

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