Mag Study: VHSL Baseball Player Participation Down 4.5% Since 2014


October 19 - Participation numbers among Virginia High School League schools fielding baseball programs have seen a steady decline in each of the past five seasons. 

Since 2014, the state’s public schools have seen a 4.5 percent drop in the number of players taking the field, down from 9,392 six years ago to 8,968 this past season. On average, the VHSL’s 309 programs rostered 29.02 players in 2019, a decrease from 30.39 in 2014. 

Locally, 66 public schools in the magazine’s Northern Virginia coverage area have fielded programs during that span - Colgan, Rock Ridge and Riverside have opened since 2014, so are not included in the study - and those programs have seen a smaller drop in numbers. They combined to field 2,258 players in 2014 and 2,203 in 2019, a 2.5 percent drop. The average Northern Virginia program carried 34.21 players in 2014 and 33.38 this past season.

Six area schools - Centreville, C.D. Hylton, Edison, Lee, Patriot and Stonewall Jackson - saw double-digit drops in numbers from 2014 and 2019. Patriot’s drop is a bit skewed, as the Pioneers had a state-high 53 players in 2014 and still rostered an above-average 40 players this past spring. Centreville, had 34 players in its program during a season in which the Wildcats earned a Class 6 state tournament berth. C.D. Hylton, which was in the state tournament as recently as 2016, saw its participation numbers reach an all-time low of 24 players this past season. 

Low 2019 player turnout at Lee (18), Manassas Park (18), Stonewall Jackson (17), Park View and Freedom-Woodbridge (10) prevented the schools from fielding junior varsity teams. In 2020, Freedom-Woodbridge will field only a junior varsity team and won’t compete at the varsity level. 

Find more information on participation numbers at VHSL and Northern Virginia programs in the tables below.

Photo of C.D. Hylton coach Jason Ritenour by Caitlyn Verberg


VHSL Player Participation
Includes 2014-19 Seasons
Year Players Programs Per Program
2014 9,392 309 30.39
2015 9,324 308 30.27
2016 9,293 308 30.17
2017 9,239 310 29.80
2018 9,098 309 29.44
2019 8,968 309 29.02

Northern Virginia Public Schools
Player Participation Numbers
School 2014 2019
Annandale 35 31
Battlefield 38 42
Brentsville 30 31
Briar Woods 34 35
Broad Run 28 32
Brooke Point 29 33
C.D. Hylton 34 24
Centreville 46 34
Champe 16 29
Chancellor 26 28
Chantilly 38 40
Colonial Forge 35 42
Courtland 28 29
Dominion 30 36
Edison 37 27
Fairfax 38 36
Falls Church 30 31
Forest Park 35 34
Freedom-SR 25 35
Freedom-W 17 10
Gar-Field 28 25
George Mason 36 34
Hayfield 39 36
Heritage 29 35
Herndon 39 33
Jefferson 32 32
Justice 26 29
Kettle Run 37 30
Lake Braddock 41 42
Langley 43 42
Lee 30 18
Loudoun County 33 28
Loudoun Valley 31 27
Madison 46 48
Manassas Park 27 18
Marshall 43 43
Massaponax 25 32
McLean 32 39
Mount Vernon 27 25
Mountain View 36 39
North Stafford 28 32
Oakton 45 42
Osbourn 40 33
Osbourn Park 41 33
Park View 15 13
Patriot 53 40
Potomac 30 30
Potomac Falls 28 29
Riverbend 35 33
Robinson 38 40
South County 34 39
South Lakes 42 43
Spotsylvania 28 33
Stafford 38 35
Stone Bridge 35 36
Stonewall Jackson 31 17
T.C. Williams 33 43
W.T. Woodson 46 37
Wakefield 29 32
Washington-Liberty 42 38
West Potomac 36 38
West Springfield 46 48
Westfield 43 36
Woodbridge 36 35
Woodgrove 32 35
Yorktown 45 39
SOURCE: VHSL
NOTE: Includes schools fielding programs from 2014-19. Colgan, Rock Ridge and Riverside have opened since 2014.