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National Federation of State
High School Associations


News Release

National High School Activities Month Celebration to Promote Values, Benefits of Activity Programs


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 26, 2023) — The annual month-long celebration of high school athletics and activities – National High School Activities Month – begins next week for the NFHS and its 51 state high school associations. During this special time, the more than 19,800 high schools nationwide are encouraged to promote the values inherent in high school athletics and other activities such as speech, debate, music and theatre.

Throughout October, the celebration emphasizes essential areas of high school activity programs with the following weeks: National Coaches, Officials, Advisors and Sponsors Week (October 1-7); National Performing Arts Activities and State High School Associations Week (October 8-14); National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week (October 15-21); and National Community Service/Youth Awareness Week (October 22-28).

“High school sports and activity programs provide one of the best bargains in our community and nation and will continue to do so as long as our nation supports them as an integral part of the education of our young people,” said NFHS CEO Dr. Karissa Niehoff. “Not only do these programs teach the more than 12 million student participants who engage in them valuable life skills lessons, such as ethics, integrity and healthy lifestyles, they also provide the best entertainment value in our nation.”

National High School Activities Month serves as an opportunity to remind the public that already in place in every community is a comprehensive program addressing society’s most current concerns, by:
  • Finding and nurturing the best effort of each young participant;
  • Encouraging students to stay in school, perform better academically and become better citizens;
  • Demanding respect for fair play and appreciation for the equitable application of procedures, rules and regulations;
  • Providing healthy lifestyle instruction;
  • Challenging racism, sexism and classism through the active pursuit of teamwork and school spirit;
  • Honoring and appreciating the adults who support, sponsor activities and recognize the students’ accomplishments.

In 1980, the NFHS created National High School Activities Week to increase the public’s awareness of the values and needs of education-based activity programs. However, there was a need to celebrate the contributions and benefits young people experience by participation in sports and performing arts for an entire month.

To encompass all that education-based activities has to offer, Activities Week was expanded to Activities Month in 2012 on the recommendation of the NFHS Citizenship and Equity Committee (now known as the NFHS Student Services Committee). The transformation provided adequate time to properly celebrate the contributions and benefits students experience by participating in sports and performing arts.

“National High School Activities Week was given life in 1980 when the United States Congress approved the third week in October as National High School Activities Week,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports, sanctioning and student services. “What a young person learns after the school day is as important as what they get out of the daily academic curriculum.”

There are many ways to celebrate each week of National High School Activities Month. The purpose of National Coaches, Officials, Advisors and Sponsors Week (October 1-7) is to recognize the contributions of high school coaches, officials, advisors and sponsors.

National Performing Arts Activities and State High School Associations Week (October 8-14) is a time to focus on the students, coaches and sponsors involved in performing arts programs and the local state activity/athletic associations that sponsor these events.

As part of National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week (October 15-21), participants are encouraged to spread awareness and discussion about the importance of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity to the conduct of interscholastic programs, and a time to thank the spectators who support activity programs throughout the year. In addition, it is a time to acknowledge the dedication and service that public-address announcers perform at every contest.

National Community Service/Youth Awareness Week (October 22-28) serves as a time to give back to your community and show your appreciation for their support of your programs. This week also can be used to promote fund-raising efforts that support interscholastic programs. In addition, this is a perfect opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles and prevention efforts.

“Through National High School Activities Month, we have an opportunity to reflect on our participation as well as the participation of our students,” Niehoff said. “Our nation must continue to support these programs and the life skills they provide America’s youth.”

To learn more about National High School Activities Month, visit

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.8 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at