The start of school also signals the kick-off for school athletics. According to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), the non-profit that coordinates most of the interscholastic athletics in the state, more than 300,000 youth participate in middle school or high school athletics each year from over 525 schools. In fact, despite our smaller population size, Minnesota ranks 10th in the nation for school athletic participation. This is great news for the youth of our state as physical activity and sports participation have many physical and emotional health benefits. Youth who are involved in sports are more likely to get the recommended 60 minutes of vigorous activity each day. Additionally, sports participation has been shown to improve social connection, reduce depression and suicidality, improve confidence and self-esteem[i]. For high school boys and girls, participation in sports teams is associated with higher academic achievement as well[ii].