For the first time in a long time, the numbers of kids playing high school sports in Maine, and all over the nation, is down. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) gathers the information from its 51 state associations including the Maine Principals' Association.

Nationwide, almost eight million boys and girls played high school sports in 2018-19. That number is down about 43,000 from the previous year..

In Maine, 49,510 boys and girls played sports last year. That number is down 2,339, about 4.5%.

Here are the top four sports in Maine in terms of number of kids playing and (down from 2017-18 year)...

BOYS:                                                                                                                                   

#1 Soccer 3,992 (down 263)

#2 Basketball 3,423 (down 113)

#3 Football 3,207 (down 236)

#4 Baseball 3,023 (down 53)

GIRLS:

#1 Soccer 3,536 (down 119)

#2 Softball 2,536 (down 102)

#3 Basketball 2,519 (down 133)

#4 Outdoor T&F 2,440 (down 104)

NOTE: Orono HS Athletic Director and MIAAA 2018-19 Athletic Director of the Year, Mike Archer, joins the 'Dale Duff Show' today at 3pm on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket to talk about the state of Maine high school sports.