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A High school is an educational institution that teaches young persons in their late teenage years, completing their compulsory schooling before some continue on to colleges or universities. They can also be called secondary school or college, or simply school, which sometimes leads to some confusion as to the level of education provided. They can be public or private.
The first institutions akin to a high school date back to the 18th century in the United States; they were often "college preparatory schools", i.e. institutions developed for a social elite that would go on to college at a time when this was much less common than today. This was greatly democratized in the 19th century when public high schools began to appear, and by the start of the 20th century there was a high school, sometimes quite small, in every town in the United States. Since the 1960s, there has been significant consolidation, with regional high schools being more common, and high schools becoming much larger on average and offering much more diverse courses as a result.
There is a long tradition of team sports including baseball being played in high schools. It is usually the most common level of the sport for those who have graduated from Little League, with some of the older alternatives like American Legion baseball and semi-pro baseball, which were common routes into the game for decades, having now become marginal. As a result, high school baseball teams are heavily scouted, particularly in areas where the sport is very popular and is played year-round thanks to a favorable climate, like Florida, southern California and Arizona. The most successful high schools in these states have produced as many major league players as some universities. In some areas, high school baseball has shrunk over time, with fewer schools fielding teams. High schools are also central to the development of baseball players in Asia, but not in Latin America and Europe, where they concentrate on providing a formal education and youth sports are played in different structures.