SBD/Issue 9/The Back of the Book

Overall U.S. Participation Levels Down In Top Team Sports In '09

Overall participation in the top team sports in the U.S. declined in '09, according to data from the SGMA '10 U.S. Trends in Team Sports report. The survey's panel of more than 41,000 was derived from 25,000 individuals and 15,000 households surveyed in January. Fast-pitch softball and ice hockey saw the biggest year-over-year gains, up 13.8% and 12.2%, respectively. Among sports seeing double-digit percentage drops in participation were slow-pitch softball, indoor volleyball, tackle football, flag football and wrestling. Compared to nine years ago, lacrosse continues to see the best growth. The sport also has the highest percentage of participants (48%) whose families have an income over $100,000. Basketball and beach volleyball had casual/pick-up players make up more than 50% of their participants. Listed below are participation levels in select sports from '09, with comparisons to '08 and '00 (SGMA).

TEAM SPORTS PARTICIPATION TRENDS (ALL PARTICIPANTS, AGE 6+)
SPORT
'09 (000)
'08 (000)
1-YR % +/-
'00 (000)
9-YR % +/-
Basketball
24,007
26,254
-8.6%
26,215
-8.4%
Baseball
13,837
15,020
-7.9%
15,848
-12.7%
Outdoor soccer
13,691
14,223
-3.7%
n/a
n/a
Slow-pitch softball
8,525
9,835
-13.3%
13,577
-37.2%
Indoor volleyball
7,283
8,190
-11.1%
n/a
n/a
Tackle football
6,794
7,692
-11.7%
8,229
-17.4%
Flag Football
6,533
7,310
-10.6%
n/a
n/a
Indoor soccer
4,913
4,737
3.7%
n/a
n/a
Beach volleyball
4,476
4,171
7.3%
5,248
-14.7%
Track & Field
4,443
4,516
-1.6%
n/a
n/a
Gymnastics
4,021
3,883
3.6%
4,876
-17.5%
Wrestling
2,982
3,358
-11.2%
3,743
-20.3%
Fast-pitch softball
2,636
2,316
13.8%
2,693
-2.1%
Ice Hockey
2,134
1,902
12.2%
2,432
-12.3%
Lacrosse
1,197
1,127
6.2%
518
131.1%
Rugby
750
690
8.7%
n/a
n/a
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