SBD/April 27, 2011/Research and Ratings

SGMA: Participation Levels For Team Sports On The Rise After Two-Year Decline

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After two years of negative participation growth for most mainstream team sports, there was a turnaround in participation for sports like tackle football, soccer, basketball and baseball last year, according to SGMA's annual report on participation in sports, fitness and recreational activities. The four aforementioned team sports each saw growth in the low single digits with respect to both total and core level participation. "Core" participation is defined as those people who participate on a regular and frequent basis. Lacrosse and other niche team sports like rugby experienced continued strong growth. Lacrosse led the way with a 33% jump among core participants and is likely to go over one million core level participants next year. The SGMA report also notes that while much is written about Baby Boomers (born '45-64), it is Generation Y/Millenials (born '80-99) who are essential to the sports economy. Generation Y/Millenials are twice as likely to take part in team sports than Generation X (born '65-79). SGMA's study was conducted during January and early February among a total of 38,742 online interviews carried out nationwide. Listed below are total participation levels among select team sports, with comparisons to previous years. Total participation includes casual, regular, frequent and core participants (THE DAILY).

TEAM SPORTS PARTICIPATION TRENDS
(CASUAL, REGULAR, FREQUENT, CORE PARTICIPANTS)
SPORT
'07 (000)
'08 (000)
'09 (000)
'10 (000)
1-YEAR % +/-
Basketball
25,961
26,254
24,007
26,304
9.6%
Baseball
16,058
15,020
13,837
14,558
5.2%
Soccer (outdoor)
13,708
14,223
13,691
14,075
2.8%
Slow-pitch softball
9,485
9,835
8,525
8,429
-1.1%
Tackle football
7,939
7,692
6,794
6,905
1.6%
Flag football
n/a
7,310
6,553
6,767
3.3%
Beach volleyball
3,878
4,171
4,476
5,028
12.3%
Ultimate frisbee
4,038
4,879
4,392
4,749
8.1%
Ice hockey
1,840
1,902
2,134
2,145
0.5%
Wrestling
3,313
3,358
2,982
2,089
-29.9%
Lacrosse
1,058
1,127
1,197
1,648
37.7%
Rugby
617
690
750
1,130
50.7%

 

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