SBD/September 27, 2011/Research and Ratings

Mainstream Team Sports Seeing Participation Rise; Lacrosse, Rugby Lead Niche Growth

After two years of negative participation growth for most mainstream team sports, this past year has seen a turnaround for sports like tackle football, soccer, basketball and baseball, according to data recently released by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). Each of those sports has shown increases in the low-single digits with respect to both total and core level participation. Core participation consists of those defined as frequent and regular. Lacrosse and other niche team sports like rugby are experiencing continued strong growth, with lacrosse leading the way at 33% growth among core participants. Rugby continues to explode from a small base, with more than 50% growth from '09 to '10. Given the growth trajectory, lacrosse is likely to go over 1 million core level participants in next year’s report. After two years of strong participation, performance sports like ice hockey and indoor soccer have cooled off, due in part to participation levels causing venue scarcity. Listed below is a trend from recent years for select team sports participation among those ages 6+. See tomorrow’s issue of THE DAILY for SGMA data related to spectator sport fandom (SGMA).

U.S. TEAM SPORT PARTICIPATION TRENDS
AMONG INDIVIDUALS AGES 6+
SPORT
'00
(000)
'08
(000)
'09
(000)
'10
(000)
1-YR
% +/-
10-YR
% +/-
Basketball
26,215
26,254
24,007
26,304
9.6%
0.3%
Baseball
15,848
15,020
13,837
14,558
5.2%
-8.1%
Outdoor soccer
n/a
14,223
13,691
14,075
2.8%
n/a
Slow-pitch softball
13,577
9,835
8,525
8,429
-1.1%
-37.9%
Tackle football
8,229
7,692
6,794
6,905
1.6%
-16.1%
Indoor soccer
n/a
4,737
4,913
4,927
0.3%
n/a
Gymnastics
4,876
3,883
4,021
4,815
19.7%
-1.2%
Track & field
n/a
4,516
4,443
4,322
-2.7%
n/a
Fast-pitch softball
2,693
2,316
2,636
2,389
-9.4%
-11.3%
Ice hockey
2,432
1,902
2,134
2,145
0.5%
-11.8%
Wrestling
3,743
3,358
2,982
2,089
-29.9%
-44.2%
Lacrosse
518
1,127
1,197
1,648
37.7%
218.1%
Rugby
n/a
690
750
1,130
50.7%
n/a
 

METHODOLOGY: During January and early February ’11, a total of 38,742 online interviews were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households from the U.S. online panel operated by Synovate. A total of 15,086 individual and 23,656 household surveys were completed. The total population figure used was 283,743,000 people aged 6 and above.

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Related Topics:

Research and Ratings, SGMA

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