Thursday, April 1, 2010

Team Sports Participants Continues to Erode

From The SportsOneSource Group 3/29/2010

Team Sports Participants Continues to Erode
According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Participation Overview (2010 edition), baseball, football and basketball all continued to show notable declines in participants in 2009. Outdoor soccer and outdoor softball saw smaller declines. But notable gains were seen in lacrosse, rugby and ice hockey.

Baseball participation was down 7.9% in 2009 to 13.9 million, and is now down 12.7% over the nine-year period since 1988. Basketball was off 8.6% to 24 million participants in 2009 and is now off 8.4% since 1998.

In the football category, tackle was down 11.7% to 6.8 million participants last year. No figure was available for the nine-year trend. Touch football was down 14.6% to 9 million in 2009; flag football slid 10.4% to 6.6 million.

On the brighter side, ice hockey participants increased 12.2% to 2.1 million in 2009 although it remains down 12.3% since 1998. Lacrosse participants added another 6.2% to 1.2 million and has increased a whopping 131.1% since 1998. Also seeing growth was rugby, which gained 8.7% to 750,000 participants in 2009.

Outdoor softball lost 3.7% of its participants to 13.7 million although indoor softball grew 3.7% to 4.9 million participants. Similarly, indoor soccer participants gained 3.7% to 4.9 million but outdoor soccer participants slid 3.7% to 13.7 million.

Field hockey was down 4.7% to 1.07 million in 2009.

Cheerleading was down 2.2% to 3.1 million in 2009 but has grown 15.2% since 1988.

Court volleyball decreased 11.3% to 7.3 million and grass volleyball was down 4.6% to 4.9 million but beach volleyball increased 7.3% 4.5 million. Beach volleyball, however, is down 14.7% since 1998.

Wrestling participation declined 11.2% last year and is now down 20.3% since 2008.

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