NSGA: Tennis Leads Participation Growth in 2007

According to the National Sporting Goods Association's 2007 sports participation survey, tennis was America's fastest growing sport, growing 18.7% to 12.3 million participants for the year.  Meanwhile, the survey saw the women’s market continue to be the driving force in fitness activities.


Scooter riding, after several years of decline, rebounded with an 11.4% growth rate to 10.6 million participants.  Sports and recreation activities overall showed 5% to 10% growth including target shooting (9.7% to 20.9 million participants); motor/power boating (8.9% to 31.9 million participants); volleyball (8.7% to 12.0 million participants); running/jogging  (5.5% to 30.4 million participants); and bicycle riding  (5% to 37.4 million participants).  Exercise walking, the No. 1 sports and recreation activity with 89.8 million participants, grew 2.7% in 2007.


Among fitness activities, only aerobic exercising, down 9.9%, showed a significant decline, although that may have come from the inclusion of yoga in the survey for the first time.  Yoga attracted 10.7 million participants in 2007. Other sports showing declines included soccer, down 1.8%; basketball, down 9.7%; and softball, down 20%.  Activities newly surveyed for the 2007 report include yoga, lacrosse, kayaking, mountain/rock climbing and scuba.


Females dominate a number of fitness activities, according to the survey. The highest was yoga, in which women account for 85% of those participating. Other sports with high participation by women included aerobic exercising, 71%; exercise walking, 63%; working out at a club, 55%, and exercising with equipment, 51%. 

 

In running/jogging, women represented 48% of the participants.  Only in weightlifting did females fall significantly behind males in participation, with just 36% of those who lift weights being female.  Other activities in which women were a majority of participants were volleyball (58%), swimming (54%), inline skating (54%), lacrosse (53%) and bowling (50%).

 

 


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NSGA: Tennis Leads Participation Growth in 2007

Among sports and recreation activities with 10 million or more participants, tennis experienced the highest growth rate in 2007, according to the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). Data contained in NSGA’s annual “Sports Participation – Series I and II” reports shows tennis grew 18.7% with 12.3 million Americans. Scooter riding, after several years of decline, rebounded with an 11.4% growth rate to 10.6 million participants.


Sports and recreation activities showing 5% to 10% growth included target shooting (9.7% to 20.9 million participants); motor/power boating (8.9% to 31.9 million participants); volleyball, following three years of declines (8.7% to 12.0 million participants); running/jogging  (5.5% to 30.4 million participants); and bicycle riding  (5.0% to 37.4 million participants).


Exercise walking, the No. 1 sports and recreation activity with 89.8 million participants, grew 2.7% in 2007.


“Among fitness activities, only aerobic exercising, with 30.3 million participants in 2007, showed a significant decline (-9.9%),” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle. “Some of the decline may have come from the inclusion of yoga in the survey for the first time.”


Yoga attracted 10.7 million participants in 2007.


Other sports and recreation activities showing less than 5% growth in 2007 include skateboarding (4.2% to 10.1 million participants); in-line skating (2.1% to 10.7 million participants); weightlifting (0.9% to 33.2 million participants); and exercising with equipment (0.8% to 52.8 million participants).


Among team sports, only volleyball showed an increase. Participation grew 8.7% to 12.0 million.


Soccer slipped 1.8% to 13.8 million participants; baseball, 4.7% to 14.0 million participants; basketball, 9.7% to 24.1 million participants; and softball, 20.0% to 10.0 million participants.


Activities newly surveyed for the 2007 report include yoga, lacrosse, kayaking, mountain/rock climbing and scuba.


For this survey, a participant is someone age seven or older who takes part in the sport or activity more than once in a calendar year. “Sports Participation in 2007 – Series I and II” cover 47 sports, recreation, and fitness activities. Participation rates for all 47 sports surveyed may be viewed on the NSGA website (www.nsga.org)

About The Author

Thomas J. Ryan

Thomas J. Ryan Senior Business Editor | SGB Media tryan@sgbonline.com | 917.375.4699

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