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Overall Team Sports Participation Trending Up, Core Participation Trending Down

Date: 12/15/16

SFIA Releases U.S. Trends in Team Sports Report

Silver Spring, MD, December 15, 2016 – The 2016 U.S. Trends in Team Sports Report, released today by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), reveals that overall team sports participation has reached its highest point since 2011, while core participation declined.

The shift from core to causal participation marks one of the most significant changes in American sports over the past ten years.

“It’s a paradox, because we know that specialization is driving up participation intensity for many athletes, but those same factors also seem to be driving other people away,” said Tom Cove, SFIA President & CEO.

The changing landscape of how people participate has benefited niche sports like lacrosse, rugby, roller hockey and field hockey, which are continuing to experience the greatest participation increase over the past five years.

The findings highlighted in this report breaks down participation trends across 24 team sports by age, gender, ethnicity and income. All data included in the 2016 U.S. Trends in Team Sports Report was collected in 2015.   

To combat the declining numbers in youth activity extraordinary efforts have been made by the four major sports leagues, various non-profits, people in the health and medical field, and the media. As a result of those efforts, team sports participation saw a positive one-year growth in traditional team sports such as basketball (+1.5%), baseball (4.3%), and tackle football (4.1%).

“Increased numbers of total participants present a great opportunity for our industry and our companies,” said Cove. “Experiencing the sports has to be the first step - now the key is to keep them and build interest in commitment to play.” 

The 2016 U.S Trends in Team Sports Report also contains an interview with Tom Farrey, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, discussing the Aspen Institute State of Play Report and a 2016 consumer spending & sales analysis.

To purchase the report, click here.

ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.
 

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