Sports Participation in 2010 Report Released

NSGA Sports Participation in 2010 Survey Released

Contact: Marty Maciaszek, Director of Communications
(847) 296-6742, ext. 1260

MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (June 9, 2011) – The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) recently released its annual Sports Participation in 2010 survey results. The annual survey includes data on 47 sports in two series, and participation is based upon those aged 7 or older who participated in the sport more than once during the year.

Some of the results from Sports Participation in 2010 Series I are below:

Year-to-Year Largest Increase in Participation – Yoga Skyrockets

Yoga’s participation rate skyrocketed in 2010, growing 28.1% to 20.2 million participants. This follows a slight decline between 2008 and 2009. The top five increases in participation in sports with over 10 million participants include:

Yoga – 28.1% increase to 20.2 million participants
Aerobic Exercising – 16.3% increase to 38.5 million participants
Tennis – 13.2% increase to 12.3 million participants
Hiking – 10.9% increase to 37.7 million participants
Running/Jogging – 10.3% increase to 35.5 million participants

A number of smaller sports with less than 10 million participants also had large increases in participation, including Gymnastics (up 23.5% to 4.8 million participants), Cross Country Skiing (up 19.5% to 2.0 million participants), and Kayaking (up 14.8% to 5.6 million).

Year-to-Year Largest Decreases in Participation – Boating and Billiards Fall

On the other end of the spectrum are sports that saw their participation numbers decline by the largest amount. Those with more than 10 million participants whose numbers declined the most include boating, billiards/pool and dart throwing.

Boating, Motor/Power – 16.2% decrease, falling to 20.0 million participants
Billiards/Pool – 14.8% decrease, falling to 24.0 million participants
Dart Throwing – 14.1% decrease, falling to 10.5 million participants

Sports with Positive Trends

Looking at five year trends in participation, only 12 sports have a positive trend in increased participation since 2006.

In order, they include Ice Hockey (up 26.9%), Running/Jogging (up 23.3%), Hiking (up 21.6%), Tennis (up 18.3%), Snowboarding (up 17.3%), Target Shooting (up 15.8%), Alpine Skiing (up 15.6%), Aerobic Exercising (up 14.2%), Bicycle Riding (up 11.8%), Exercise Walking (up 9.5%), Exercising with Equipment (up 5.5%), Working out at a Club (up 4.0%) and Basketball (up 1.0%).

Team Sports Results

On the team sports side, there were large participation gains in the larger sports, but declines in others. Basketball and baseball led the team sports with 10.1% and 8.9% increases respectively, while softball took the biggest hit with an 8.4% decrease in participation in 2010.

Basketball – 10.1% increase to 26.9 million participants
Baseball – 8.9% increase to 12.5 million participants
Ice Hockey – 7.9% increase to 3.3 million participants
Football – 4.8% increase to 9.3 million participants
Soccer – 0.3% decrease to 13.5 million participants
Volleyball – 1.0% decrease to 10.6 million participants
Softball – 8.4% decrease to 10.8 million participants

According to NSGA Director of Research & Information Services, Dan Kasen, “The data in the Sports Participation in 2010 report seem to show that participation is rising in exercise-intensive sports. While there have been some declines in participation over the last year, team sport participation has rebounded nicely, which is a positive for NSGA’s Team Dealer members.”

For more information and to purchase the Sports Participation in 2010 Series I and II reports, please visit, or contact Dan Kasen at (847) 296-6742, ext. 108 or

About NSGA

The National Sporting Goods Association has served as the leading voice for sporting goods retailers, team dealers, sales agents and manufacturers since 1929. For more than 25 years, NSGA has been the industry’s leader in providing reliable research and information to sporting goods executives. Annually, the association produces the Sporting Goods Market and Sports Participation research, while producing a Cost of Doing Business survey every other year.

For more information about the association’s research, please visit