NSGA participation study shows decline in youth team sports

April 19, 2018 / Coaching
Participation in team sports by children age 7 to 17 showed a 5.8 percent decline in 2017 according to the latest data released by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).

The 2018 edition of Sports Participation in the U.S. revealed a slight (0.6 percent) decline in overall team sports participation. The report, which covers 56 sports, fitness and recreational activities, shows a year of mixed results as 24 sports/activities experienced participation increases while 32 sports/activities declined in participation.

NSGA’s Sports Participation in the U.S. is the industry’s longest-running study and is available at nsga.org/researchofferings

“NSGA continues to encourage youth participation in team sports,” said NSGA President & CEO Matt Carlson. “We have consistently explored programs, ideas and opportunities promoting the benefits and enjoyment of team sports at every level for every age group, particularly children.

“As part of this ongoing effort, NSGA is offering an in-depth look at participation growth models developed by Major League Baseball and USA Football at our upcoming Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit,” Carlson said. “Retailers and team dealers can use the tactics offered by these leading sports organizations to increase the base of youth sports participants in their communities,” Carlson added.

While experiencing a decrease in participation points from 2016, youth participation in team sports has increased 2.4 percent since 2012. Rigitano emphasized that one year does not make a trend.

The snow (+1.4 percent), open water (+2.7 percent), and outdoor segments (2.5 percent), experienced increases versus 2016. Participation points for the snow sports segment were up 1.4 percent in 2017 after experiencing a dip in participation during 2016. This increase was driven by female participation which rebounded to similar levels of 2015. In open water sports, boating (motor/power) experienced an increase for the 4th straight year after experiencing declines during much of the economic recession. In the outdoor segment, hiking has been a stabilizing activity as it has continued to experience participation increases versus the 2000s and was up yet again (2.2 percent) vs. 2016.

Sports Participation in the U.S. includes an easy-to-understand quick view snapshot for each sport and activity allowing users to see a 10-year participation trend (when available) in addition to age, income and U.S. geographic information.  NSGA also offers Cross Participation, Lifecycle Demographics and Single Sport reports to further expand upon participation information for a comprehensive view of the sports/activities tracked.

Visit nsga.org/researchofferings for more information.

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