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SGMA Survey Says: Sports Have Year-Round Appeal In U.S.

It’s the ‘wide world of sports, fitness, and the outdoors.' That’s one way to describe the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s Sports Participation in America (2006 edition) report.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 14, 2006 – It’s the ‘wide world of sports, fitness, and the outdoors.’ That’s one way to describe the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s Sports Participation in America (2006 edition) report. In all, there are more than 100 fitness, outdoor, recreational and competitive activities featured inside this annual 32-page report on sports participation trends in the United States. For each sport listed in this study, there are a series of statistics that reflect gender breakdowns; the average age of the participant; the average annual household income of the participant; average duration of play (in years) per participant; and participation interest at the ‘frequent’ level.

Listed below are some of the significant news items from this report:

• Youth Movement. While bowling may be America’s most popular sport (53.5 million participants), there’s been no overall growth since 1990. But there has been a 28% increase in bowling participation since 1990 for children aged 6-17.

• Aging Gracefully. Since 1990, the average age of the frequent fitness participant among both men and women has increased.

• Ladies First. Of the 23 fitness activities listed, women account for more than half of the participants in 16 of those activities.

• On the Rise. Since 2000, the number of Pilates training participants has grown more than 500%; elliptical motion training participants have grown by more than 300%; and yoga/tai chi participants have more doubled.

• Sweat Scene. More than 41 million Americans were members of health clubs in 2005.

• Gold, Silver, Bronze. The three most popular team sports are basketball (32.0 million players), outdoor soccer (15.8 million players), and touch football (14.9 million players).

• Great Growth. Since 2000, the number of ‘frequent’ (those playing 15+ days/year) participants in paintball has more than doubled – from 800,000 in 2000 to 2,000,000 in ’05.

In addition, there are three “Highlights and Insights” sections in this study that reveal even more newsworthy trends for (1) fitness activities; (2) competitive and recreational sports; and (3) outdoor sports and activities. Each of these “Highlights and Insights” sections is filled with reader-friendly graphs, bar charts, pie charts, and statistical displays.

Sports Participation in America is based on the SuperStudy of Sports Participation®, which is conducted by American Sports Data, Inc.

This report is available free of charge to full and associate members of SGMA. To order a copy of Sports Participation in America, access

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, owner of the Sports Research Partnership, is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation. More information about SGMA can be found at