Press Releases

Skateboarding Leads in Female Participation Share Increase

Of the 38 sports/activities surveyed by NSGA in its “Sports Participation – Series I and II” reports, the female share of skateboarding showed the strongest increase during the five-year period 2002-2007.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – In what sports or activities did women most increase their market share in the past five years?

Of the 38 sports/activities surveyed by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) in its “Sports Participation – Series I and II” reports, the female share of skateboarding showed the strongest increase. Females represented 26.6% (2.7 million) of total skateboard participation in 2007; in 2002, they represented on 19.5% (1.9 million) of the participants.

In two other sports/activities, females increased market share by more than 4%. In dart throwing, they increased their share to 41.2% in 2007 from 37.1% in 2002. In tackle football, they increased share to 13.8% in 2007 from 9.7% in 2002.

At the other end of the spectrum, paintball games lost the greatest share of female participation. Slightly less than 21% (1.4 million) of paintball games participants were female in 2002. In 2007, only 10% (0.8 million) were female.

Mountain biking (off road) and target archery were also significant losers of female participant share, both losing more than 4% share in those two sports/activities.

Although many groups have tried to increase female participation in specific sports these past five years, 23 of the 38 sports/activities surveyed remained a “neutral zone” of ± two percent.

A table showing the changes for all 38 sports/activities can be viewed and downloaded from the NSGA website Click on the “Information Center & Research” tab and choose “Sports Participation” from the dropdown menu, or simply click on this link:

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. These reports, published by NSGA for more than 25 years, provide data on total 2007 participation, frequency of participation, and average number of participation days. Single-time participation, which is not counted in the total, is included separately.

Demographic data on participants includes gender, age, mean age by gender, gender by age, household income, and education of male and female head of household. Geographic analysis includes nine census regions and metro area size. Presence of children is also noted, and Internet usage is reported by gender and age of participants.

In addition to Series I and II, state-by-state data is available in a separate report. “Sports Participation in 2007: State-By-State” covers 33 sports and activities, and provides data on total participation, frequency of participation and total participation days.

For more information on pricing for these and other NSGA research reports, please contact the NSGA Research Department, (847) 296-6742, ext. 108, or e-mail: Information is also available on the NSGA web site,

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry’s premier educational and networking event (Next: May 3-6, 2009, at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 131; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.