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Impact of Pandemic Becomes Evident in Recent NSGA Sports Participation Report


It will come as no surprise to team dealers and their customers all the way through the sports participation chain, but the recently released NSGA 2021 Edition of its Sports Participation In The U.S. Report clearly spells out the drastic effects of COVID-19 in the 64 sports and activities tracked.

Among the 10 segments NSGA tracked, the largest increases in participation growth, according to its Total Participation Points (TPP) measure, were in Wheel Sports (+15.5 percent) and Snow Sports (+4.3 percent).

Unfortunately, the largest decreases were in Individual Sports (-9.3 percent ) and Team Sports (-6.4 percent).

Steep declines in bowling, swimming and gymnastics impacted Individual Sports. Youth participation (ages 7-to-17) declined in all 11 team sports, but increased in sports/activities including golf (+18 percent) and skateboarding (+15 percent).

“One year does not indicate a trend and this is definitely the case with an unprecedented year such as 2020 where COVID-19 had such a significant impact,” explains Nick Rigitano, NSGA Director of Insights & Analysis. “It will be interesting to see in the future if some of the abnormal increases and decreases turn into trends.

“Hopefully, the indoor and team sports and activities most affected by COVID-19 slowdowns and shutdowns will see a recovery,” Rigitano adds.

The other segments that showed participation growth were Shooting Sports (+3.0 percent), Personal Contact Sports (2.8 percent) and Open Water Sports (2.5 percent). Fitness Activities (-2.1 percent) also declined and the Outdoor Activities (+0.4 percent) and Indoor Games (-0.9 percent) segments remained relatively flat.

Female participation saw 27 sports/activities grew versus 2019 including golf (+16 percent), bicycle riding (+12 percent), exercise walking (+8 percent), tennis (+8 percent), and yoga (+2 percent).

To view the full report:

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Jun 3, 2021


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