NSGA Sports Participation Report Shows Rebound from COVID-19 in Some Areas



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

DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (May, 2022) - Relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, which gave people the ability to return to some of their traditional activities in 2021, was reflected in the 10 segments tracked for the 2022 edition of the National Sporting Goods Association’s (NSGA) Sports Participation in the U.S. report. The industry’s longest standing and most comprehensive participation study was released today and saw three segments increase in participation, four segments decrease and three remain relatively flat compared to 2020.

Segments showing growth, according to NSGA’s Total Participation Points (TPP) measure, included Indoor Sports (+7.6%), Individual Sports (+6.6%) and Fitness Activities (+1.7%). Segments declining included Shooting Sports (-6.6%), Personal Contact Sports (-4.5%) and Wheel Sports (-3.2%). Remaining relatively flat were the segments of Snow Sports (-0.1%), Outdoor Sports (-0.3%), Team Sports (-0.6%) and Open Water Sports (-0.6%). Click here to see which sports are in which segments and click here for an explanation of the Total Participation Points (TPPs) calculation.

“It was not a surprise to see recovery of some segments in 2021 as people became more accustomed to living with COVID-19,” said Nick Rigitano, NSGA Director of Insights & Analysis. “People were able to return to some of their typical exercise routines, indoor pools and bowling centers and that was reflected in the three segments which showed growth after a year of decline in 2020. Team Sports declined just slightly in 2021 after experiencing a significant decline (-6.4%) in 2020.

“Some of the segments that declined this time around showed significant increases a year ago, such as Wheel Sports (+15.5% in 2020) and Shooting Sports (+3.0). It will be interesting to see how these areas trend in upcoming years.”

The increase in the Indoor Sports segment was driven by increases in billiards/pool, dart throwing and table tennis. Individual sports saw rebounds in bowling and swimming and the continued growth of pickleball (+25%). Fitness Activities saw increases in exercise walking and exercising with equipment that were offset by a slight decrease in running/jogging and the continued decline in working out at club/gym/fitness studio.

The team sports segment remained relatively flat and saw softball and volleyball increase and bounce back to near pre-pandemic levels. Those gains were offset by declines in baseball, basketball and tackle football.

The decrease in Wheel Sports was driven by a decline in mountain biking (off road). Personal Contact sports were hurt by decreases in wrestling and martial arts/MMA/Taekwondo and Shooting Sports were negatively impacted by declines in archery (target) and hunting with firearms.

The 2022 Sports Participation in the U.S. report is available at www.nsga.org and people can inquire at research@nsga.org if they are interested. The report tracks 56 sports and recreational activities with this year’s additions of cardio fitness and strength training. It includes easy-to-understand, quick-view snapshots for each, allowing users to easily see a 10-year participation trend (when available), as well as demographic details regarding age, income and U.S. region. NSGA’s participation research also includes Cross Participation, Lifecycle Demographics and Single-Sport reports.

About the National Sporting Goods Association

Since 1929, the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) has been the leading voice and go-to resource for the sporting goods industry. NSGA helps the industry grow its businesses through research, advocacy and networking. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit www.nsga.org.

  « Back