National Sporting Goods Association Releases Sports Participation Reports

Katie Bruce, Director of Marketing & Communications
(847) 296-NSGA (6742), ext. 1070 

MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (May 3, 2017) – The 2017 edition of the National Sporting Goods Association’s (NSGA) Sports Participation in the US report, the industry’s longest-standing and most comprehensive participation study, was released to the industry today. A year after participation increases across all segments, the 2016 results point to more mixed performance, with half of segments increasing in participation and half decreasing during 2016 (vs. 2015).

Segments experiencing growth included Open Water Sports (+3.6%), Shooting Sports (+0.8%), Fitness Activities (+0.7%), Team Sports (+0.3%), and Outdoor Activities (+0.3%). Segments declining included Wheel Sports (-0.5%), Individual Sports (-0.8%), Indoor Games (-2.8%), Personal Contact Sports (-2.9%), and Snow Sports (-5.0%).

This year’s mixed results may look hard to interpret, but in fact, the results continue a pattern of inconsistency and lack of growth that has been experienced for many years. “It is important to look beyond one or just a few years and analyze results in context to longer-term trends,” said Dustin Dobrin, NSGA’s Director of Research. “By using our rich historical data, it is clear that the majority of segments have had difficulty growing participation, with the Fitness Activity segment being the only one to experience sustained growth since the 1990s.”

Despite the lack of participation growth over the years, there have been some positives to note. Both female and adult participation have experienced consistent growth since the 1990s, driven primarily by the Fitness Activity, Outdoor Activity, and Shooting Sports segments. Female and adult participation growth are helping to offset declines occurring in the male and the youth segments.

The Sports Participation in the US report is now available at NSGA’s website. The report includes easy-to-understand, quick-view snapshots by sport/activity, allowing users to easily see a 10-year participation trend (when available) as well as details regarding age, income, and U.S. region. NSGA’s participation research also includes Cross Participation, Lifecycle Demographics, and Single Sport reports.

This year, as an additional bonus, purchasers of the report will also be invited to an exclusive webinar providing greater details about participation trends since the 1990s. Please visit for more information.

About NSGA

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