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NSGA Annual Sports Participation Report Shows Increases for Majority of Segments Tracked 

NSGA News • May 3, 2023


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

DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (May 3, 2023) – People taking advantage of opportunities to participate in a wide range of sports and activities in 2022 was reflected in the 10 segments tracked for the 2023 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 saw seven segments increase in participation, two segments remain relatively flat and one segment decrease compared to 2021. 

Sport/Activity Segments showing growth, according to NSGA’s Total Participation Points (TPP) measure, included Indoor (+8.4%), Individual (+7.2%), Outdoor (+6.3%), Wheel (+4.2%), Open Water (+3.9%), Personal Contact (+1.5%) and Team (+1.2%). The two segments which remained relatively flat were Fitness (-0.7%) and Snow (-0.7%). The only segment showing a slight decline was Shooting (-1.3%). 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 great to see so many segments experience participation increases in 2022,” said Nick Rigitano, NSGA Director of Insights & Analysis. “This ultimately helps lead to more opportunities for retailers, team dealers and manufacturers to sell products related to those activities. 

“We saw a good recovery of some segments in 2021 coming out of COVID-19. It was also encouraging to see team sports show some growth in 2022 after a significant decline in 2020 and slight drop in 2021.” 

The increase in the Indoor segment was driven by increases in billiards/pool, dart throwing and table tennis. The Individual segment saw pickleball participation nearly double (+79%) while bowling and swimming both increased for the second straight year. The Outdoor segment experienced strong gains led by hiking and camping (vacation/overnight). Bicycle riding, in-line roller skating and mountain biking (off road) drove the increase in the Wheel segment. The Open Water segment saw moderate gains in all six activities tracked. 

The Team segment saw mixed results but was ultimately up slightly as increases in volleyball, basketball and flag football offset slight decreases in lacrosse, ice hockey and soccer. 

Youth participation points (ages 7-17) in the Team segment increased 4 percent compared to the prior year. The increase was driven by solid gains in basketball, cheerleading, ice hockey and volleyball. Softball was the only sport showing a significant decline among youth for this segment, while baseball and touch football remained relatively flat vs. the previous year. The increases were a welcome sight for a segment that had experienced declines in youth participation for most sports since the COVID pandemic year of 2020. 

In the Individual segment, youth participation points experienced an increase of 14 percent compared to 2021. The increase was driven by gains across the board in bowling, golf, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and led by pickleball (+37%). Ice/figure skating was the only sport/activity in the Individual segment to experience a slight decline (-1.5%). 

For the Snow segment, an increase in cross country skiing offset slight decreases in alpine skiing and snowboarding to keep the segment relatively flat compared to the previous year. The Fitness segment also remained flat as an increase in working out at club/gym/fitness studio helped offset a decrease in exercise walking. 

The Shooting segment showed slight declines compared to the previous year as a slight increase in hunting with firearms was not able to offset slight declines for the rest of the activities tracked in this segment. 

The 2023 Sports Participation in the U.S. report is available on NSGA’s website at and people can inquire about the report at The report tracks 56 sports and recreational activities and 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


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