Archery leads the sporting way

Target archery is top of the junior sporting pops, reports the National Sporting Goods Association's sports participation in the USA survey. It is growing fast in Australia too.

Participation in cheerleading and gymnastics also grew substantially in the 7-17 age group.

Among the 47 sports and recreational activities tracked in the survey, junior participation drove at least 30 percent of overall participation. 

These sports/activities included: target archery, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, tackle football, gymnastics, in-line roller skating, lacrosse, skateboarding, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling. 

In 2012, skateboarding was one of the ten of the sports/activities  which reported declines among the 7-17 age group. 

Skateboarding experienced a 35 percent decline, driving an overall decrease in participation of 18 percent. 

Wrestling reported a decline of 22 percent among 7-17 year-olds, with an overall participation decline of 12 percent. 

Participation declines included basketball (-19 percent), volleyball (-19 percent), baseball (-14 percent), tackle football (-13 percent), and soccer (-13 percent).

Highlights from the survey:

Participation growth in most sports grew – Of the 47 sports/activities tracked, 32 experienced participation growth during 2012.

Indoor gaming activities increased by an average of 11 percent, while fitness sports and outdoor activities each increased about 5 percent.

Shooting sports were mixed but sports with firearms drove overall average increases to 3 percent. Snow sports saw the steepest decline in 2012, dropping an average of 11 percent.  

Females drove much of the growth – 40 of the 47 sports/activities show increased female participation.

Participation lagged in basketball, baseball, ice hockey and soccer in 2012, while it increased in lacrosse, softball and volleyball. The largest drop in team sports took place in tackle football, which experienced a nearly 13 percent decline in participation since 2011.

Sales of sporting goods increased seven percent in 2012. This includes equipment by eight percent, footwear by six percent, and athletic/sport clothing by four percent.

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