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Sierra Soleimani
February 13, 2018

What is the Fastest Growing Sport in America?

Fastest growing sport

Being in the sports industry, it seems that everyone is claiming their sport to be "the fastest growing in America". I have heard it from at least 5 popular US sports. With the help of some data, we're here to set the record straight: What is the fastest growing sport in America?

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association 2017 annual report on "US Trends in Team Sports", the fastest growing sport in America by 5-year participation growth percentage is......



Traditionally a college club sport in the US, rugby is starting to see growth with new Olympic, pro, youth, and high school leagues in the last several years.. Another factor to consider is that touch and tackle football were among the top 3 sports with the biggest participation declines. This is most likely due to the concussion injury rates coming to light and the staggering death toll of football players.  

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Here are some other interesting take aways that we found in the 2017 report:

  • Aggregated, the total number of team sports participants for 2016 was 69,795,179, an increase of 2.7% from 2015 and an increase of 10.9% from 2014.

  • Team sports with staying power – losing fewer participants than other sports, as participants get older, are soccer, volleyball, softball and flag football (along with basketball).

  • In the past five years the declining sports have lost a total of 9.3 million participants. Basketball has lost the most, at 2.4 million lost participants. 
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