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NSGA study shows increase in women's bike riding last year

Published April 21, 2020

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (BRAIN) — The latest edition of the National Sporting Goods Association's annual Sports Participation in the US report showed a 1.8% increase in participation in wheel sports (which includes bike riding) last year and a 4% increase in bike riding by women. 

Full results are available to NSGA members, but the organization released some highlights Tuesday. 

Highlights include growth in Fitness Activities (+2.8%), Outdoor Activities (+2.0%), Wheel Sports (+1.8%), Team Sports (+1.6%), Individual Sports (+1.2%), Personal Contact Sports (+0.8%), and Snow Sports (+0.6).

The Indoor Games segment remained relatively flat (-0.1%), while declining segments included Open Water Sports (-0.4%) and Shooting Sports (-1.1%).

"The growth exhibited in the 2019 numbers is very encouraging," said Nick Rigitano, NSGA's director of insights and analysis. "However, we realize the need to temper expectations since there is tremendous uncertainty so far in 2020 from the COVID-19 outbreak and the ability of the public to participate in team and individual sports and activities."

Overall youth team sports participation (ages 7-17) remained relatively flat (-0.3%) from 2018-2019. Decreases in all forms of youth football (flag, tackle, and touch) as well as baseball and softball were offset by increases in cheerleading, soccer, basketball and lacrosse.

Female participation of all ages saw an increase in 40 of the 57 sports and activities tracked by NSGA, which is up from 29 the year before. Notable sports/activities experiencing an increase in female participation include basketball (+6%), bicycle riding (+4%), exercising with equipment (+5%), softball (+6%) and volleyball (+5%).

The report is the longest-running study in the U.S. on sports participation. The full report has snapshots for each sport and activity tracked, allowing users to see 10-year participation trends in addition to age, income and U.S. geographic information. 

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