What Are the Fastest-Growing Sports?

Which sports have witnessed an increased engagement among Americans in recent times? The annual Topline Participation report reveals a remarkable surge in interest in a particular racket sport. Utilizing data from the 2023 edition of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Topline Participation report, the ReCreate team has meticulously compiled a ranked inventory featuring the 25 swiftest-growing sports across the United States. This list encompasses sports and activities from the SFIA report that surpass minimal physical exertion and ability, demanding notable physical skills, while also involving a competitive element.

The 2023 Topline Report outcomes indicate a continued rise in physical activity among Americans, marking the fifth consecutive year of growth in the number of individuals engaging in sports or fitness activities. The report discloses that 77.6% of Americans aged 6 and above participated in at least one activity in 2022, signifying a 1.6% augmentation compared to the activity levels of 2021. Notably, team sports have regained popularity after a significant drop in participation during 2020 due to the pandemic, rebounding to a 23.2% participation rate among Americans in 2022. The infographic below visually captures the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. from 2018 to 2022.

Pickleball, with an impressive 171.1% surge in participation among Americans aged 6 and older between 2018 and 2022, reigns as the fastest-growing sport in the country. While pickleball has consistently experienced year-on-year growth over the past five years, the true explosion in participation occurred in 2022, boasting an incredible 85.7% surge compared to the previous year.

Among the rapidly ascending sports in America, several winter activities have witnessed remarkable spikes in interest over the past four years. Alpine touring and winter fat biking secured the second and third positions on the list, with participation escalations of 115% and 69.4%, respectively. Snowboard touring clinched the fifth spot, showcasing a notable 59.1% uptick in participation since 2018.

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