According to the fourteenth annual American Sports Data Superstudy of Sports Participation, in 2000, snowboarding was again the fastest-growing sport in the United States. According to the study, the number of people who went snowboarding increased 51.2 percent compared to 1999. This brings the total number of participants to just over 7.2-million, up from 5.4-million the previous year. The report cited the abundance of snow in many regions across the country as helping the snowboard figure. This also helped snowmobiling to jump 28 percent (to seven-million) and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing also climbed 18 percent and 16 percent respectively. However, downhill skiing only grew by six percent (14.7-million participants).
Following just behind snowboarding in growth was skateboarding, which had a gain of 49.2 percent. It’s total number of participants is up to
Team sports, on the other hand, didn’t fare as well. Baseball, basketball, softball, touch football, and volleyball all saw a decline in participation. According to ASD President Harvey Lauer, “Traditional team sports such as baseball, basketball, and football reflected traditional values: cooperation, teamwork, character-building, and group competition. The new extreme sports are rooted in a diametrically opposite set of values that include firece individualism, alienation, defiance and some degree of inwardly focused aggression. Unlike the scooter craze, which has nothing to do with the changing social fabric, these new sports are an authentic slide of the wider youth culture and not just a fad.”
The Superstudy was conducted in January, 2001 based on a nationally represented sample of 14,772 Americans over the age of six, who were among 25,000 respondents targeted in a sample drawn from the consumer mail panel of NFO Research, Inc. 103 sports and activities were measured along 20 demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral dimensions.
**** The Growth Sports ****
1. Snowboarding — 7.1 million — Up 51.2 percent2. Skateboarding — 11.6 mililon –Up 49.2 percent3. Wakeboarding –3.5 million — Up 32.3 percent4. Snowmobiling — 7 million — Up 28.1 percent5. Gymnastics — 6.7 million — Up 27.3 percent6. Artificial Wall Climbing — 6.1 million — Up 27 percent7. Surfing — 2.2 million — Up 25.6 percent8. Elliptical motion trainers — 6.2 million — Up 21.6 percent9. Softball (fast pitch) — 3.8 million — Up 18.1 percent10. Snowshoeing — 2 million –Up 17.8 percent.