Eight Interesting Facts About Team Sports Participation In America

1. There are 3.2 million people who participate in cheerleading and 18.7 percent of them are male. In a fascinating twist, 39.8 percent of those who are involved in cheerleading say they are not interested in the NFL at all.

2. Wrestling participation declined 44.2 percent in the last ten years. Wrestling also has the highest churn rate, with more than half of the people who said they wrestled in 2009 saying they no longer wrestled in 2010.

3. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in America. There were 1.6 million people who played lacrosse last year, a 37.7 jump. Lacrosse participation is up 218.1 percent over the last 10 years.

Joel Richardson | The Washington Post | Getty Images

4. An amazing 60 percent of people that play soccer outdoors are under the age of 18. Outdoor soccer is the second most popular sport for kids under the age of 13 after gymnastics. However, in the much talked about disconnect between playing and watching, only 20.5 percent of those who play outdoor soccer are really into Major League Soccer.

5. In 2010, almost twice the amount of Americans played basketball (26.3 million) over baseball (14.5 million). Baseball participation was up 5.2 percent in 2010, but still down 8.1 percent over the last decade.

6. Rugby is surprisingly getting more popular. Participation was up 50.7 percent in 2010 and, for the first time since it has been tracked, there are more than 1 million Americans playing Rugby.

7. Volleyball has the most amount of female participants (9.1 million), followed by soccer (6.8 million), basketball (6.5 million) and softball (4.7 million)

8. The highest grossing sport in terms of sports equipment sales in 2010 was football at $520 million, baseball/softball was second at $488 million. Teams spent $358 million on football uniforms in 2010 and $324 million on baseball uniforms.

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