Hoops slam dunk: Basketball adds to long streak as favorite major sport to play

 Basketball's 14-year lead over baseball, soccer, football, and ice hockey as the nation's most popular major participatory sport,,,

 was extended by a Sports Business Journal analysis of the 2022 State of the Industry Report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and Sports Marketing Surveys USA.  

 Since 2008, the annual poll has sampled 18,000 respondents from proprietary online panels representative of the U.S. population for people 6 and older.  

 In 2021, 27.1 million individuals aged 6+ played basketball, 11.5 million more than baseball, the second-most popular sport.  

 Eight million core hoopsters play at least 13 times a year, more than double baseball's ardent players.  

 Basketball added 480,000 core players 2016-2021 (up 3%), joining rugby (+29,000, or 1%) and flag football (+28,000, or 1%),,,

 as the only major-league-related team sports to increase their most active players.  

 Naturally, pandemic restrictions reduced indoor and team sports participation.  

 Nine- or 18-hole golf and tennis were the most popular individual sports, with 25.1 million and 22.6 million players, respectively.  

 Each sport's governing body reported that over three million players were doing so for the first time.   

 Tennis had its best rate ever, while golf had not reached 25 million since 2012.   

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