2014 Tennis Participation Study Released, Shows Growing Interest in Sport

The recently released 2014 TIA Tennis Participation Study shows gains in the total number of tennis players, but also a growing interest for playing tennis among Americans. The report is derived from the annual Physical Activity Council (PAC) Participation Report, the nation's largest single-source sports study, which looks at participation for more than 120 sports and activities.

“Latent demand” for tennis, which is defined as those who are interested in playing tennis but haven't done so in the past year, has increased over 26% since 2011 to more than 15 million American consumers who say they are interested in taking up the sport.

In addition to growth in latent demand, total tennis participation is on the rise as well. In 2013, total tennis participation increased 4% over 2012 to 17.68 million players.

According to the PAC report, tennis appears to be a very accessible sport for all income levels in the U.S. Over 70% of tennis players play most of their tennis at a public park or school/college. In addition, 50% of core players, those who play 10 or more times a year, do so most frequently on courts at public parks.

Other highlights from this year's PAC report include:20% of all tennis players live in the South Atlantic Region of the U.S.

  • 60% of all tennis players ages 18 have a college degree or higher.
  • Total play occasions in 2013 increased 5% over 2012.
  • Top "cross-participation" activities among tennis players include walking for fitness, running/jogging, road bicycling, and working out on a treadmill.

In addition to the growth in tennis shown in this year's study, an article from Mayo Clinic staff points out one of the most appealing aspects of taking up the game—the health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic study, singles tennis can burn upwards of 730 calories per hour, matching or exceeding the caloric burn of other sports such as basketball, rollerblading, high-impact aerobics, lap swimming, and more. See the chart below for a summary of calorie burn per hour for various sports: