Tennis participation increased in 2015

April 13, 2016

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC — The number of people playing tennis in the U.S. and the number of tennis “play occasions” increased in 2015, according to the latest figures released by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which were part of the Physical Activity Council (PAC) Annual Participation Study.

In addition, the PAC study shows that tennis is the only traditional participation sport to see an increase in overall participation over the last eight years—increasing 6% since 2007. All other traditional participation sports—soccer, basketball, baseball, football, volleyball, golf, fishing and racquetball—saw declines in that time period. The PAC study is the largest single-source independent sports participation survey in the U.S., measuring participation in more than 120 sports and activities.

For 2015, total tennis players numbered 17.96 million, which is a .3% increase from 2014, according to the PAC study. “Core” tennis players—those who play 10 or more times a year—increased .5% to 9.96 million. The number of tennis “play occasions” also increased in 2015, both overall and for core players. Overall play occasions were up .8% to 446.4 million; core players accounted for 418.3 million of those play occasions.

Last year, there were 2.07 million new tennis players, which is a 3.8% increase compared to 2014. Another 2.2 million players “returned” to the game in 2015, which is a 14.8% increase. The total for combined new and returning players in 2015 is a 9.2% increase from 2014.

In addition, 14.75 million Americans who are non-players are interested in playing tennis, and another 12.8 million who may not have played in the past year “consider themselves” tennis players.

Youth participation, however, saw slight declines. For ages 6 to 12, participation was at 2.11 million, a 1.1% drop from 2014, while the number of 13- to 17-year-old players fell 5.5%, also to 2.11 million players.

Of particular note is the Cardio Tennis program, which in 2015 alone grew 12.6% in participation, to 1.82 million players. Cardio Tennis, which was developed in 2005, was first measured by the PAC study in 2008 and has grown 119% in participation in the past seven years.

Also noteworthy is increasing tennis participation among Hispanics in the U.S., which has been a priority for the USTA. In 2015, Hispanic tennis players jumped 12.2%, to 1.79 million players. Participation among Asians in the U.S. increased 5.6% in 2015 to 1.98 million. However, African-American players declined by 1.7% to 1.9 million, and Caucasian participation dropped .8% to 11.89 million.

About the TIA

The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of tennis by working closely with the U.S. Tennis Association and industry partners to develop and implement initiatives to increase tennis participation and improve the health of industry businesses. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, in addition to Grow the Game Initiatives such as, Cardio Tennis, 10 and Under Tennis, the GrowingTennis Systemâ„¢, and Careers in Tennis. Visit or call 866-686-3036.