What Is The Good News For Tennis Facilities?

Rallying With The Executive Director

What’s the latest good news for tennis facilities and tennis teachers? The number of people playing tennis in the U.S. rose by .3% and the number of tennis “play occasions” increased .8% in 2015 according to the Physical Activity Council (PAC) Annual Participation Study released by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Total tennis players numbered nearly 18 million and play occasions totaled more than 446 million according to the PAC study.

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There are almost 15 million more Americans identified by the PAC study who are non-players interested in playing tennis. Tennis facilities interested in their future financial security should be offering entry-level programs for adults and youth using the easy to use racquets, balls and court sizes made popular by Red-Orange-Green tennis. Inviting these Americans to the courts and teaching them to rally with friends should be at the top of the priority list for everyone who operates a tennis facility.

The PAC study also 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 the same 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.

There is increasing tennis participation among Hispanics in the U.S. which has been a priority for the USTA. In 2015, Hispanic tennis players grew 12.2%. Participation among Asians in the U.S. also increased 5.6% in 2015. At the same time, African-American players declined by 1.7% and Caucasian participation dropped .8%.

With tennis participation increasing and tennis players looking more and more like the general U.S. population, it’s a great time to be in the tennis business. We need to keep our doors open and our courts welcoming to current players and want to be players so that more people enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of the game of tennis. This will keep the future of tennis bright and growing.

Bruce A. Hunt
Executive Director – Southern California Tennis Association

(Data courtesy of Tennis Industry Association)

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