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March 21, 2003 12:51 PM


  • Fourth Quarter, 2002

Conducted By

  • The Taylor Research & Consulting Group, Portsmouth, NH
  • Sports Marketing Surveys, Jupiter, FL


  • Survey Sample: 25,500 households, sampled at random on a state-by-state basis across the U.S., representing cross-section of U.S. population (and in the Caribbean and British Columbia for USTA Section purposes); Measurement of tennis participation among the age 6 population. Total base of observations numbering over 66,000.
  • Survey Process: Five-minute telephone interviews with all households; extended 12-to-15-minute interviews with a total of over 2,500 of the following: current players, former players, and non-players.

Participation Figures

  • Participation in tennis at 23.5 million in 2002 (8.8% of U.S. population age 6 ) has held steady over the past three years (from average of 22.5 million in 2000-2001).
  • 5.1 million new players (1.9% of U.S. population; nearly 22% of tennis players) took up the sport and played for the first time in 2002. More than one in five tennis players is a first time player in the past year. The median age of all first-time players is 15, and those under age 18 comprise nearly two thirds of all new players.
  • 5.1 million players returned to playing the sport after having not played at all for at least a year. The median age of these rejoiners is 31 with 30% of these players in the 35-49 age group.
  • 20.6 million lapsed players have left the game for various reasons (time, injury, etc.).
  • 13 million people who do not currently play were likely to consider playing tennis this year (including 8 million non-players, and 5 million former players).

Frequency of Play

  • 8 million Americans (3% of U.S. population; 35% of current tennis players) played one to three times last year.
  • 10.5 million (4% of U.S. population; 45% of tennis players) identified themselves as regular players, playing four to 20 times in the past year.
  • 5.1 million (1.9% U.S. population; nearly 22% of tennis players) described themselves as frequent players, playing 21 or more times in the past year.


  • 45% of lapsed players are 45 or younger; 26% are 35 or younger.
  • Frequency of play highest among older demographics.


  • Multicultural Participation
    • 6% of all players are African-Americans, 9% of new players are African-Americans.
    • 13% of all players are Hispanic American, while they represent 20% of new players.
    • One out of every three new players are African-American or Hispanic.
  • Age
    • Average age base of new players is 18; average age of total players is 29.
    • Gender
    • Females comprise 45% of player base and 52% of new players.
  • Geography
    • The highest levels of tennis participation are in California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois.
    • Tennis participation is lowest in North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Alaska, and Wyoming.
  • Attitudinal Findings
    • Fun (social aspects) and exercise (health) are the two driving forces for participation.
    • 75% of players play on public courts.



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