The Growth and Decline
Sports intrigue most Americans, in fact 90 percent of Americans watch some type of sporting events. 60 percent of boys and 47 percent of girls already play organized sports by the time they are six years old! What I am going to look at today is what sports are on the rise and what sports are declining year by year. This has become a very popular topic every since Washington Nationals infielder, Anthony Rendon said,”I don’t watch baseball… It’s too long and boring.” Is Rendon the only baseball player that feels this way? Is baseball really boring? Let’s find out as I pick the sports that are “On the Rise”,”Keeping Pace” and “Out for the Count”.
On the Rise
1. Lacrosse- Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the world! The game is most played at the youth level on club teams. About two-thirds of youth participants are boys(265,428) and most of those players came from New York(55,298). 621 high schools added boys lacrosse teams and 588 added girls which makes lacrosse the fastest growing sport at the high school level. With all of the studies surrounding concussions in football, more and more football players are migrating over to lacrosse. Lacrosse also happens to be the fastest growing NCAA sport too. Eight NCAA Division I lacrosse programs have been added since 2013. The Major League Lacrosse (MLL) has been growing and is looking to expand. The MLL added the Florida Launch this year and may soon add teams in places like Atlanta or Southern California. The florescence of the game is turning many heads which is why the sport is growing so much.
1. American Football- American Football has been at a pretty constant level in the past couple of years. The National Football League (NFL) tried to expand the league to Europe but didn’t get enough participation from Europeans. The only way fans will be intrigued is if the majority of the players are from the host country. That was not the case in the “NFL Europa” project. There were very few Europeans and those players weren’t good enough to get play time. This impacted the probability of the NFL going overseas so for now they are just keeping pace. Until American football makes a splash over seas they will just be keeping pace. Basketball, Lacrosse, Golf, Soccer, Hockey and many other sports are represented overseas well but until football does that they can’t take the next step in the journey to becoming the greatest sport.
Out for the Count
1. Baseball- Last year the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) television ratings dropped to the lowest they have ever been. The World Series used to be looked at as the most watched sporting event in America but last year the event had its lowest television rating in history! The New York Yankees are the most celebrated team in baseball but even their ratings are down by 39 percent. MLB fans, reporters and managers claim that the sport is doing just fine but the data says otherwise. Could we soon wave goodbye to “America’s Pastime?” I took some time to study what is behind this decline and I hit jackpot. The world that we live in today is different than the world Micky Mantle, Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio lived in. As technology speeds up, we get used to things that are very straight forward and fast. Baseball is not that! Baseball is a game of patience where you take what is given to you. In the 21st century everything is exciting and full of action. The Avengers of today are not the same as the Avengers of yesterday! Everything is changing because we are digging deep into technology. So should baseball blame technology for their decline? I say 100 percent yes!!!! The faster our phones get, the faster our sports have to be. This is a race that baseball can’t keep pace in.