People are innovative. When they get bored with one method, they invent another. Athletes are no different. They seek new challenges that test their abilities in new ways. Here are four up and coming sports that are gaining popularity in the U.S.
Disc Golf makes throwing a frisbee at the beach look like child’s play. As the name implies, the sport is similar to traditional golf in terms of the rules, scoring and etiquette, but players throw a plastic disc into a metal basket rather than hitting a ball into a hole. The game has gained popularity as a cheaper alternative to golf. Players need only show up to a course with a plastic disc in hand rather than a bag full of clubs hanging off their shoulder. Better yet, finding a course is becoming easier each year. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, over 700 courses were added from 2014 to 2015.
Lacrosse brings a whole new level of intensity to the pastime of playing catch. The fast-paced contact sport is gaining traction across all levels in the U.S. According to US Lacrosse, national participation grew 3.5 percent in 2014. The sport has experienced solid growth in youth participants, high school teams and even the collegiate level.
People have shifted back to basics with the rising popularity of running. In 2013, a record of 2.5 million people participated in half or full marathons. But people are no longer interested in just finishing a long race, runners want to have an experience. This desire has led to a 40-fold increase in participation of non-traditional running events in the last five years. People have dubbed this trend as extreme running, and it has taken form in the popularity of events like the Tough Mudder or the Color Run. These runners prioritize the experience over competition wanting to cross the finish line covered head to toe in mud or every color of the rainbow rather than with a medal around their neck.
No one knows for sure if it is the sports fashion throwback to short shorts and tight shirts or the brutality of the game, but rugby is gaining traction in the U.S. As of 2015, rugby participation in the U.S. grew 13.3 percent in the last five years, which was more than any other sport in that same time span. Some people consider the action packed game the real man’s version of football. It is played without pads or helmets and players rarely stop running, making it one of the most physically demanding sports around. Beyond the athleticism required, people are attracted to the culture. The players walk onto the field shoulder to shoulder. They even refer to the officials as sir and the sport is mandated by “laws” rather than “rules.”
Whether you're revamping an established program or starting a new one from the ground up, Team Fitz can help. Contact a sales rep today to talk about how to promote your new favorite sport.