The Basket Case
Lots of times I have seen people on Hoops claiming that "the sport is dead" or basketball is dieing etc. Plenty of times I have refuted that with the idea that you cannot just claim the NBL is the sport.
Yesterday, the ABS released their latest sports data, showing participation for children aged 5-14 in organised sport, recreational and cultural activities.
Basketball remains in the top five participated junior sports in Australia, with surveyed participation at just over 220,000 (in this age group). Helpfully the ABS released comparative data from 2006/2009 as well. All data up until April this year.
Here is a quick summary of the top five:
2006 2009 2012 Part Rate
Swimming/Diving 462.5 502.9 492.1 17.7
Soccer (outdoor) 351.1 360.4 397.6 14.3
AFL 200.4 235.1 226.5 8.1
Netball 225.8 228.5 222.7 8.0
Basketball 176.3 201.9 220.2 7.9
Here are my grains of salt:
- It's a survey, so parents would for example include auskick, which is by far the biggest come'n try program in Aussie sport, in their responses so AFL might be skewed more than others (they answer legitimately but we know that in the Northern states very few auskickers go on to play AFL).
- Swimming is always skewed for me. the definition is "organised sport" and I think kids have to participate multiple times - no way this is happening in these numbers unless its school based
The participation rate is the percentage of the population of 5-14 year olds (2.8 million) actually doing this sport.
Other gems include the response that about 1/3 of those basketballers participate more than 52 times per year. Second highest number to swimming and soccer - but by far the highest percentage. Around 1/4 of the swimmers and soccer players participate more than 52 times per year.