10 Fastest Growing Sports for Kids
It's a question that's vexed parents for generations. From slang terms to music to activities, parents are always trying to keep up with their kids' interests—and the same goes for sports.
There are always the staples—soccer and basketball come to mind—but what about the lesser known sports that suddenly spike in popularity like skateboarding in the '90s?
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association researched youth enrollment in sports over a three-year period to see which activities experienced the most growth, and the results might surprise you.
10) Trail Running1 of 11
Find a trail and run on it; seems simple enough. Trail running squeaked into the top 10 with 40.2 percent growth during the three-year period.
9) Roller Hockey2 of 11
Anybody else get flashbacks of "D2: The Mighty Ducks" when they saw this one? Roller hockey topped trail running by a tenth of a percent, with a growth of 40.3 percent.
8) Squash3 of 11
Really? Are these kids trying to squeeze in a game between investment meetings? According to SFIA, youth enrollment in squash grew by 43.6 percent from 2011 to 2014.
7) MMA for Fitness4 of 11
Is your kid tough enough to train like an MMA fighter? Apparently more and more kids are up to the challenge, as MMA for fitness enrollment increased by 44.7 percent.
6) Rugby5 of 11
Watch out football; youth rugby enrollment rose by 50.2 percent over the three-year period. How can kids not enjoy jumping into scrums and serving up banana kicks?
5) Boxing for Competition6 of 11
It looks like more kids want to float like butterflies and sting like bees, as the sport of the late, great Muhammad Ali grew by 71.1 percent.
4) Triathlon (Non-Traditional/Off-Road)7 of 11
Why participate in one sport when you could participate in three? With a participation increase of 72.3 percent, more kids are now swimming, biking and running their way to an active lifestyle.
3) MMA for Competition8 of 11
While MMA for fitness remains more popular, kids are now taking their skills into the ring. MMA for competition grew by 73.4 percent between 2011 and 2014.
Adventure Racing9 of 11
What kid doesn't love an adventure, especially a timed one? Adventure racing, which saw a 97 percent growth, is a multidisciplinary sport that involves anything from trekking, mountain biking, paddling, climbing and more.
1) Stand Up Paddling10 of 11
Far and away the fastest growing sport for kids from 2011 to 2014, stand up paddling (SUP) participation grew 140.1 percent. It's like the standing desk movement, but for kayaking.