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October 13, 2004
by Dawn Mills
Paintball remains ranked third for extreme sport in the nation says the SGMA (Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association). The SGMA’s annual summer report is out, ranking paintball after Inline Skating and Skateboarding with 9,835,000 participants in 2003. The SGMA lists a participant as a person who played the game at least once in the 2003 calendar year. Since 1998 when the SGMA started recording paintball participants, the number of players has grown 66% from 5,923,000 players in 1998.
The equipment sales of the sport have risen along with the players who are hitting the fields by 5.4% to the tune of $390 million dollars spent on guns, gear and paint in 2003.
Paintball has always been behind both inline skating and skateboarding according to the SGMA. Inline skating has a huge following with 19,233,000 people taking part in the activity in 2003 and 11.9 million skateboarders hitting the streets on a regular basis in the US.
In 2003 the SGMA studied ‘frequent’ participants of paintball, defined as a person playing 15 days a year. The study showed that in 1998, thirty-eight percent of the frequent paintball players came from households of more than $50,000 annual income. In 2002, that number went up to 45% and definitely shows a trend on continuing higher. More than 75% of all frequent paintball participants are connected to the Internet at home says the SGMA and that men still rule the field, growing the market by 107% since 98, while women’s frequent participation stayed about the same from 1998 to 2003. Roughly 85% of all frequent participants are male and the ages of the monthly players, says the October 2002 report, are aged between 12-24, giving the average age of 17.
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