Tennis Participation in Florida Surges in 2020, Physical Activity Council Report Finds

Nicole Hardenstine | May 12, 2021

New data continues to show that tennis is the ideal sport for social distancing in Florida, with people in the Sunshine state playing more tennis in 2020 than almost everywhere else in the United States.


Out of the 20.1 million people ages six and up who lived in Florida, 7.5%, or 1.5 million people, reported hitting the courts in 2020 according to recent data from the Physical Activity Council’s (PAC) Participation report produced by Sports Marketing Surveys. The report examined tennis participation across the fifteen different USTA sections and found Florida ranked 5th for percentage of tennis players per population.


Five-Year Tennis Participation Rate

Tennis has grown more in Florida than anywhere else in the U.S. over the last five years, according to the report. The total number of tennis players in Florida has increased an average of 7.7% each year since 2015. In 2020, the overall number of Florida tennis players surged by nearly 26% – 4% higher than the total rise across the U.S. last year.  When comparing tennis participation rates from 2015 to 2020, the USTA Florida Section had one of the highest measurable growths – an increase of 1.8% over the five-year span.


“We all know tennis experienced a surge in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Florida, we have seen consistent growth for five consecutive years, which is a credit to our excellent providers and the breadth and health of our tennis ecosystem,” said Laura Bowen, USTA Florida Executive Director.  “As we look to serve the influx of new players, our network of vibrant public tennis facilities is more important now than it has even been.”

Tennis Play Frequency

People in Florida also played more tennis in 2020 than almost anywhere else in the country. Out of the 1.5 million tennis players living in the Florida section during 2020, 60% are considered core players, the most of any USTA section. A core player is defined as a person who plays tennis more than 10 times a year. Core participants accounted for 93% of all play occasions in 2020. The remaining 40% of participants identified themselves as a casual player, defined as a person who plays tennis 1 to 9 times a year.


Overall, tennis players in Florida played an average of 28 days in 2020 – five days more than the average of all tennis players across the U.S.

Demographics of Florida Players

About 59% of all Florida tennis players in 2020 were male. While women represent roughly 51% of the Florida population, they only account for 41% of tennis players. If you take into account the more than seven percent of women who are not playing tennis but say they want to – women can be viewed as a key to tennis growth in Florida. Earlier this year, USTA Florida discussed some methods to get more women on the court.


Nearly 45% of all Florida tennis players in 2020 were between the ages of 25 to 54. 36% were between the ages of 6 and 24, while the remaining 19% were 55 and older.  


In terms of diversity among players, Florida had a higher rate of Hispanic/Latino players as compared to the rest of the U.S. population at 16%. Beyond the 67% of players who identified as white, 10% were Black and 5% were Asian/Pacific Islander.

Where are People Playing?

When it comes to play venue, more than half of Florida players opted for accessibility and hit the courts at a public park, at a school or at home. Private venues were also highly valued though, accounting for nearly 20% of play in 2020.

Each year the Physical Activity Council conducts the largest single-source research study of sports, recreation, and leisure activity participation in the nation. The PAC is made up of eight of the leading sports and manufacturer associations that are dedicated to growing participation in their respective sports and activities. To view the full Florida report, click here.

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