As youth sports leagues continue to grow in popularity, the competition is on and the winners get recognized.
So many kids play competitive sports in America that serious sports organizations like the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the Women’s Sports Foundation and others are studying the numbers. For instance, EPSN reports that just nine years ago, roughly 75% of boys and 69% of girls from ages eight to 17 take part in organized sports, playing at least one sport per year. And these totals don’t take into account the kids who start playing before age eight! A growing number of kids are playing sports even before they start going to school. The surprising find is that girls start an average of half a year later than boys, although kids who don’t exercise start later than those who do.
Out in the suburbs, kids in elementary and middle school usually play on three, four or five teams at a time. The community culture tends to revolve around practices, tourneys and getting players to and from the games. So who says the Soccer Mom is a myth?
This ‘burb phenomenon seems to ring true for kids all over America: statistics show 90% of parents attend at least one of their kid’s games a week. Sixty-eight percent talk with their kids at least every other day about games and practices. What’s motivating all these kids to play, play play? Their passion for the sport, that’s what.
Some surveys say 45% of kids who start a sport will quit. But not for long: 33% start up again with the same sport. Kids quit for all sorts of reasons: hey aren’t having fun or won’t make the commitment, they want to focus on their studies or their school sports programs are cut. Having their children get injured on the field is almost every parent’s worst fear. Even so, they do return – whether they play in school or in a community sports league or another type of club.
Fighting the Nation’s Biggest Health Concern
The popularity of youth sports is turning out to be one solution for staving off obesity, which remains a huge health concern. According to the CDC, overweight children have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults. By 2030, the CDC predicts that 42% of all American adults will be obese … so it looks like we all could be physically more active, yes? However, very few American kids have not played sports; never joined a team or club, never wore a uniform, never practiced for hours with teammates or never ran out of a locker room to compete.
From Little League games to professional sporting tournaments, reward star athletes, coaches and sponsors at the end of a game well played. Softball, Soccer, Golf, Tennis and more, feed that passion by marking special wins and achievements with personalized custom trophies and awards created especially for them.