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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

When are kids quitting sports?

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.

Although the youth sports industry is a $15.5 billion market in the US, according to a report from Wintergreen Research, the average kid is done with youth sports by the age of 11, according to a new survey from the Aspen Institute.

What do you need to know?

– In 2018, only 38% of kids ages 6 to 12 played team sports on a regular basis, down from 45% in 2008, according to separate research from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. 

– Children from low-income families are half as likely to play sports as kids from upper-incomes homes, according to SFIA. 

– Eight is the average age at which a child starts playing sports, but according to the survey, the average child is done with sports by age 11, discontinuing play after just 2.86.

– In six of the twenty-one sports measured (baseball, gymnastics, ice hockey, skiing/snowboarding, swimming and tennis), some parents spent $12,000 or more in one year, with tennis at the highest end ($34,900).

What about travel? 

Travel is now the costliest feature in youth sports. On average across all sports, parents spent more annually on travel ($196 per sport, per child) than equipment ($144), private lessons ($134), registration fees ($125), and camps ($81). 

At the end of the day, the goal is fun… 

At 4.49 out of 5, the most desired outcome parents look for when their kids participate in youth sports is fun. The next closest? Physical and emotional health, sport skills, social skills and peer relationships.
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