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PostPosted: May 24 15, 7:27 pm 
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http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-basebal ... 2?mod=e2fb

Participation is down 41% since 2002 but the number of kids on traveling teams has doubled during that time.

Contrary to the Chris Rock rant, money is a reason kids don't play. You have the traveling team phenomenon as exhibit A. Those cost a family thousands and is 97% white. And that article talks about one little league slashing the entry fee to $25 and seeing an increase in participation. Seriously, MLB should be subsidizing the crap out of Little League.


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PostPosted: May 24 15, 7:59 pm 
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As a kid back in the metro east, the kids leagues (soccer and baseball mostly, basketball and flag football lagging behind a bit) were a staple of my childhood. The only grade school kids not on teams were weirdos. Perhaps it was the Air Force town mentality? In any case, I brought it up to a friend who still works back there in the summer kids leagues, and he said they only have two thirds the signups as 15 years ago, despite the town more than doubling in size.

I blame video games.


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PostPosted: May 24 15, 8:27 pm 
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Question is what organized leagues are really growing? I am sure Lax, Hockey, soccer are making big jumps over the last 5,10,20 years but their numbers were minuscule compared to baseball. I don't think the net number that baseball is losing is moving directly over to other sports, instead kids are just less into organized sports.


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PostPosted: May 24 15, 8:44 pm 
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Exactly. I'm not a parent and I'm very disconnected from midwest suburban children's sports, but it seems to be a gneral lessening of interest, not simply baseball.


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PostPosted: May 24 15, 9:00 pm 
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To a small extent, there may be some backlash from parents with bad childhood experiences in organized sports. My wife does not care for sports, but was pushed to at least participate in baseball, soccer and basketball. She did not have fun. I, on the other hand, had a great time in sports, even though I was never more than a little above average. If I weren't pushing for our kids to be in sports because I liked it as much as I did, I don't think my wife would care if our kids were in sports. She'd be happy to have them in arts programs instead. They still do music lessons and stuff, but she'd fill the sports time with theater and other arts if it were purely her choice. Given the cuts in school arts programs, I think there are a lot of parents who see the value in the arts. There's only so much time in the week, and sometimes choices must be made.


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PostPosted: May 25 15, 7:41 am 
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Fan_In_NY wrote:
Question is what organized leagues are really growing? I am sure Lax, Hockey, soccer are making big jumps over the last 5,10,20 years but their numbers were minuscule compared to baseball. I don't think the net number that baseball is losing is moving directly over to other sports, instead kids are just less into organized sports.


The article talks about this a little. You are correct that youth sports participation is down across the board. And it's becoming more and more specialized. Instead of playing soccer, basketball and baseball (like I did) they only play 1 of the three. It's possible that just as many kids (or close to it) are playing youth sports as before but a lot less of them are playing multiple sports.


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PostPosted: May 25 15, 7:46 am 
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I know a family with a 12 year old who drive around the midwest to play traveling baseball all summer. It's a status thing. They think their kid is a stud and their team is awesome. Yep, at age 12, you can be a stud. It's not unlike helicopter parents and the status of trying to get their kid into the Ivy League or something.


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PostPosted: May 25 15, 1:07 pm 
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pioneer98 wrote:
I know a family with a 12 year old who drive around the midwest to play traveling baseball all summer. It's a status thing. They think their kid is a stud and their team is awesome. Yep, at age 12, you can be a stud. It's not unlike helicopter parents and the status of trying to get their kid into the Ivy League or something.


Yeah, it's like the athletic equivalent of Duke TIP academic enrichment programs and summer music camps. Even during the regular school year, so many activities demand almost exclusive commitment that my children (and I) wind up backing out.


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PostPosted: May 25 15, 7:49 pm 
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you can always tell when a select team is in the same hotel by the highway. continental breakfast is bedlam


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PostPosted: June 13 16, 8:52 am 
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I just learned the Little League that me and my brothers played in growing up is down to 2 teams in majors. My kid is in a different league next door in the same city and we have 6 teams in majors, and 14 in minors. I'm not sure why this is one still pretty strong when the one next door is struggling so much. It's kind of sad. My parents had 4 kids who went from t-ball through Pony League there. They said they were at that park watching games for 17 summers. The summer after the last kid was done playing, they didn't know what to do. They actually still went back a few times and watched some of the neighbor kids.

We just had our city tournament, and there were 19 teams in the majors city tournament. I'm not sure how different that is from years past. Maybe it's not down as much as I think, but I believe we had like between 25 and 30 teams in the city tournament back when I played.


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