Friday, August 22, 2008

Leaving team sports at 12

The Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association just released its 2008 "Sports Participation in America" survey. Here's a nugget that jumped out at me - and happened to be featured in a SGMA press release. (I'm not taking too much credit, here).

Eleven is the peak age for participation in team sports, with 72 percent of 11-year-olds playing at least one team sport. For older children, the numbers fall.

11? Hmm. Sobering to consider that by the seventh grade, kids already are baling on organized sports. That's when the fun should just be starting.

There are multiple explanations for this stat, of course. Here's mine. By 11, kids are getting the message that organized sports are really for the better athletes. If you're not one, it might be time to hang it up.

Other notable youth sports facts from the report:

Sixty-three per cent of all 6-17 year olds play at least one team sport and two-thirds play team sports on a ‘frequent’ basis.

More than 80 percent of skateboarders are male and younger than 18.

And my fave:

Only 10 percent of freshwater fishers go fly fishing and just 15 per cent of freshwater fishers go saltwater fishing

No comments: