The Sports and Fitness Industry Association compiled some data about U.S. youth sports and found that over 21 million students between the ages of 6 and 17 play team sports. Baseball and soccer are sports that the youngest players tend to navigate to, but by the time kids reach age 9, studies show that basketball becomes the most popular competitive sport. Meanwhile, two sports played largely by one gender -- football for boys and volleyball for girls -- grow fast from ages 11 through 14.
According to surveys, about 45 percent of students who started a sport end up quitting it. However, the reasons for quitting aren't that youth sports are necessarily bad. Most of their reasons relate more to temporary concerns, such as: the kids weren't having fun playing; were hurt; didn't get along with the team; or' wanted to focus on their studies. It's interesting to note that 33 percent of kids who quit a sport eventually are drawn back to it.
Paul Staso, Founder & President
The P.A.C.E. Fitness Foundation, Inc.
P.A.C.E. is a non-profit organization aimed at Promoting Active Children Everywhere.