Per recent Aspen Institute research, the United States youth sports system is ‘programs-rich and systems-poor’.

Project Play Aspen Institute

3 big takeaways from Aspen Institute’s comprehensive research:

  • Prioritization of mass participation & recognition of the rights of children
  • Thoroughly interconnected ecosystems
  • Identification of access gaps & incentive opportunities for stakeholders to address them

United States Youth Sports System

  • Over 100,000 U.S. organizations provide youth sports programs & families spend more than $30 billion annually in this space.
  • However, churn rates are high & many kids quit sports prior to middle school: especially low-income children and other vulnerable populations.
  • U.S. scores a ‘C’ for Youth Sport Participation rate (51% play on a team) & a ‘D’ for Government Support (as judged by youth sports providers).

During 2024, Aspen Institute will take a leading role in working to create better youth sports systems from local to national levels; check out some of their robust plans, including several links to learn more.