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"Why children are abandoning baseball"

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, May 21, 2015.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Wall Street Journal article today about the precipitous freefall in youth baseball participation numbers:

    Why Children Are Abandoning Baseball - WSJ

    The numbers drop in the other sports, too, including basketball and soccer.

    I guess this is the result of identifying talent from an early age and funneling it into travel teams. Parents today want to get their children into activities in which they can excel, including a sports speciality. There's not much slack built into childhood any more for mere frivolity.

    The concern, often expressed, is how this will affect the health of MLB as a spectator sport and a business down the line.
  2. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

  3. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    This isn't just a baseball problem. Youth sports participation is down across the board. Xbox doesn't make you sweat or have a coach cussing at you.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I don't have any numbers on this, but I'm not sure that's it. (That's not to say I don't consider video games a potential problem - my son, who will soon be 6, is already addictive about them, and we severely limit them, to his chagrin.)

    Look at modern college applications. Kids are involved in more organized extracurricular activities than ever before. It's just fragmented, like everything else in the 21st century culture.
  5. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    The most interesting number in that story to me is that more kids are playing tackle football. That certainly doesn't fit with the narrative that youth football is in trouble.

    I think some of it is pure laziness of some of the parents and some of the kids these days. I'm stunned at the number of kids in my sons' classes who do no sports at all. I think it may be a combination of kids preferring video games and parents being not willing or able to commit the amount of time to some of these sports. These days the parents pretty much all stay for the practices. I was at every single one of my son's Pop Warner practices last year and the same was true for the bulk of the parents.

    I live in an area that is not very baseball friendly. The last year my kids were signed up for it, I think four of the 10 games were rained out. I played baseball as a kid and I certainly encouraged my kids to play it, but they lost interest pretty quickly.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Look at the footnote. Participation rose from 2000 to 2006, but it has dropped since from a peak of 5.4 million to 4.2 million today.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Six views, and five posts.

    That's some serious red meat.
    FileNotFound and JackReacher like this.
  8. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I just saw that. Well, actually, it's at 4.9 million, but still...

    When it's down in all sports, I think video games and general laziness are most to blame.

    There's also no happy medium with a lot of the sports. They're either not keeping score and letting everybody take base or they're traveling the state to play other teams at age 8.
  9. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I'm sure the people with no kids will be here momentarily to rag on us. :D
  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Did you read the story?

    Some guy ranks the best 4-and-under baseball travel teams.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Meatball always makes sure to chime in. He's good for that.
  12. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it never surprises me that the "batshit crazy contingent" continues to rise.
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