U.S. Trends In Team Sports 2008 Edition (2008)
Ultimate Report on the State of Team Sports
U.S. Trends in Team Sports (2008 edition), produced by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association is now available. In July 2008, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a six-year study of exercise patterns among American children. The study cited in the Journal found that physical activity among youngsters plummeted during the teens. A similar fall-off in activity is apparent in SGMAï¿½s team-sports data for 2007.
At age 10, for example, 49% of all kids are frequent participants in at least one team sport, but by age 18, the participation rate has dropped to 30%. The worrisome finding, the Journal studyï¿½s authors said, was not that activity dropped but that it dropped so dramatically. They blamed the decline on the rise of video games, computers and TV at home and the disappearance of recess and physical education in the schools. In the case of team sports, three related trends are also at work: a sharp reduction over the past 20 years in pickup play, the emphasis in organized youth sports on elite players and the practice in many schools of forcing young athletes to specialize in a single sport. Playing sports just for the fun of it isn't nearly as popular as it once was.
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