Talking with a Cranston dad after church, he mentioned that our local Little Leagues are taking a hit in terms of enrollment, and have a smaller batch of teams this year. I wondered if the trends went further than just Cranston and found this article: Participation in youth sports on the decline | SouthCoastToday.com. As you can see from the stats cited, nationally baseball little leagues are down by 24% since 2000. Basketball has also seen a reduction in numbers by about 9%. Soccer is on the rise, and hockey looks like it is exploding. But still, the overall numbers are down, since hockey is a relatively smaller sport than baseball or basketball.
So what gives? Are we just a couch potato society where kids would prefer to stay home and play Nintendo and Wii? Is it the competition from other activities like karate and drama clubs? Or is this a result of families in the middle class simply not having the resources, especially since the economic collapse of 2008, to put toward their children’s athletic development?