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Amanda J. Visek, Sara M. Achrati, Heather M. Mannix, Karen McDonnell, Brandonn S. Harris and Loretta DiPietro


Children cite “fun” as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number-one reason for youth sport attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework of fun using a novel mixed-method assessment of participants in sport (FUN MAPS) via concept mapping.


Youth soccer players (n = 142), coaches (n = 37), and parents (n = 57) were stratified by age, sex, and competition level and contributed their ideas through (a) qualitative brainstorming, identifying all of the things that make playing sports fun for players; (b) sorting of ideas; and (c) rating each idea on its importance, frequency, and feasibility.


The FUN MAPS identify the 4 fundamental tenets of fun in youth sport within 11 fun-dimensions composed of 81 specific fun-determinants, while also establishing the youth sport ethos.


The FUN MAPS provide pictorial evidence-based blueprints for the fun integration theory (FIT), which is a multitheoretical, multidimensional, and stakeholder derived framework that can be used to maximize fun for children and adolescents to promote and sustain an active and healthy lifestyle through sport.

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Lauren A. Gardner, Christopher A. Magee and Stewart A. Vella

can therefore be used as valid indicators within youth sport research. Enjoyment in youth sport is considered the greatest predictor of commitment, and lack of enjoyment is the most frequently cited predictor of dropout. 6 , 9 Theories such as the fun integration theory (FIT) 9 provide a framework

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Alan L. Smith, Karl Erickson and Leapetswe Malete

integration theory: Toward sustaining children and adolescents sport participation . Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 12, 424 – 433 . PubMed ID: 24770788 doi:10.1123/jpah.2013-0180 10.1123/jpah.2013-0180 Weed , M. ( 2016 ). Should we privilege sport for health? The comparative effectiveness of