commitment in time—could, unfortunately, be factors contributing to premature attrition in many children and adolescents participating in organized sport ( Brenner, 2016 ; Cumming & Ewing, 2002 ; Hardy, Kelly, Chapman, King, & Farrell, 2010 ; Merkel, 2013 ). In The Adulteration of Children’s Sports
The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) is to provide leadership, scholarship, and outreach that “transforms” the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological, and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects. Since its inception in 1978, ISYS has partnered with numerous organizations to promote healthy youth sports participation. In this article, the general steps ISYS takes to form and facilitate partnerships are addressed. Four long-term partnerships are also described. The services provided to these organizations are described and the advantages and challenges of working with partners, in general, are delineated. How these partnerships are used to facilitate the teaching, outreach-engagement, and scholarship components of the Michigan State University land grant mission are also described. The case of ISYS shows that conducting community outreach and engagement projects greatly enhance the scholarly mission of the university.
Jesper Karlsson, Åsa Bäckström, Magnus Kilger, and Karin Redelius
In contemporary society, visual information is influential, not least when businesses are communicating with potential customers. It represents and influences how people understand phenomena. In sports, much attention is directed toward how media represent elite sports and sport stars. Less attention is directed toward children’s sports. The aim of this article is to explore and analyze visual representations of children on sport businesses’ websites. The sample contained 697 images of sporting children, on which an interpretative content and discourse analysis was conducted. The study shows that the ideal customer emerging on these sites is a White, physically active, able, and slim boy or girl. Consumer culture seems to reproduce and preserve existing normative frameworks rather than producing alternative norms and ideas in children’s sport. Moreover, dilemmatic images of children both as competent and as innocent develop, displaying a childhood that should be both joyful and active but also safeguarded.
Daniel Gould, Charles Gene Wilson, Suzan Tuffey, and Marc Lochbaum
This article examines psychological stress in children’s sports by presenting results from a panel discussion held with four young athletes ranging in age from 11 to 16 years. The discussion focused on stress and its sources, consequences, and how to cope. Results validated existing research on youth sports stress by showing that most young athletes are not placed under excessive stress. Rather, certain children in specific situations experience high levels of competitive state anxiety. Consistent with previous research, the stress of sports competition was also found to be no more anxiety provoking than other childhood evaluative activities. Future research directions identified from the panel’s responses included the need to identify strategies for coping with stress and ways of teaching these to young athletes, as well as ways to educate parents and coaches on how to improve communication skills. Finally, based on the panel’s remarks, practical implications for facilitating the youth sport experience are discussed.
Michael A. Messner and Michela Musto
Huge numbers of children participate in sports. However, kids and sports are rarely seen, much less systematically studied by sport sociologists. Our survey of the past decade of three major sport sociology journals illustrates a dearth of scholarly research on children and sport. While noting the few exceptions, we observe that sport studies scholars have placed a disproportionate amount of emphasis on studying sport media, and elite amateur, college, and professional athletes and sport organizations, while largely conceding the terrain of children’s sports to journalists and to a handful of scholars whose work is not grounded in sport sociology. We probe this paradox, speculating why sport scholars focus so little on such a large and important object of study in sport studies. We end by outlining a handful of important scholarly questions for sport scholars, focusing especially on key questions in the burgeoning sociological and interdisciplinary fields of children and youth, bodies and health, and intersectional analyses of social inequality.
Rachel G. Curtis, Michelle Crisp, Simone Licari, Rosa Virgara, Catherine E.M. Simpson, and Carol A. Maher
Background: Around 40% of Australian children do not participate in sport. Cost is a major barrier to participation, particularly for children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This study aimed to evaluate the uptake of a population-level children’s sports subsidy scheme, including sociodemographic differences in uptake. Methods: A state-wide cross-sectional analysis comparing sports voucher claimants (primary school-aged children with a valid Medicare or Australian visa number) from the 2019 financial year with population census data from South Australia. Chi-square was used to examine whether the percentage of eligible children who claimed a voucher differed based on age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), and geographical remoteness. Subgroup analyses were conducted for the lowest 2 socioeconomic disadvantage deciles, split by gender. Scatterplots were used to compare sports between high and low SES children. Results: A total of 74,668 children claimed sports vouchers (45.5% of eligible children). Children who were relatively younger, female, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and from major cities were least likely to claim the voucher. The 5 most common sports were Australian rules football (30.2%), netball (13.6%), soccer (13.1%), gymnastics (10.4%), and basketball (5.7%), with the popular sports similar for high and low SES children. Conclusions: Future work is needed to understand how Sports Voucher, and sport participation rates have changed over time, and to improve voucher uptake among girls, city dwellers, and low SES children.
Regina Belski, Alex Donaldson, Kiera Staley, Anne Skiadopoulos, Erica Randle, Paul O’Halloran, Pam Kappelides, Steve Teakel, Sonya Stanley, and Matthew Nicholson
c Snacks are never needed during a children’s sports match 17 19 +2 76 b 81 b +5 8 0 −8 .454 Kids who are exercising burn straight through all the sugar, so it doesn’t really matter if they have sweets 8 4 −4 81 b 96 b +15 12 0 −12 .004 c Skinny children should be encouraged to snack on whatever
Tiffany J. Chen, Kathleen B. Watson, Shannon L. Michael, Jessica J. Minnaert, Janet E. Fulton, and Susan A. Carlson
relationship with children’s sports participation but not overall, moderate, and vigorous physical activity, while parental education alone positively predicted children’s sports participation and physical activity. 41 Further research may be warranted to elucidate the influences of various SES measures on
Alan L. Smith and Daniel Gould
). Carl Pursell, a former Michigan high school teacher and coach and state senator who later went on to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, became concerned with some of the practices he observed in children’s sports and wondered how pervasive they were. After he talked to