By Ken Reed

A new Aspen Institute’s Project Play/Utah State University survey revealed that the nation’s parents are increasingly worried about allowing their children to return to youth sports.

Only 53% of youth sports parents say they expect their child to resume sports activity at the same or higher level as before current Covid-19 restrictions were put in place. That figure stood at 70% back in May.

In addition, only 50% of parents now feel comfortable with their child playing local, community-based sports when restrictions are lifted. In May, that figure was 66%. Meanwhile, only 44% of parents of kids that participate in travel and club competitions against teams from outside their city or county are comfortable with their child competing. That number is down from 52% in May.

“It is striking how quickly parents have reevaluated their priorities for their children in youth sport,” according to Dr. Travis Dorsch, study director and founding director of the Families in Sport Lab at Utah State University. “Although parents held high hopes at the initial stages of the pandemic for a relatively quick return to normal, the extension of youth sport-related restrictions into the summer seems to have parents rethinking the widely accepted model of competitive youth sport in America.”

The fact the virus continues to spike in more than two-thirds of the states in the country as we head closer to the fall sports season will only exacerbate parental concerns about youth group activities.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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