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What Is A Youth Sports League?

Young sports fans love being part of a sports league, but others who are not quite as into sports or those who never really thought about it may not know what it means to actually belong to a youth sports league. Youth Sports leagues exist on all skill levels, from peewee local/neighborhood sports leagues to all-stars sports leagues, but they exist for solely one purpose, and that is to compete.

Belonging to a youth sports league provides the member with a more structured form of competition with others who are of a similar talent level as they are. Leagues are usually well organized with rules and even teams. There are advantages for young athletes to belong to a league. Many times it can be hard to get enough parent participation together for a semi-structured game and belonging to a league provides a young athlete with constant competition.

Even though youth sports is a good way for kids to learn competition and fair play, it is important for coaches of these said leagues to remember these are just kids out there and the main goal should also be to have fun! When you discriminate against players that are not at the same level as some of the “better” players, you can give some poor kid a serious inferiority complex. All for what? The sake of winning? Come on! Where is the fairness that you are trying to teach in “fair play” Is that really fair to the less “sports-inclined” child? No! I think not! Instead take the extra time to teach that kid how to play. Maybe he comes from a single mom household and has never had no one to show him the “ropes” You may make all the difference in the world to that child in his self-esteem later. You never know!

Youth sports leagues may often play against each other to compete for a certain title or championships of sorts. Champions are usually awarded a plaque or trophy and competing teams are always on the move to “steal” the trophy from each other. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Individuals among teams are usually awarded a participation certificate or little “trophies” as part of their reward. Depending upon the age of the teams, discretion should be used as to how to award players. For example, pee-wee teams should all be given the same thing, so as not to dash little feelings. As team players get older, then a little friendly competition amongst each other should not hurt team morale. Just make sure you don’t encourage a “hot-dogger” and instill in him/her that it is all about the team and not the individual.

On occasion, leagues may be ranked in a sort of hierarchical order. This is called a league system, and some youth sports leagues follow this type of league system; this type of league system is most popular in European countries and not so much in the United States; it is just another way of ranking players and skill levels that is used.

Youth sports leagues are a more structured, organized way of playing the sport you love. Look into joining, or even starting, a league of your own.