First Annual State of Sports-Based Youth Development in the U.S. Report

The community of organizations and individuals providing sports-based youth development (SBYD) programs for children from low income, underserved communities is diverse and growing. However, these SBDY programs collectively are not well documented and thus known.

Accordingly, the Youth Sports Collaborative Network launched as its first initiative an online survey to quantify the breadth of these efforts in the U.S. The survey was open from February 1 – May 8, 2017.  64 SBYD programs located in 13 states and 27 cities/towns answered the survey and provided 26 different types of sports and fitness activities.

The complete survey results are detailed in the 2017 report, The First Annual State of Sports-Based Youth Development in the U.S. - Helping America's Most Vulnerable Children.

Assisting in the analysis of the first survey results was the George Washington University Sports Philanthropy Online Program.

Based on the results of a 2017 online survey, the Youth Sports Collaborative Network found that 72% of these 64 organizations had more children in their sports/fitness programs for 2016 than 2015. Further these 72% led to a 26% increase in the total number of low-income children being served in 2016.

These results are in contrast to other research showing decline in youth sport/fitness participation. For example, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association found that in 2008, 30.2% of youth ages 6 to 12 were active to a healthy level through sports, organized or unstructured; by 2016 that number had dropped to 24.8%. More research on the decline of youth sports participation in the U.S.. and the affect of this decline on the increase in youth obesity can be found in the YSCN research report.

Additional aggregate survey results include:

  • Age ranges of children participating in the programs and a listing of the 26 individual sport/fitness activities being offered,
  • Number of weeks during a year and minutes/day(s) a week sports/fitness program(s) being offered,
  • Other forms of youth development support such as academic, mentorship, and outpatient clinical support, 
  • Location of facilities/fields used to deliver the programs, and
  • Sources of funding for programs.

Report also provides additional statistics on and links to U.S. youth sports participation and youth obesity data compiled by the U.S. Center for Disease Control. 

YSCN members and all 64 organizations/individuals that took the survey receive a free PDF copy.  Go to Member Benefits for details on membership. Media and bloggers may request a free copy by contacting [email protected].

All others may purchase the report (see links below) as a PDF at a price based on the buyer's use – used only by the individual ($15) or used by an entire organization ($45) which can be shared with employees and board directors for the purchasing organization.

To purchase report please send an e-mail to [email protected] and indicate whether report's use is for personal or organizational use.