Francis7 posted:
2019OF posted:

10 years ago kids played baseball even if they didn't want to because someone made them. Parents are less likely to make their kids play a sport, and most don't have passion for it anyway so they'd rather play video games. Nothing wrong with it, just the way it is.

I think this is part of it on the youth level.  Go back to the 1970's.  There was no youth soccer, LAX, ice hockey, etc.  You wanted your kid to do something outside in the spring, he played baseball.  Today, if the parent just wants to get them off the couch, there's other sports to "play" where you can also "hide" better on the field if you really don't have the skill for it.

I think this is the real story, there are tons of options now.  I live in GA now, and baseball is still huge with travel ball, and reasonable rec leagues exist as well, but the kids I teach pretty much all play multiple sports in MS. Mostly by HS, they're picking one or two. Sometimes baseball makes the cut, sometimes it doesn't.

Our HS Varsity coach used to run a "coaches clinic" for all the tee ball and little league coaches that ran about 2 hours and was scheduled before the season started.  Most of the coaches had played, but few had coached.  It was a good idea because it promoted some consistency in approach and gave everyone a set of drills and skill development ideas that maybe not everyone would have taught.  During the clinic, he must have said at least 25 times that if you don't keep your practices lively, moving and entertaining, the next time you see your players, they will have a LAX stick in their hand.  He was right.

Smitty28 posted:

This article in today's WSJ claims that the number of people playing baseball has grown 21% since 2014 and is the hottest sport.  Sorry, it's behind a pay wall.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/i...95?mod=hp_lead_pos10

 

That corresponds to what I'm seeing. 

Similar article from last year about soccer's decline:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/0...r-youth-decline.html

Quote: "Yet in recent years, while soccer continued declining, baseball and basketball experienced upticks, buoyed by developmental programs begun by Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association."

FWIW, the numbers from that WSJ article:

  • Baseball participation 2013: 13.4 million
  • Baseball participation 2018: 15.9 million
  • "Tackle football participation dropped 3.4% in the past five years. Hockey and soccer saw one-year drops of 3.8% and 4.3%, respectively, in 2018."

In the coming years, I fear there is going to be a fairly significant decline in kids playing baseball.

Consider the demographics of the young white population (baseball is overwhelmingly a white sport). Nationally, whites under the age of ten lost 1.2 million kids from 2010 to 2017. The decline in white children is pervasive occurring in  43 states and 81 of the largest 100 metropolitan areas. This trend has taken place over four-fifths of the nation's  3,100 counties.

The recent boost in baseball participation is kids fleeing football (mostly due to concussion concerns).

2020-RHP-Dad posted:

In the coming years, I fear there is going to be a fairly significant decline in kids playing baseball.

Consider the demographics of the young white population (baseball is overwhelmingly a white sport). Nationally, whites under the age of ten lost 1.2 million kids from 2010 to 2017. The decline in white children is pervasive occurring in  43 states and 81 of the largest 100 metropolitan areas. This trend has taken place over four-fifths of the nation's  3,100 counties.

The recent boost in baseball participation is kids fleeing football (mostly due to concussion concerns).

Are you sure you're not counting the "non-Hispanic white" population, rather than the "white" population?

Around here, I might say that baseball is an overwhelmingly Hispanic sport.

Where are all the baseball players going????? Well I think all this technology stuff has something to do with it. Back when sports was something you did because it was the thing. Now look at the kids and they spend much of their waking hours texting or tweeting or ....... also now everything has to be organized. I can not tell you the last time I saw a bunch of kids playing stick ball or just on a sandlot playing by themselves. And when I played in the street or we went to the sandlot it did not cost anything. Now you want to play it has a price tag. I see these "travel teams" and the costs to parents. You want to play you got to pay. and it does not start when the kid is 14 or 15? 

 

This is overblown.  Last time I saw "cup" ball, was in the hallway at my middle school yesterday.  And my son would proudly tell you about the # of hours he logged on his favorite computer game, while also doing both his schoolwork and getting to college baseball (though, not surprisingly, I don't see him pop up online that much on his games now that he's away from home).

Will posted:

Now you want to play it has a price tag. I see these "travel teams" and the costs to parents. You want to play you got to pay. and it does not start when the kid is 14 or 15? 

 

Back in my day, we kids roamed the neighborhood from morning til dinner playing baseball, football, army, riding bikes, etc. But today little Johnny 9U has a private pitching coach, hitting coach, and nutritionist. He plays travel ball spring, summer, and fall. At 9 years old, baseball is a job and an future college or pro opportunity and no longer a fun game to play with friends.

I have no idea how to fix it. Parents keep throwing money into Johnny 9U and there are all too many private coaches, travel teams, and showcases willing to take that money. Even Little League is corrupt with money and power.

Somebody needs to come up with a new Sandlot League where the kids play wiffle ball or share a few wood bats and play. The only coaches are at group clinics and practices, not games. On game days players choose up sides and just play ball. Kids get a t-shirt and a cap for their uniforms. Parents are required to leave the field at practices and games and only one non-parent umpire is there to help supervise each game.

 

Back in my day???  say that and you turn off those who think they reinvented the game. as one who belongs to back in the day I like to remind those who scoff at that that the bases were 90' and the pitcher still stood 60feet 6 inches from home plate which is still 17 inches wide.  I remember  trying out for a team yes trying out. Might have been 150 kids. You made the team and you "traveled" around the city to play other teams. You sold chances and 50 50 tickets to pay for it. Now lets have a travel team pay your money you travel to some far away destination pay an entrance fee for some tournament that guarantees you 3 games in a weekend. Plus you have to pay for lodging? I know my parents "Back in the day" could never have afforded that. Hitting coaches pitching coaches money money money. I will be honest and I go to high school games and I see some stuff that I just shake my head. On a lighter note I remember "Back in the day " hitting bottle caps with a broom handle. we found the bottle caps and the broom handle was found as well. did not cost a cent.

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