Remember the infamous New Orleans Saints bounty scandal that dominated sports headlines for much of last year? Well apparently the bounty effect has trickled down to youth sports, including kids as young as eight years old. A recent survey conducted by I9 Sports discovered some alarming numbers on bounties and injuries in youth sports.
The Riverview, FL sports league franchise company surveyed 348 athletes nationwide between the ages of eight and 14, asking them general questions about injuries in team sports.
I9's survey reveals 11 percent of youth athletes claim to have been offered some form of reward, or "bounty," as an incentive to injure an opposing player.
The survey also showed 30 percent of respondents have been "secretly glad" when a player on the other team got hurt. Meanwhile, 16 percent of respondents say either they or a teammate has "tried to hurt a player on the opposing team."
Playing through injuries is also popular with the kids who were surveyed. Almost 70% of respondents said they believe they appear "tough" or "cool" by continuing to play hurt. Nearly 70 percent say they've played sports while hurt and nearly 50 percent said they've hidden an injury to continue playing. Of course, this shouldn't come as a complete shock to AB readers. Last September we covered this story about Pop Warner football coaches reportedly offering cash incentives to their 10 and 11-year-old players for particularly violent hits, and even larger incentives for knocking opponents out of games.
However, these I9 survey results indicate the issue of bounties in youth sports, and an overall culture of win-at-all-costs competition, extends further than that one isolated incident.
Are you surprised by these survey results? Or this the nature of youth sports these days? We'd love to hear your input in the comments section.