• Playgrounds Need More Elements of Risk, Experts Say

    by Emily Attwood January 2013

    The thrill of the playground is gone. It hasn't just been supplanted by the lure of high-tech gadgets and fast-paced video games, although those do take their share of the blame for the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. The real problem, say playground researchers and child development professionals, is that building standards like those specified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission limiting how fast or high a child can go and accessibility requirements dictating equipment placement have brought too much order to playgrounds, making them unappealing to children.

  • Blog: Spring Training Is Not Just for Baseball Anymore

    by Mary Helen Sprecher January 2013

    February is kind of a black hole, fitness-wise. Here in Maryland, at least, people tend to stay inside and hibernate, and not work out. February is when New Year's resolutions run out of gas and motivation starts to wear thin. Add in the fact that the stores are marketing Valentine's candy like crazy, and you pretty much have all the ingredients for a seasonal flatline at your facility. Unless, of course, you find a way to hook people's interest.

  • Blog: Who Will Govern Obstacle Racing? Anybody?

    by Mary Helen Sprecher December 2012

    Here's a question for enthusiasts of sports and fitness minutiae (I know you exist): When has a sport grown to the point that it requires a national governing body?

  • ABC: 'Let's Talk Sports' Aims to Reach Youngest Athletes

    by Emily Attwood November 2012

    Youth sports aren't what they were 30 years ago, when kids organized their own games and played wherever space allowed. Today, youth sports is highly organized and structured, and children often are under immense pressure to perform their best. Those who don't spend their time on the benches, where they're missing out not just on the opportunity to hone their physical skills, but the essential life skills that naturally develop. On Thursday at the Athletic Business Conference, after a session on how to set up successful relationships and field management arrangements with the volunteer sports organizations overseeing a greater percentage of youth sports, the National Alliance for Youth Sports unveiled its newest online program, Let's Talk Sports.

  • 2012 Excellence in Youth Sports Award Winner: Gwinnett County (Ga.) Parks and Recreation

    by NAYS Staff November 2012

    Between the teamwork that takes place out on the fields by young athletes and the teamwork of staff and volunteers needed to serve 48,000 youngsters, Gwinnett (Ga.) County Parks and Recreation is a go-to player in a true sports town.

  • 2012 Excellence In Youth Sports Award Winner: Hillsborough County (Fla.) Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department's Youth Athletic Services

    by NAYS Staff November 2012

    More than 32,000 youth athletes play on the fields, rinks and courts of the Hillsborough County (Fla.) Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. That is a lot of young lives that are influenced by the coaches and parents that volunteer in these local youth sports programs.

  • 2012 Excellence in Youth Sports Award Winner: Churchville (Md.) Recreation Council

    by NAYS Staff November 2012

    The Churchville (Md.) Recreation Council has been a leader on the local youth sports landscape for more than 40 years. The council was founded under the auspices of the Harford County Recreation Department to provide the community with quality recreation and leisure activities, and has been organized entirely by volunteers since its inception.

  • Blog: Stacking - Perfect for Guinness, Not a Sport

    by Mary Helen Sprecher October 2012

    If you're a sports aficionado, I know, absolutely know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you've used this sentence:

  • Blog: Looking Deeper Into Our Cancellations

    by Rob Bishop and Barry Klein October 2012

    There is nothing that ruins our collective mood quicker than a flood of cancellation requests. And man, have we been in a bad mood lately.

  • Parks and Recreation Departments Benefit from Sports Tourism

    by Emily Attwood September 2012

    In 2005, parks and recreation operations manager Joel Dunn approached the Carson City, Nev., convention and visitors bureau with a proposal to boost sports tourism in the city.