• Blog: An Event That Really Colors Outside the Lines

    by Mary Helen Sprecher July 2012

    I'm pretty used to seeing photos pop up on my Facebook page, shared by friends who have participated in everything from racquetball tournaments to obstacle races. The most interesting album of late was posted by a friend who had been involved in something called the Color Run.

  • Increasing Participation in Recreation Programs

    by Emily Attwood June 2012

    The last few years have been a mixed bag for the recreation industry. The recession brought with it budget cuts that forced many recreation departments to get creative.

  • Blog: Parks and Rec Programs Are, Well, Wonderful

    by Mary Helen Sprecher June 2012

    Last year, the National Recreation and Park Association brought us "Rock Your Park" as the theme for July, designated as Park and Recreation Month. This year, with the countdown to the end of the school year going strong among kids, NRPA has released its new campaign, "GET WILD about parks."

  • Communities Find Solutions to Sports Field Shortages

    by Emily Attwood April 2012

    A dedicated push by communities across the country to get youths off the couch and out playing appears to be paying off.

  • Blog: Obstacles to Serving Obstacle Racers

    by Mary Helen Sprecher April 2012

    Like skinny jeans and Ugg boots, fitness goes through trends. And just as with skinny jeans and Ugg boots, those trends aren't for everyone. Discerning individuals recognize that. Those who aren't discerning become fashion victims, or in this case, fitness victims.

  • Blog: NGB Drops the Ball on 'Try Our Sport Month'

    by Mary Helen Sprecher March 2012

    The other day, I was doing some research for an article, and happened to be on the website of a national governing body. I'm leaving the sport nameless, because a) I don't want to point fingers, and b) I know this particular NGB doesn't own the patent on this type of screw-up.

  • Sprint Football is Witnessing a Growth Spurt

    by Paul Steinbach March 2012

    Bruce Kirsh has been associated with Franklin Pierce University for more than four decades as a student-athlete, coach and administrator.

  • Recreation Departments Restructure to Maximize Efficiency

    by Emily Attwood February 2012

    Cities and recreation departments have been slashing services and staff, struggling to operate within their budgets without sacrificing programs.

  • ABC 2011: Stop Bullying in Youth Sports

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor December 2011

    Youth sports in 2011 is full of way too much anger, selfishness, win-at-all-costs attitude and poor sportsmanship on the part of players, coaches and parents. So says Andrew Zitoli, principal of Millis (Mass.) Middle School, who was on a mission Friday morning at the Athletic Business Conference in Orlando, Fla., to change the culture of youth sports by addressing bullying. Stopping bullying, he reasoned, would go a long way toward eliminating some of the other problems facing youth sports today.

  • ABC 2011: Counting Up the Costs of Recreation Programs

    by Andrew Cohen December 2011

    Striding up and down the aisle of his packed seminar room, Chris Nunes is talking about "Budgets, Cost Recovery and Pricing in Action" and asking Athletic Business Conference attendees to back up what he's saying by comparing their experiences with his own. Everybody's nodding; they've been there. The director of parks and recreation for The Woodlands Township in Texas, Nunes has in the first 20 minutes committed to memory where various members of his audience work. As he talks, he addresses them as "Nova Scotia," "Dallas" or "Phillips Exeter," as in, "Will that work, Phillips Exeter?" When he asks that last question of an audience member, the answer is bound to be no. Nunes' habit of acquainting himself with his audience helps him drive the point home repeatedly that what's going to fly in his Texas park district, where the property of every home owner abuts one of the master-planned community's 121 parks, might not get airborne in the Canadian Maritimes.