• Pop Warner League Nixes Season, Blames Flag Football

    by Jason Scott August 2016

    As safety concerns surrounding youth football continue to mount, a growing number of players (and their parents) are opting for non-contact options, leaving tackle football teams and leagues suddenly low on participants.

  • Indiana Communities Up the Ante in Rec Offerings

    by South Bend Tribune August 2016

    Sports, recreation and outdoor adventure activities have become so popular that they are now essential elements in a community's way of life. Cities and regions in the last several years have rushed to cater to those tastes, nurturing parks, beefing up outdoor activities and even building sprawling swimming and recreation centers.

  • Nonprofit Expands Youth Sports Offerings

    by Allison Steele August 2016

    This fall, children who join the Camden Youth Soccer Club will have two fields to play on, twice as many as last year. For $5, they will get uniforms, shin guards, socks, and 10 weeks of Saturday games and practices. More than 100 new players will be part of the action.

  • Pickleball Fans Clamoring for More Courts

    by Jim Swenson August 2016

    Pickleball is picking up so much momentum in Dubuque and the tri-states, participants are lobbying for more courts. "We're outgrowing Flora Park very quickly," active Dubuque player Jay Imhof, 64, said of the four tennis and two volleyball courts that can be adjusted for pickleball. "When we're playing, we often have eight to 10 people sitting out and waiting." Roger Smith, 77, estimates there are 70-90 local players. Many play weekly at regular times, mostly in the mornings.

  • Ex-Gang Leader Now Mentors Youths Through Football

    by Steve Blackledge August 2016

    After serving 13 years, Derrick "Mad Dog" Russell was granted his release for good behavior and later had his four-year probation suspended. In 2008, he founded Listen Good Youth. The mission statement emphasizes providing self-knowledge, self-confidence and leadership skills to at-risk youths ages 4 to 14 through sports, in hopes of preventing juvenile delinquency and other bad influences such as gangs and drugs.

  • Can Playground ‘Zoning’ Make Kids More Active?

    by Jason Scott August 2016

    Active kids are healthy kids. This is a well-known fact, and an important justification for what most grade school students would call their favorite period of the school day – recess.

  • Pickleball Event Expected to Draw 250 Players

    by By GREG MELLEN, Staff Writer August 2016

    Invented in 1965 by a state legislator in Washington and two friends, pickleball is a mix of tennis, badminton and pingpong. It is played with a graphite paddle and a lightweight perforated plastic ball that resembles a Wiffle ball on a badminton-sized court. Proponents say pickleball, initially a sport played mostly by seniors, is the fastest-growing sport in the world.

  • Parks & Rec Dept. Finds Efficiency in Online Sign-Ups

    by Brian Bethel August 2016

    From men’s flag football to dog obedience programs to youth volleyball, the city of Abilene’s Parks & Recreation Department has made online registration for activities, facilities rental and memberships easier and more personalized.

  • Supporting Child's Athletic Dreams a Costly Endeavor

    by Telegram & Gazette August 2016

    The Olympics spark hope in many a child of going for the gold. But in financially supporting those dreams, some parents are going for broke. For his 15-year old son’s travel hockey team, Tim Richmeier was spending about $5,000 a season: using his tax refunds, halting contributions to his 401(k), and putting travel expenses on a credit card — including $6,000 he’s still paying off. Richmeier said it was a great experience for his child. But after four years, it was a financial relief when his son didn’t make the team. “I was kind of dreading the upcoming season, knowing I’d go deeper in the hole,” said Richmeier, a single father in Phoenix. Competitive youth sports in the U.S. are rising in popularity. The exclusive club and travel teams come with added coaching and intense competition, as well as much higher costs than a school or community team.

  • Opinion: Overzealous Parents Ruin Fun of Youth Sports

    by Tom Purcell August 2016

    My father believed that the purpose of sports — especially sports for children — was for kids to have fun and to learn basic lessons about life. Winning in life is important, he believed. But there are more important things, such as fairness, honesty and integrity.