Diversity is a focal point and leading indicator in many aspects of America life, including youth sports. In a country as diverse as the United States, youth sports in the U.S. seem to lack a certain level of diversity that one would expect
One in every one hundred families in the country have a child with a disability that can interfere with their ability to pursue sports. Similarly, these parents also report that their local schools do not have any disability-based sports programs for their children to enjoy.
Age / Gender
The mean age of entry into team or organized sports is earlier for boys than for girls. The average sports entry age for boys is 6.8, while the average entry age for girls is 7.4, with 6.6 the average age for white children, 8.2 for Hispanic children, and 7.7 for black children. Is there less opportunity for females or minorities to join organized sports? According to recent studies, only 18 states have enough roster slots for only half of the girls enrolled in high school.
- Only 16% of all boys and 15% of all girls who participate in youth sports are African-American
- Only 15% of male athletes and 17% of female athletes are Hispanic
- Only 12% of Asian boys and 8% of Asian girls play sports
Children who live in urban areas will often have fewer opportunities to enjoy sports in an organized environment as well. Twenty five percent of all teenage girls who live in cities have reported that they have not had the chance to participate in any type of organized sport.
For families that generate less income, the entry age for most children into any organized sporting activities is usually much lower, comparing an average of 6.3 years old in households that generate over one hundred thousand dollars to 8.1 years old in households that make under thirty thousand.
To learn more about the diversity and demographics in American youth sports, checkout this infographic below created by Ohio University’s Ohio University Online Master’s in Coaching Education.