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Number of American kids playing baseball fell 24% over the past decade


endzone_dave

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712504576232753156582750.html?mod=e2tw

I have an 8 year old son and he plays lacrosse and swims. The article did hit upon one of the main points why my son doesn't play baseball. Since my son likes watching tv and playing video games, I want him to play in sports where you don't stand around most of the time. Plus, how many world series games has he watched: zero - since those games usually end between 11:30 pm and midnight.

Looks like tough times ahead for baseball if they are losing the younger generation.

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I'm not super surprised by that stat. Baseball has seemingly been declining in popularity over the years. I think there are more opportunities for kids to be involved in more fast-paced sports and people just aren't watching baseball like they used to back in the day.

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Long gone are the sandlots and the dreams of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Now all the youth teams are hyper-organized leagues and the stars are all dopers. Combine that with the rise and accessibility of other youth sports and baseball was bound to see a decline.

That said, my son 9, still loves baseball and basketball.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712504576232753156582750.html?mod=e2tw

I have an 8 year old son and he plays lacrosse and swims. The article did hit upon one of the main points why my son doesn't play baseball. Since my son likes watching tv and playing video games, I want him to play in sports where you don't stand around most of the time. Plus, how many world series games has he watched: zero - since those games usually end between 11:30 pm and midnight.

Looks like tough times ahead for baseball if they are losing the younger generation.

You know...kids want to emulate what they see and other sports translate better to television. Sure, you might take your kids to see the Nats or O's a couple times in a summer, but TV is where kids will fall in love with sports now. Like you said, when the games REALLY matter in baseball, they are on too late for kids to watch. The NFL is awesome to watch on TV and interest is there. When I was growing up, I would LISTEN to baseball every night as I was going to sleep.

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Not to mention the cost to play baseball. Parents have to buy their kids a glove, bat, and balls to play the game, where as all you need to play basketball and football is a ball and hoop (for bball). Plus Selig has done a horrible job promoting his game. Games take too long to keep a kid's attention on TV, and playoff and World Series games start way too late for kids on the east coast, so kids miss out on watching the best players and games MLB has.

It's no surprise that football and basketball have vastly surpassed baseball in popularity with kids. Both sports have more action in their games, and don't take 5+ hours for a game to conclude.

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Long gone are the sandlots and the dreams of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. Now all the youth teams are hyper-organized leagues and the stars are all dopers. Combine that with the rise and accessibility of other youth sports and baseball was bound to see a decline.

That said, my son 9, still loves baseball and basketball.

That's a great point. Everyone is putting their kids in everything they can. We don't just let our kids gather somewhere and play pickup sports like we used to.

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From the article,

"Studies suggest more people now play soccer in the U.S. than baseball."

Check out the ball fields in your area, most kids are playing soccer not baseball.

Haven't kids always played soccer more than baseball? I thought soccer was that "gateway sport" that every kid played for a few years before figuring out what they really wanted to play. It's not like too many kids stick with soccer past a certain point.

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Baseball was easily my least favorite of the sports I played. It's just not very fun, especially if you're not a good hitter.

I hated (and sucked at) soccer. I would guess kids tend to enjoy what they are relatively good at. I enjoyed playing basketball growing up because I was the best at it. When it comes to sports I followed as a kid/follow now, basketball is a distant third.

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You also have to factor in the sports that are now offered during the spring time. Lacrosse being a major one in this area and all up and down the east coast. As a youth, you can only really play one sport a season. A lot more choices out there.

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Haven't kids always played soccer more than baseball? I thought soccer was that "gateway sport" that every kid played for a few years before figuring out what they really wanted to play. It's not like too many kids stick with soccer past a certain point.

When they figure out that there's money to be made in baseball, they probably move on. :devil:

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When they figure out that there's money to be made in baseball, they probably move on. :devil:

Agreed...

I just didn't understand why that quoted comment implied that soccer being played more often by kids is a new development. Maybe I just completely misjudged how things were when I was a kid, but every kid my age played soccer and only some of us moved on to baseball.

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i am 43 year old american, raised in McLean by a father that loved baseball.... and I have never once in my entire life played, or wanted to play, baseball (standard fast pitch baseball). In gym we played softball occasionally (and it was a real snoozefest) and as an adult I have been on an occasional softball team, mostly because softball is better aligned with standing around a keg drinking beer and jawing than any other "sports" (other than perhaps darts and bowling, which are roughly equivelent in terms of physical energy expenditure.)

I can actually hit fairly decently... but i throw a baseball like i was raised in a convent in Oxford. I can throw a football INFINITELY more accurately and harder, which just plain and simple shouldn't be possible--- except for the fact that my arm has thousands of hours of footbal throwing muscle memory, and perhaps a grand total of 4 hours of baseball (and that is generously including in snowball fights ---since it is the same mechanics.)

baseball is a snooze.

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Not to mention the cost to play baseball. Parents have to buy their kids a glove, bat, and balls to play the game, where as all you need to play basketball and football is a ball and hoop (for bball). Plus Selig has done a horrible job promoting his game. Games take too long to keep a kid's attention on TV, and playoff and World Series games start way too late for kids on the east coast, so kids miss out on watching the best players and games MLB has.

It's no surprise that football and basketball have vastly surpassed baseball in popularity with kids. Both sports have more action in their games, and don't take 5+ hours for a game to conclude.

Holy smokes you aren't kidding.. baseball is an expensive sport.

When I was a kid we showed up with a glove,, they gave us a uniform, the coach had a bag of bats and we shared about 5 or 6 helmets.

Now every kid has a bat bag with at least one composite bat that costs an arm and a leg. (Bats can be $200!), a $100 glove, $25 batting glove, personal helmet, cleats, shin guards.. my son of course played catcher so it's even more money. (He's decided to give it up and isn't playing this year. Wants to try tennis instead.)

A youth baseball season can easily cost 500 bucks before you even register.

~Bang

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It wasn't attractive to our kids. Our daughter played when she was very young and the coaches were lobbing the ball. But how much of youth baseball and softball is watching the pitcher either strike everyone out, or walk everyone? It's a snoozefest where most of the kids don't get to participate. And they don't get much exercise either.

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I don't have any kids, but I go to my great nephews games. He's 8. He loves baseball more than any of the sports hes played. He started off in flag football and played tackle football this past year and liked it alot, but not as much as baseball. He started off in t-ball. He tried soccer and hated it. I has never played organized basketball, but he's pretty good at it. He likes to play tennis and golf. The kid has a natural swing in baseball, tennis and golf. I've been amazed at watching him. He's been one of the 3 best players on any team he's been on.

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It wasn't attractive to our kids. Our daughter played when she was very young and the coaches were lobbing the ball. But how much of youth baseball and softball is watching the pitcher either strike everyone out, or walk everyone? It's a snoozefest where most of the kids don't get to participate. And they don't get much exercise either.

It's funny...that is something that would seem to be a recent deterrent. I hate to start a sentence this way but...back in my day, when it came to signing me up for sports, my parents didn't care one bit how much exercise I would get. They knew that during the other 22 hours of the day I'd be swimming, playing sports on my own, riding my bike, running around the neighborhood, etc. Now, it makes perfect sense for a parent to try to enlist their kids in the most efficient activities possible. With sports other than baseball, they can learn and play a sport while also getting some good fitness in there. That has to make you feel less guilty when you look over later that day and your kid is on the computer or playing a video game.

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I was into football, basketball, swimming and soccer (youth leagues). I never showed much interest in baseball when it was probably the most popular sport while I grew up in the 70s/80s. I played tennis and roller hockey in the neighborhood. I tried racquetball and golf as an adult.

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