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Declining football participation
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OdinFrigg Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Declining football participation
College coaches are looking at potential recruits in lower grades. Prior, it was basically a focus on HS seniors, and rising juniors. Different methods and tactics have been employed to cultivate future recruits and grow the bond with feeder schools. Some private schools fundamentally have an unwritten purpose to accept athletes of interests that may later be channeled to particular colleges and universities. And of course, these private HSs get rewarded by contributions from influential individuals but not directly by higher education institutions that benefit.

Recruitment pressures on coaches and ADs are immense at many places.

I'd like to see a lottery system eventually emerge whereby recruits seeking scholarships list their top five or so choices and a semi-draft system is enacted. Academic factors would be incorporated into the process. It may aleviate some of the recruiting absurdities and certain behaviors contrary to rules. Whatever, something needs to be done to clean up a messy system whereby some play by the rules and are more ethical; and others don't and get away with it.
(This post was last modified: 10-18-2017 10:58 AM by OdinFrigg.)
10-18-2017 10:55 AM
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Post: #22
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 04:38 AM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(10-17-2017 03:48 PM)Wedge Wrote:  For college sports other than football and men's basketball, I could understand that because the resources for recruiting are very limited. They recruit from travel teams because they are getting athletes who have competed in the sport for several years at progressively more competitive levels. Also, because coaching staffs are stretched thin, it's efficient to have a coach spend a weekend at a large tournament of travel teams, because the coach can watch many potential recruits in 2-3 days.

That's a tactic happening in soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse, too. Can't forget camps.

Where it comes to limited resources, I'll sell. There's more money and larger staffing lines running through football and basketball; the ever-rising salary lines aren't for increased responsibilities but for retention. I'd argue the expansion of staff in football and basketball programs is due to responsibilities taken off of your head coach and top coordinators and assistants and the need for their address elsewhere among the staff.

And camps, if coaches get in on that action, is frosting for compensation. It also looks like a pay-for-play scheme. You pay money for your kid to be seen by coaches and assistants because it's likely they won't bother coming out to see your kid otherwise.

So as a father of several toddlers, what should I do to give my kids the same type of athletic experience I had?

I was athletic but a late grower. Freshman year of high school, I was 5'2" and 120 lbs. But I played on my high school football team (didn't see the Varsity field much, but played a lot on Frosh and JV teams the first 3 years). I played organized organized basketball and baseball all the way through 12th grade.

We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?
10-18-2017 11:13 AM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 11:13 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?

Yes, undoubtedly. Your kids will have these opportunities without concern.

One thing to look into - what is the size of the HS your kids will attend? We bought in a school district where the HS has only 700 kids total. But originally we were looking in an areas with the main HS having 3,800 kids, or around 1,000 kids per class.

The opportunities for athletic advancement are certainly limited at a HS with 3,800 kids.
10-18-2017 12:12 PM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 11:13 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 04:38 AM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(10-17-2017 03:48 PM)Wedge Wrote:  For college sports other than football and men's basketball, I could understand that because the resources for recruiting are very limited. They recruit from travel teams because they are getting athletes who have competed in the sport for several years at progressively more competitive levels. Also, because coaching staffs are stretched thin, it's efficient to have a coach spend a weekend at a large tournament of travel teams, because the coach can watch many potential recruits in 2-3 days.

That's a tactic happening in soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse, too. Can't forget camps.

Where it comes to limited resources, I'll sell. There's more money and larger staffing lines running through football and basketball; the ever-rising salary lines aren't for increased responsibilities but for retention. I'd argue the expansion of staff in football and basketball programs is due to responsibilities taken off of your head coach and top coordinators and assistants and the need for their address elsewhere among the staff.

And camps, if coaches get in on that action, is frosting for compensation. It also looks like a pay-for-play scheme. You pay money for your kid to be seen by coaches and assistants because it's likely they won't bother coming out to see your kid otherwise.

So as a father of several toddlers, what should I do to give my kids the same type of athletic experience I had?

I was athletic but a late grower. Freshman year of high school, I was 5'2" and 120 lbs. But I played on my high school football team (didn't see the Varsity field much, but played a lot on Frosh and JV teams the first 3 years). I played organized organized basketball and baseball all the way through 12th grade.

We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?

There are definitely opportunities. I think it's more about the expectations of what level you want them to play eventually at. This could also be impacted by local circumstances (e.g. how large your high school enrollment is). Our district's high schools have over 3000 students each, so it's extremely competitive to get one of 12 spots on the basketball team. It's going to be a lot different at a much smaller school that still has the same 12 basketball team spots.

This is just my personal experience: when my kids were toddlers, we simply let them try lots of different activities at an intro level (e.g. baseball/softball, basketball, karate, dance, gymnastics, piano, tennis, swimming, etc.). From that point, your kids will generally figure out what they like to do and what they don't like to do and then go from there in terms of how you want to focus. I totally understand the time aspect, as my son would play 8 sports at a time if he could, but there are only so many hours in a day (or even a year). They're in third grade now and it has become more focused where my son is playing essentially one team sport per season (baseball in the spring/summer, soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and low intensity flag football sprinkled in), my daughter has dance and gymnastics during the school year and then softball in the summer, and they both have piano lessons every week. It's definitely a busy schedule, but they're doing these activities because *they* want to do them specifically and it took a few years for them to figure out what they actually liked to do.

Separately, it's really about expectations. If you're looking for recreational opportunities, I think those are widely available for many sports and many different levels. Going back to my son, he's playing rec league soccer simply because he likes running out there and his coach is great, but it's definitely a weak sport for him compared to the others. In contrast, we're starting travel basketball for him this year for the first time because he's showing more talent in that sport and he (*not* me or my wife) told us that he wanted to get much better at a higher level. I think he'll eventually want the same for baseball (which he also loves), but he can also end up playing in the more rec-based Little League if he wants to, as well. Regardless, if the idea is to play organized sports and you're not really concerned about whether they're making a varsity high school team (much less a college scholarship), then there are lots of good programs out there. You can definitely still play organized sports without needing to engage in the frenzy of club or travel team sports.
(This post was last modified: 10-18-2017 12:23 PM by Frank the Tank.)
10-18-2017 12:22 PM
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 11:13 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  So as a father of several toddlers, what should I do to give my kids the same type of athletic experience I had?

I was athletic but a late grower. Freshman year of high school, I was 5'2" and 120 lbs. But I played on my high school football team (didn't see the Varsity field much, but played a lot on Frosh and JV teams the first 3 years). I played organized organized basketball and baseball all the way through 12th grade.

We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?

I don't think it's a lost cause...but, if you aren't going to do travel teams, and you want your kids to have access to opportunities, I'd think camps would help fill in gaps for networking and form, so that you're seen and known around the local coaching network.
10-18-2017 02:18 PM
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The Cutter of Bish Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 12:12 PM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 11:13 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?

Yes, undoubtedly. Your kids will have these opportunities without concern.

One thing to look into - what is the size of the HS your kids will attend? We bought in a school district where the HS has only 700 kids total. But originally we were looking in an areas with the main HS having 3,800 kids, or around 1,000 kids per class.

The opportunities for athletic advancement are certainly limited at a HS with 3,800 kids.

Yeah, and it's not like there aren't others thinking about the same things, and you settling in a place doesn't mean your access is any more assured than someone who happens to go live with another parent or guardian for a couple of years...

And, of course, be extremely mindful of the academic prestige of the local districts and how many private schools consider the area part of its territory. Where I live, I would NEVER settle on the 1A or 2A public schools with certain sports (there's a fantastic 1A school nearby, but it doesn't offer football). 4A or private only. Now, if I went out to the Lehigh Valley or Harrisburg area, that might be more tolerable...
(This post was last modified: 10-18-2017 02:30 PM by The Cutter of Bish.)
10-18-2017 02:29 PM
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Post: #27
RE: Declining football participation
Thing is despite the hype that you MUST specialize, the guys who get the coaches lusting after them tend to be guys playing two or more sports.
10-18-2017 04:17 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 11:13 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  So as a father of several toddlers, what should I do to give my kids the same type of athletic experience I had?

I was athletic but a late grower. Freshman year of high school, I was 5'2" and 120 lbs. But I played on my high school football team (didn't see the Varsity field much, but played a lot on Frosh and JV teams the first 3 years). I played organized organized basketball and baseball all the way through 12th grade.

We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?

I would recommend getting them into the thriving Cincy curling circuit, if you start them now they should be a shoe-in for the 2038 Anchorage Olympics.

I was not very athletic as a kid, to be honest I was bit overweight through high school so that plus topping out at 5 foot 6 realistically doomed me from serious athletic competition. I did marching band anyways so that's where I spent my time, I guess it 'worked' in that I was able to play college (ignoring the fact Miami doesn't have tryouts or anything) and had rec league baseball to have fun with. Looking back it would've been interesting if I went to kicking or punting camp as a little kid and tried to get really good at it. Anyone who played football can correct me but I always got the impression that not many schools have players who specialize in special teams since the people who'd be best at it are usually great athletes who'd have more value to the team elsewhere, and as such starting young can give you an edge when competing for scarce scholarships.
10-18-2017 04:59 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 04:17 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  Thing is despite the hype that you MUST specialize, the guys who get the coaches lusting after them tend to be guys playing two or more sports.

Yup. This is a tweet that Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys GM, wrote after this year's NFL draft.

Quote:Gil Brandt‏
@Gil_Brandt

When a coach pressures your kid into not playing 2 sports tell him to stick it in his ear ... 222 of 253 drafted in 2017 played 2 HS sports.

1:26 PM - 12 May 2017
10-18-2017 05:29 PM
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Post: #30
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 11:13 AM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 04:38 AM)The Cutter of Bish Wrote:  
(10-17-2017 03:48 PM)Wedge Wrote:  For college sports other than football and men's basketball, I could understand that because the resources for recruiting are very limited. They recruit from travel teams because they are getting athletes who have competed in the sport for several years at progressively more competitive levels. Also, because coaching staffs are stretched thin, it's efficient to have a coach spend a weekend at a large tournament of travel teams, because the coach can watch many potential recruits in 2-3 days.

That's a tactic happening in soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse, too. Can't forget camps.

Where it comes to limited resources, I'll sell. There's more money and larger staffing lines running through football and basketball; the ever-rising salary lines aren't for increased responsibilities but for retention. I'd argue the expansion of staff in football and basketball programs is due to responsibilities taken off of your head coach and top coordinators and assistants and the need for their address elsewhere among the staff.

And camps, if coaches get in on that action, is frosting for compensation. It also looks like a pay-for-play scheme. You pay money for your kid to be seen by coaches and assistants because it's likely they won't bother coming out to see your kid otherwise.

So as a father of several toddlers, what should I do to give my kids the same type of athletic experience I had?

I was athletic but a late grower. Freshman year of high school, I was 5'2" and 120 lbs. But I played on my high school football team (didn't see the Varsity field much, but played a lot on Frosh and JV teams the first 3 years). I played organized organized basketball and baseball all the way through 12th grade.

We don't plan on doing travel teams because we want to have a lot of kids - there simply won't be time. Is there any hope of finding opportunities for my kids to play on an organized team sport?

There's Y soccer that goes into middle school at least without travel teams. There's church basketball leagues all over that go into middle school at least for girls and generally high school for boys. There's flag football leagues that go into middle school.

Baseball is tougher. You pretty much have to start early to make the teams.

Now the middle schools have programs. They need the numbers, so you can get into football. Basketball is tougher. There aren't as many players. Soccer can be difficult depending on the school. White upper middle class areas tend to be tough.

Track and cross-country are pretty easy to get into in the schools. In the big cities there are summer swim programs. There must be 150 clubs with kids' teams in the Atlanta area.
10-18-2017 05:48 PM
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arkstfan Online
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Post: #31
RE: Declining football participation
(10-18-2017 05:29 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 04:17 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  Thing is despite the hype that you MUST specialize, the guys who get the coaches lusting after them tend to be guys playing two or more sports.

Yup. This is a tweet that Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys GM, wrote after this year's NFL draft.

Quote:Gil Brandt‏
@Gil_Brandt

When a coach pressures your kid into not playing 2 sports tell him to stick it in his ear ... 222 of 253 drafted in 2017 played 2 HS sports.

1:26 PM - 12 May 2017

Had a coach tell me he loves the two sport guys because they aren't as drilled into doing things the way some amateur or semi-amateur coach told them to do things. Having different experiences, they are easier to coach.
10-19-2017 10:53 AM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Declining football participation
(10-19-2017 10:53 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 05:29 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 04:17 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  Thing is despite the hype that you MUST specialize, the guys who get the coaches lusting after them tend to be guys playing two or more sports.

Yup. This is a tweet that Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys GM, wrote after this year's NFL draft.

Quote:Gil Brandt‏
@Gil_Brandt

When a coach pressures your kid into not playing 2 sports tell him to stick it in his ear ... 222 of 253 drafted in 2017 played 2 HS sports.

1:26 PM - 12 May 2017

Had a coach tell me he loves the two sport guys because they aren't as drilled into doing things the way some amateur or semi-amateur coach told them to do things. Having different experiences, they are easier to coach.

It makes total sense. By playing different sports, you're working on different muscles and adopting different skills instead of having the same repetition over and over again when you only play one sport. A football player that has the footwork of a basketball player or hand-eye coordination of a baseball player is invaluable (and in turn, football skills are similarly transferable to other sports).

Of course, if you've been drafted by the NFL, you will almost certainly have such immense athletic talent that the ability to switch between different sports is a lot different than for most of us plebeians. I played against a few guys in high school that made it to the NFL and they were at an entirely different skill level than any of us... at *basketball*. Allen Iverson was a superstar high school QB, there's a long line of NFL QBs that were also drafted by MLB teams, etc. So, it's almost a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. If you're such an elite level athlete that you can make it to the NFL/NBA/MLB, you inherently have the ability/talent to play a whole slew of other sports at a very high level.
(This post was last modified: 10-19-2017 11:45 AM by Frank the Tank.)
10-19-2017 11:40 AM
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mj4life Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Declining football participation
(10-19-2017 11:40 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(10-19-2017 10:53 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 05:29 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 04:17 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  Thing is despite the hype that you MUST specialize, the guys who get the coaches lusting after them tend to be guys playing two or more sports.

Yup. This is a tweet that Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys GM, wrote after this year's NFL draft.

Quote:Gil Brandt‏
@Gil_Brandt

When a coach pressures your kid into not playing 2 sports tell him to stick it in his ear ... 222 of 253 drafted in 2017 played 2 HS sports.

1:26 PM - 12 May 2017

Had a coach tell me he loves the two sport guys because they aren't as drilled into doing things the way some amateur or semi-amateur coach told them to do things. Having different experiences, they are easier to coach.

It makes total sense. By playing different sports, you're working on different muscles and adopting different skills instead of having the same repetition over and over again when you only play one sport. A football player that has the footwork of a basketball player or hand-eye coordination of a baseball player is invaluable (and in turn, football skills are similarly transferable to other sports).

Of course, if you've been drafted by the NFL, you will almost certainly have such immense athletic talent that the ability to switch between different sports is a lot different than for most of us plebeians. I played against a few guys in high school that made it to the NFL and they were at an entirely different skill level than any of us... at *basketball*. Allen Iverson was a superstar high school QB, there's a long line of NFL QBs that were also drafted by MLB teams, etc. So, it's almost a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. If you're such an elite level athlete that you can make it to the NFL/NBA/MLB, you inherently have the ability/talent to play a whole slew of other sports at a very high level.

We used to refer to guys like this as Natural Athlete's, they could play any sport they choose at a high level
10-19-2017 12:02 PM
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Post: #34
RE: Declining football participation
(10-19-2017 11:40 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(10-19-2017 10:53 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 05:29 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(10-18-2017 04:17 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  Thing is despite the hype that you MUST specialize, the guys who get the coaches lusting after them tend to be guys playing two or more sports.

Yup. This is a tweet that Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys GM, wrote after this year's NFL draft.

Quote:Gil Brandt‏
@Gil_Brandt

When a coach pressures your kid into not playing 2 sports tell him to stick it in his ear ... 222 of 253 drafted in 2017 played 2 HS sports.

1:26 PM - 12 May 2017

Had a coach tell me he loves the two sport guys because they aren't as drilled into doing things the way some amateur or semi-amateur coach told them to do things. Having different experiences, they are easier to coach.

It makes total sense. By playing different sports, you're working on different muscles and adopting different skills instead of having the same repetition over and over again when you only play one sport. A football player that has the footwork of a basketball player or hand-eye coordination of a baseball player is invaluable (and in turn, football skills are similarly transferable to other sports).

Of course, if you've been drafted by the NFL, you will almost certainly have such immense athletic talent that the ability to switch between different sports is a lot different than for most of us plebeians. I played against a few guys in high school that made it to the NFL and they were at an entirely different skill level than any of us... at *basketball*. Allen Iverson was a superstar high school QB, there's a long line of NFL QBs that were also drafted by MLB teams, etc. So, it's almost a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. If you're such an elite level athlete that you can make it to the NFL/NBA/MLB, you inherently have the ability/talent to play a whole slew of other sports at a very high level.
Unrelated (mostly) but heard a soccer commentator say the US was the only place where players WANT to play goal keeper because they play other sports and value defense more and better understand defensive concepts.

A baseball player learns attack angles better than the typical football player because they get so many more reps trying to head off the ball. Basketball players tend to have good footwork and understand how to guard without too much contact.

Playing other sports gives many more reps with skills that translate to football and the typical football player wouldn't get those reps in normal practice.
10-20-2017 10:26 AM
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Post: #35
RE: Declining football participation
It's not surprising that football participation rates are declining. Some of it is due to population shift, so some areas are being affected earlier than others. Over all, I expect this to continue until it hits a stabilization point.

When you factor in the comments Frank made earlier about how the intense competition is trickling down to the lower school grades, I think this will also be a significant contributor to continued declines in sports participation. This is out of necessity because the travel teams only want the best athletes. They're not going to put up with having the overweight glasses wearing kid trying to hit the winning run home because a much more talented player got injured ala one of your typical storylines we were fed as kids.

On top of that, travel team participation can be marriage killers, and at a minimum put unnecessary strains on families. How in the hell do you have 2 working parents with 3 kids each on their own travel team - maybe their own sport - juggle all of this when some slap ass douche rocket coach wants Sat and Sun practice time??? Fvck that. We ensured that our kids had a good balance, and WE monitored how much the kids took on at young ages. If you leave it up to the kids, they'll one to do a sh!t ton of activities - which IMHO is no different than trusting your kid not to gorge himself/herself on candy and get sick...
10-20-2017 12:39 PM
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Ohio Poly Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Declining football participation
New football equipment aims to reduce concussions

https://www.ktnv.com/sports/new-football...oncussions
02-13-2018 10:14 AM
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Wolfman Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Declining football participation
(10-17-2017 12:59 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  I think we're seeing that specialization at all levels of youth sports and it's getting more and more intense.

I spoke to the basketball coach at the middle school (*not* high school) that my kids will attend in a couple of years and he said that a kid isn't realistically making a middle school basketball team in our district today without multiple years of travel team experience. You can say the same for soccer and baseball. Once again, we're talking about *middle* school (not high school).

Here in NC, middle school sports are 2nd tier at best, maybe lower. The travel teams prefer, if not demand, that kids not play middle school sports. There is some risk involved but most travel leagues have restrictions on playing and practice time. They don't want to see that eaten up by middle school sports.
02-13-2018 10:57 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Declining football participation
Maricopa County Community Colleges just ended the football programs at all four colleges in the Phoenix area that had them - Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and Scottsdale.
02-13-2018 11:24 AM
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Stugray2 Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Declining football participation
The ever clueless Dennis Dodd is surprised that the decline is accelerating. The reasons are obvious and numerous. IMO FB peaked a few years ago, maybe five or more years ago. The decline in game day attendance is a clear sign of more trouble ahead. And yes declining High School participation is one of those big reasons - it's a sport "other people" play, not me for the generation coming of age and those growing up.

https://twitter.com/dennisdoddcbs/status...5823509504
Dennis Dodd‏Verified account @dennisdoddcbs

College football suffers sharpest per-game attendance decline in 34 years, second-largest ever. What the heck?
https://www.cbssports.com/college-footba...-34-years/
02-13-2018 02:39 PM
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Post: #40
RE: Declining football participation
Looking at the numbers, it looks like 2010 was the peak year, when FBS averaged 46,632. This year 42,203. That represents a 10.4% decline in 7 years.

The south, as represented by the SEC, was typically behind the curve and probably holding up the numbers for half a dozen years, peaking in 2015 at 78,630, and fell to 75,074, which is still a 4.7% drop from peak. If the SEC follows pattern, just a few years behind, then a big drop is coming for national averages.

More evidence we are probably already past peak.
02-13-2018 02:48 PM
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