In 2011 EPSN calculated the total amount of children aged 6 to 17 who played in youth sports, and that added up to 21.47 million kids, more than the population of Texas in 2000.
And that number would increase drastically if you included the children aged 5 and under. It’s pretty obvious that youth sports are just as American as hamburgers and hotdogs. I can’t imagine meeting a kid who hasn’t tried at least one club sport in their short little lifetime.
There are multiple benefits to getting children involved with team sports. They learn to work with others and be dependable. They learn to be disciplined which carries over into academics and just general behavior. Studies have shown participants who were involved in youth sports are more likely to be more committed to the success of their local communities by volunteering their time and remaining civically engaged. It’s all good things!
However, accidents are bound to happen when you combine physical contact sports and crowds of young, rowdy children or aggressive teens. A lot of youth sports organizations suffer the consequences of not insuring their companies when children get injured under their care or on their property.
Coaches and league organizers are held to a standard to create a safe environment for the kids to be in. But even the most careful people can’t be perfect.
Mike Meissner was a volunteer baseball coach in North Carolina for many years. During a routine pop fly drill, a player dove for a ball and was injured. According to the boy, the sun got in his eyes and instead of landing in his glove, the ball hit him in the mouth. The player’s family sued Mike and the nonprofit baseball league, claiming that the injury was caused by negligence on the part of the coach in conducting his drill.
After a year of depositions, Mike was eventually dismissed from the lawsuit but still subject to questioning as the lawsuit continued on against the league for years before going to trial. Finally, a jury decided that Mike and the league were not negligent in conducting the pop fly drill; however, this lawsuit cost thousands of dollars to defend for the organization. If the organization’s insurance removed the participant exclusion, similar to the available option on the USLI Youth Sports product, it would have helped the organization offset many of these costs.
Via Daniel Buyag
It’s important that these organizations make sure that they are covered sufficiently so that they can continue to mold and shape those children’s futures.