Why Youth Sports are Having an Easier Transition Back than Pro Sports

Why Youth Sports are Having an Easier Transition Back than Pro Sports

Kelly Reed July 09, 2020  Comments

Throughout the US sports are coming back.  From pro sports to youth sports. But pro sports had more trouble than youth sports did in starting back up. This is because of  three categories that made pro sports have a harder time transitioning back then youth sports. These categories are: Travel, Audience/Organization , and Money.


In most cases, youth sports teams play other teams that are accessible by a short drive (or longer but still drivable distance for more competitive travel teams) whereas pro teams usually play other teams across the country or even sometimes abroad. This leads to them having to fly around constantly to get to their games, and with the MLB teams playing in their stadiums the players and their families get exposed to a lot more germs then if a kid played sports in their general area around where they live.

Even Leagues like the NBA and NHL, which are planning games at centralized hub cities, are still impacted by the challenges of COVID-19. Players have to stay in designated hub cities for an extended period of time to finish out their seasons, so in most cases the families go with them. This means players' families could be in the hub cities for months before heading back home. A long-term move like this can prove problematic for families who have commitments back home. The Pro Leagues had two options, to play games at the teams home stadiums or in hub cities. Both of these options caused problems for the players and the leagues, affecting the time frame in which the season can be played and the length in which it is to be played causing some road bumps for the league in trying to figure out when the season is going to start and where it is going to be played. While this wasn't a problem for youth sports because youth sports teams are able to create a reasonable schedule that allows them to return home at the end of the day, making it easier for organizations to be reactive to new updates and regulations.


While audiences aren't allowed in stadiums for pro games, they can still have an impact, in the news with the development of social media and websites, news around sports spreads lightning quick. For a hypothetical situation let's say that Mike Trout and Sydney Crosby, both household names in their sports, get the virus. In an instant it would be in an article, a post and people would see it and start to freak out when if the best kids in two Youth sports divisions get the virus it wont have nearly as big of an impact on the sports publicity, it might impact the league, but not the community. This actually indirectly hurts Pro sports transition back because it is inevitable that players will come up with the virus because it has happened already and will continue to happen but if thirty players in a league come up with the virus from around their country it would look a lot worse then if thirty kids got the virus who played sports from around their country because those players no matter how far away from each other get put into the same group and that puts a bad label onto the league involved so the leagues had to make sure that not a lot of players would get the virus as to not affect them in a negative way.

For organizations, Youth Leagues tend to mostly have one organization that decides how the season and playoffs for that particular league work, while pro sports have many different organizations that have a say and opinion on what the season should look like. The most notable example of conflicting interests resulting in the holdup of the season is shown in the MLB with the Players Association and the owners. They argued and proposed many different plans over months that went nowhere until Rob Manfred got the power to make the season from the owners and now we are going to get baseball starting on the 23-24 of July. The seasons for pro organizations have to go through many different organizations making it harder to find a plan everyone likes when youth sports most often only have one group making the plan for the season.


Money is a big reason why youth sports are transitioning back into play more easily than pro sports. When a kid plays on a youth sports team, the parents have to pay for the kid to play on that team, meaning that these sports organizations need to be open to gain profit and be able to continue their team. For pro sports it's the opposite; the players get paid, meaning that the only source of income for the teams is with fans paying to go to their games and from broadcasting them live. With the virus, fans are no longer allowed inside sports stadiums for pro games resulting in the teams losing a significant part of their income. Also, the NHL and NBA are going into their playoffs, typically a time when a solid amount of money is made from ticket sales and other revenue generated at live sporting events. Along with that, these teams also have to pay their players a lot of money. This in turn destines these teams to lose money during the season or playoffs. When, compared to youth sports, the youth teams need to play games to get money so as a result they have an urge to come back because if they don't play games the organizations lose the money they need to get from the players.


Overall, youth sports organizations are compelled by a much greater urgency to come back because the only way for them to get money is to play games. When pro sports are losing money from the lack of fans in the audience and therefore have less motivation to start or finish their seasons.

Andrew Sproule live streams about Major League Baseball, and the NFL on his SportsCastr channel

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