study has been conducted at the University of Minnesota by the Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium to determine how much family time youth sports activities take up.
The results have been published amidst several media reports about those who say that organized youth sports take away too much from valuable family time and kids' creative, unstructured activities. The movement against over-scheduling kids has taken off in recent years as a response to a general trend of longer seasons and kids playing multiple sports at the same time.
But interestingly, the conclusions of the Minnesota study indicate otherwise. Parents who were polled did not seem to think their sports activities were taking up much time normally spent on homework, sleep, family dinners, etc.
Every town, league and family is different. Some families just eat, sleep and breathe baseball (or whatever sport they are playing). Some may feel that youth sports has created more family time, since they have an activity they all enjoy together. To others it is a burden and creates less family time.
One thing is for sure. We all make our own decisions about our amount of involvement in youth sports, based on what works for our own families. I think that's the reason behind the conclusions of this study. As long as you're making your own decisions, you can't really complain about it.
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