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Start a youth sports league

By Callie Leahy

With the spring season comes the opportunity to get outside and play! Bring together your neighborhood this April and organize a youth sports league for your community. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

  • Get organized – Before you get started, get organized. Figure out logistics like where the league can practice, play and buy equipment. Are you going to have sponsors? (Associa Supports Kids sponsors some sports.) What about fees for playing? Calculate all costs up front so there are no surprises for your players (or parents!) down the road.
  • League Rules – Will your youth league align with a community or state organization? If so, make sure you understand league rules and regulations. If your league will be an independent group, create a handbook of your own of schedules, rules, regulations and common practices for participants.
  • Set your roster– Host a sign-up drive for your neighborhood at a local hot spot. A great way to get to know your players is to have each participant fill out a “Getting to Know You” form. Here are some suggestions on good questions to get you started.
    • Basic information like name, age, address.
    • Availability – this will come in handy when you’re trying to decide on a practice or game schedule.
    • Experience – Is one of your new participants skilled at a certain position? Could that skill be helpful in teaching other kids the sport?
  • Recruit parent volunteers – Organizing a sports league is going to take some parental guidance. Ask parents to fill out a similar “Getting to Know You” form for details that could be useful throughout the season. Ask questions like if anyone has medical experience or is a stay-at-home parent and can be available in case of emergencies.