Why Youth Sports Age Verification Matters
By Melissa Wickes
June 6, 2023
Taking advantage of age eligibility guidelines in youth sports is a huge problem within the youth sports industry. While some may think they’re giving their child an advantage by having them compete at a level below their age, it really only results in harmed development for every athlete involved. When a player plays in a division they are not eligible for—for example playing in a division beneath their age group—they don’t develop in the sport properly, according to GrassRoots 365.
This is where you come in—it’s absolutely crucial that youth sports directors and coaches do whatever they can to stop this behavior and don’t ever knowingly allow children to play down a division to gain a competitive advantage. Luckily, plenty of youth sports technologies make this process easier and more transparent—and at LeagueApps, we’re on top of all of it.
Why Age Rules Exist
There’s a reason age rules exist in youth sports—they produce the best possible outcome for all parties involved. When youth athletes are placed in the age groups they’re meant to play in, it creates fair competition—which prepares athletes to compete at higher levels in high school, college, and even professionally. Opponents who play beneath their age level can hinder the confidence of the players they’re competing against. Similarly, the players playing against younger kids will not be prepared for success when they eventually do play against athletes their own age or older. It’s a lose-lose situation.
How to Enforce Age Eligibility Rules in Your Organization
There are various technologies available today to enforce age eligibility rules in youth sports. After all, lying about your age to play below your level is cheating—which youth sports organizations should never tolerate. In fact, many youth sports organizations are turning to age verification tools to maintain the integrity of their organizations.
National Sports ID, or NSID, is an online tool that enforces event rules and verifies player eligibility to protect the integrity of tournaments and leagues. The technology was created from working with thousands of youth sports organizations over the years and continues to evolve as they receive feedback for meeting their needs. In other words, it’s built for youth sports organizers like you. The current platform includes processes that meet the needs of youth sports organizations like:
- Eliminating checking player documents at events
- Making sure all players are eligible for the divisions they’re participating in
- Making sure all teams meet requirements of events before the competition begins
If you’re using LeagueApps, NSID is able to pull your team rosters into their system to complete the age verification process—eliminating the need for double entry. This will get the job done seamlessly and transparently without extra time for you or your customers. Once a player is verified, they won’t need to be again. A field will exist next to each player marking them as “verified,” letting you know that the player is age-eligible.
Watch the video below to learn more about NSID.
How LeagueApps Protects Your Organization’s Integrity
LeagueApps is always using the newest technology in youth sports to help you strengthen your organization. Protecting the integrity of your organization and ensuring that all youth athletes experience fair competition is part of that process. Stay tuned to our blog for updates on our integrations that can make your process stronger.