Youth Sports Highlight Reel

Youth Sports Highlight Reel-Tuesday, February 27

By Melissa Wickes
February 27, 2024
4 min

Spring is right around the corner (or so the Groundhog says), which means so are baseball and softball, lacrosse, and soccer. Are you ready for it?

The world of youth sports is chaotic right now — with angrier parents, tired referees, and expensive programs changing the experience kids are actually getting on the field.

Read this week’s youth sports news roundup to help you make the best decisions possible for your organization and players this Spring.


1. Olivia Moultrie thinks, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.” So, when the NWSL told her she was too young to play, she fought back with an antitrust case, and shortly after made her debut at 15 years old. As a result, the leagueadopted a mechanism for signing players under 18.

2. A bill was just passed to keep youth safe when participating in private organized sports. The bill would require youth sports organizations to conduct criminal history record checks on personnel who work directly with youth athletes.

Click here for a free guide to help you learn about conducting background checks at your organization.

3. The Seattle Mariners and EL1 Sports — a leading national youth sports training company that partners with LeagueApps for registration and other solutions — are expanding their Mariners Training Centers with the launch of three new facilities aimed at fostering equitable access and youth participation in baseball and softball.

4. In a commitment to baseball and youth sports, New York Life has become the Official Financial Guidance Partner of Major League Baseball.

5. “I’ve been cursed out, I’ve had my car keyed,” says one of Florida’s longest-tenured soccer officials. “It didn’t used to be this way.” Click here to read more about the growing problems of youth sporting events, in Florida and beyond.

As a result of these issues, there is a referee shortage and according to CBS News Pittsburgh, it could soon cause an interruption in play.

6. Girls who play sports are more confident, and this is backed up by data. In fact, The Girls’ Index — a national survey designed to develop a deeper understanding of teen girls — found that female high school athletes are 14 percent more likely to believe they are smart enough for their dream career, 11 percent more likely to say they are happy the way they are, and 16 percent less likely to want to change their appearance. Read more from the report here.

7. Youth and college referees are stepping in to officiate Major League Soccer games due to the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) lockout of its referees.

10. FundPlay Foundation is launching an Accelerator Program to empower a cohort of sports-based youth development organizations through technology, funding, volunteering, and capacity-building membership. Click here to learn more about how you can support.

Local News

1. Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman announced a de facto ban on trans girls from participation in women’s sports — this might violate New York’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA).

2. The Fathers Behind Bars program donated over $16,000 to Monterey High School sports teams in January, with all funds being raised by the incarcerated population. The funds are used to support team transportation, uniforms, and equipment to make it easier for these kids to play.

3. Sam Cotton, a Troup County, Georgia youth sports hero, has been impacting youth in his community on and off the court for almost 40 years.

4. [VIDEO] The Knnewick, Washington community is coming together to help prepare youth baseball fields in time for the season’s start.

5. [VIDEO] This Northern Kentucky girls basketball coach is speaking up because her team — who just went 7–1 in a boys division — was not allowed to play in the end-of-season tournament, just because they’re girls.

6. [VIDEO] The second annual Droppin’ Dimes for Wheels fundraiser hosted by Amherst youth basketball aims to raise awareness and promote inclusion across sports.

7. Los Angeles Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook is helping an Arizona youth sports facility bounce back from bankruptcy.

This Weekend’s Wins

Pelican State Volleyball Club is beyond excited for all of their wins this weekend — and so are we! Congrats 16U on finishing first in the Southeast Showdown, 14U Gray on finishing second in the Southeast Showdown, and 13U Blue on finishing second in the Intense Volleyball Tournament in Baton Rouge!

Mad Frog Volleyball put in work this weekend at the Girls Triple Crown National Invitational Tournament — so much so that they were a top 3 club!

Congratulations St. Louis Crossfire Elite Volleyball 18ST1 on the Championship Grand Prix title! These ladies have earned two AAU bids and one USAV bid!

Excel Volleyball Club traveled to Tulsa this weekend to compete in the 2024 Kaizen Invitation and Excel Boys 15 Red brought home the Gold! Plus, Excel Boys 13 Red and 18 White finished in third.

Instinct Volleyball Club 17 Wild Gold and 14 WG went undefeated this weekend! Plus, 13 Wild Gold are Open Silver Champions, 13WB came out in first in the Bronze Bracket, and 17WB came in second in the Bronze Bracket!

Let’s go Top Select Volleyball 14 Select — 14 USA — first place at the WPVC Winter Classic!

Sporting CT had a lot of wins this weekend — including 2010 Green team finishing in second place in their age group, 2014 girls finishing their last indoor session with a 5–0 win, and 2009 White Team winning the FSA indoor league!

United Futbol Academy Norcross Boys are headed to NL P.R.O. in Tampa this week!

Congratulations Long Island Royals 10U A Team for winning the LIAHL Championship 11–1!

River City Juniors Volleyball 13 Navy, congrats on your undefeated weekend! First place at Siouxland Showdown.

Nebraska Elite Volleyball 10 Thunder, 13 Storm, and 11 Dynamite all won their tournaments this weekend!

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