Industry Insights

Youth Sports Highlight Reel

A Week of Wins for Girls Sports

By Melissa Wickes
January 8, 2024
3 min

How far into January are you allowed to continue to say Happy New Year?

Well, we’re still saying it for now, and the year is already off to a momentous start in the world of youth sports. Headlines and hashtags are circulating, conversations are being had, budgets are being set, and we’re in the midst of convention season!

Here’s a rundown of everything you missed from the last two weeks in youth sports news:

This Weekend’s Wins

1. Austin Skyline’s 13 Royal finished first at CTPL #1 Tournament this weekend—let’s go girls! Also, 12 Black finished first at the Central Texas Power League Tournament and 17 Royal finished first at the Legacy Challenge Tournament.

2. Beach Elite Volleyball’s 18 Adidas Black went undefeated at their tournament this weekend!

3. Missouri Volleyball Academy’s 16 Gold and 17 Gold boys won a bid to nationals this weekend in Chicago—and 16 Gold went undefeated!

4. 417 Juniors had a lot of wins this weekend: Their 12 National Black team qualified for Power League, and 14 National Black came in first place in the Pre Power League play date in Lawrence, Kansas! 14 National Royal brought home the gold in their first tournament of the season, and 17 National Royal went undefeated in the AAUPower League. 18 Elite finished their tournament in Kansas City 5-0 and qualified for Powerleague, snagging the #1 seed overall.

5. Alcatraz Outlaws’ NorCal AO 2029s won the western championship!

This Week’s News

1. More high schools are establishing girls wrestling as a sport as it grows in popularity, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association now recognizes it as a varsity sport in parts of the state. Christmas week in Maine, Noble High School joined a short list of sites to offer a wrestling tournament for girls.

2. Volleyball is now the top participatory team sport for girls in U.S. high schools. Unsurprisingly, attendance rates and viewership at the NCAA Division I level smashed records in 2023—and a new professional league is forming, providing more career opportunities for the sport’s elite athletes.

3. ‘Billy the Batboy,’ a former New Jersey Jackals batboy with a popular YouTube channel featuring interviews and tips from the pros he’s gotten to know, wrote a book for young athletes called Passion Prevails: Baseball’s Top Performers Advise Youth Players on Maximizing Their Experience. “The goal was to help young players navigate their careers as they face adversity, how to deal with pressure, how to separate baseball and life, and really enjoy their playing career,” Billy Pinckney told Montclair State University.

4. Last Tuesday, Iowa women’s basketball legend Caitlin Clark hit a shot at the buzzer, leading her team to victory against Michigan State before a sold-out crowd of almost 15,000 fans. This kind of scene is becoming more common, and new research shows that U.S. adults spend an hour a week consuming female sports content—a higher figure than researchers expected. Around 55% of adults in the U.S. consume women’s sports content, and men are more likely to tune in than women. The number still lags behind men’s sports, however.

5. After completion of the second of two pilot girls flag football seasons, sports committees in Colorado will review the results and make a recommendation on whether or not girls flag football should be a sanctioned sport by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

6. Girls are participating in high school sports at higher rates than 10 years ago, but the numbers still lag behind the boys. Participating in school sports is correlated with high achievement and high graduation rates, however the National Federation of State High School Associations reports there are still 1.3 million fewer school sports participation opportunities for girls than for boys. The federation recommends that schools take equity measures to increase participation for girls.

7. The Little League Girls with Game 50 Celebration kicked off last week, honoring Girls with Game at every level to inspire the next generation, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Little League Softball World Series. The series will include conversation serieses, a documentary-style video series showcasing pioneers of Little League Softball, #GWGPepTalks, and more. You can view the full schedule here.

To read the full roundup of youth sports news this week and to get stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday morning, click here.