Policymakers and civic leaders can help grow youth sports on the local and national level. These tips will help build thriving communities and engage citizens.

Policymakers & Civic Leaders


  • Dedicate a share of local taxes to parks and recreation that stands apart from the annual budget process, as parks-rich Chicago has done through a percentage of property taxes ($164 per home/year on average).

  • Foster the creation of “asset models” that assemble strengths of communities into new combinations, new structures of opportunity, and new sources of income and control.

  • Coordinate the funding of existing federal and state grants tied to physical activity, using criteria consistent with program design that we know will attract and retain children.

  • City Recreation Boards: Use your control over access to public fields and facilities to ensure that organized leagues have trained all coaches on safety topics. Exercise the power of the permit to create local standards.

  • Mayors: Recreate the sandlot experience by carving out time at fields and gyms during prime hours each week for pickup play. Provide equipment and loose supervision, and turn the space over to kids.

  • Federal Policymakers: Act on the National Academy of Sciences recommendation and create a national surveillance system to track sports-related concussions. It will inform decisions made about rules, coaching techniques, and equipment.

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