Travel ball rebounds from COVID
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the youth sports market in the United States was a $19 billion industry, according to a study by WinterGreen Research. Youth travel sports have rebounded from the impact of the pandemic. They now account for a significant segment of the market.
Youth sports travel teams are composed of athletes who play at an elite level in sports that include soccer, softball, baseball and lacrosse, among others. Teams travel long distances for games, tournaments and showcase events.
Along with offering a valuable learning and social experience for young athletes, travel sports provide a higher level of competition than participants might find locally. Children involved in youth travel sports also have more frequent opportunities to compete.
Parents of young athletes should consider the pros and cons of travel sports. Participation involves a significant investment of time, energy and money.
- Travel sports events offer social benefits for athletes and their families
- Opportunity to learn skills and understanding of the sport beyond what school and local recreation leagues provide
- Increase in athlete’s self-esteem and confidence level, socially and athletically
- Camaraderie with fellow travel sports participants and bonding time with family
- Expense of participation including registration fees, lodging, meals, equipment, camps, private coaching
- Performance pressure and anxiety – being part of an elite team brings higher expectations for the athlete
- Increased risk of injury – concussions, repetitive motion/overuse injuries, torn ligaments, heatstroke and broken bones, as well as accidents while traveling to and from events
Travel ball and injuries
According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3.5 million injuries requiring medical treatment occur annually in youth sports. Because participation in youth travel sports can increase the likelihood of overuse injuries, it is important to stay focused on prevention.
At Sadler Sports Insurance, we track the injuries for many of our sports programs. As a general rule, our injury report statistics indicate a higher number of injuries during games versus practice and a higher incidence of injuries as age and skill levels increase.
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) have partnered to help prevent youth sports injuries by creating the STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention) Sports Injuries program. Learn more about sports specific injuries here.
Personal experience with travel soccer
As a parent with two daughters who played travel soccer for SC United FC, it was a very positive experience. I found that the organization was well managed and hired excellent coaches with the safety and well being of my daughters at heart. The association had excellent contractual transfer protection through waiver/release, concussion risk management, and child abuse risk management.
Both my wife and I as well as my daughters were able to form lifelong bonds with the other participants. Now that my youngest daughter has aged out and gone to college, I find myself missing the travel soccer experience.
Travel ball insurance
As experts in youth sports association insurance, Sadler Sports & Recreation Insurance recognizes the risks travel sports organizations face. We provide many different insurance programs for travel ball in almost all sports with our instant online quote / pay / print and best in industry risk management resources to prevent the injury or lawsuits from ever becoming an insurance claim.
Almost all travel teams need the following insurance policies to protect the organization, directors, officers, coaches, volunteers, and athletic participants: