New survey reveals youth sports cause marital and family battles, low stress league gains popularity
i9 Sports is offering a sports alternative
11:13 PM, Aug 28, 2013
8:16 AM, Aug 29, 2013
TAMPA - 6-year-old Lily loves to kick the soccer ball around, but with two older sisters, the family had limited after school time to make it to soccer practices.
Mom Rebecca Santos explains, "Its constant stress. I run to get the kids at school and you have maybe half an hour - find out what the homework is for the night and get them off to practice."
So the family signed up for i9 Sports - a different kind of team sports league.
Tyler King is the program director for i9 Sports.
"We do flag football, soccer, t- and basketball and we're different because we put a lot of emphasis on fun, safety, and convenience for parents. "
The selling point for the Santos family: only one practice a week on Saturday, right before the game.
"That's the day we had left, quite honestly. "
And that is what more and more parents want according to i9 Sports.
King says, "We surveyed 400 parents and found that 68 percent of parents - moms specifically say that youth sports causes stress in their lives. That transfers over to their work life and family life at home. "
Along with the only one day a week commitment, there's no mandatory volunteering or fundraising.
Megan Licursi's 6-year-old son plays flag football, and her husband coaches.
They investigated other leagues first.
Megan says, "We looked at one, but they practice three times a week for about three hours in the evening, and then they have a game on Saturday. My son is in first grade this year. He's coming home with an hour and a half of homework. For him not to start that homework till 8 p.m.,that makes for a cranky kid in the morning."
I played the Devil's advocate, asking if one day a week was really enough for kids who want to play sports in high school or college.
King responded , "We do want them to win and want them to have fun, but remember it's more about team work and being friendly with other players, because most of the kids playing aren't going to grow up to be professional athletes. "