Club sports have definitely hurt rec sports, but another reason for youth sports tanking is lack of participation
When I, and a lot of us, were growing up you participated in sports because that is what there was to do. Sports and cub scouts were the times you were able to get out of the house or neighborhood. A ton of kids played, even if they weren't good. Now there are a lot more options. The internet and online gaming has opened up options for kids that weren't there before. A lot of kids that used to be forced to participate in sports and begrudgingly agreed don't agree at all any more because they have something they would much rather prefer to do with their time.
In my area they don't have club soccer under 9 or so, but soccer and t-ball numbers are way down from where they were a decade ago, despite an increase in the amount of schools. A lot of families never came back after covid. Rec league numbers are down, but so are swimming lesson numbers and numbers of other activities that used to be filled up with kids. Anecdotally, there are a lot less kids shooting hoops and playing football at recess than there used to be. It is too bad that rec sports suck in a lot of areas, but I think kids aren't as into it anymore. Club sports put the nail in the coffin of youth sports at 11-12 but those sports were already down at ages 8-10.
edit: I think i set the CB typo record with this post.
This message has been modified
Originally posted on Jan 25, 2023 at 12:10:48am
Message modified by shimmy on Jan 25, 2023 at 12:19:40am
Message modified by shimmy on Jan 25, 2023 at 12:20:45am