I’m noticing a significant drop in baseball participation here in the Boston area over the past 10 years. In the 12-year-old age bracket, there are always 12-14 Little League teams. But move up to the 13-year-old age bracket, and there is literally one 7th grade team. Lacrosse, in particular, is kicking baseball’s butt; the better 7th and 8th grade athletes are migrating away from baseball and playing lacrosse. And by the time those that do stick with baseball reach the varsity level, the talent is extremely weak. Is baseball participation declining elsewhere, too?
In our town we’re noticing a huge drop off as low as 9-10 in league all the way up. Here its not lack of participating but rather where they’re participating. All seem to be moving on to travel. Used to didn’t start until 11 or up & not as many. Heard last year in the 9-10 age division three travel teams formed and kids pulled out. Even in the older age groups many more in travel than before. Has left league struggling but kids are still participating.
Where I live baseball is easily the most popular youth sport with boys, followed by football.
The message that baseball is in decline is out there though. I heard a local radio sports guy talking about it.
A few years ago there was one travel ball organization, now there is 5…that may be viewed as good or bad I guess. But, the number of kids playing baseball is very high. Soccer, often listed as the sport that will over take baseball, has youth leagues as well, but, beyond the young kids it falls off.
There are baseball tournaments every weekend here during the summer and fall, even some into Feb which is funny it being a cold weather city.
Baseball is alive and well from what I can see.