Families that are new to a community or have kids that are looking to get involved in youth sports for the first time might not know where to start to find more information about their local youth sports opportunities. How do you find out when registration deadlines are or even what sports are offered in your community? While information availability is bound to differ from town to town, here are a few good places to-be sports parents can start:
1. Google search.
It might sound silly, but just a simple search like “Saratoga Springs NY youth sports” is bound to give you a few good results. You might find your town’s website which is likely to have a sports and recreation section, the local YMCA, or even websites for the various leagues themselves like soccer or baseball. If you live in a small town, try searching for neighboring towns or within your county to broaden the search results.
2. Local parks and recreation office.
Most parks and recreation offices put out a community newsletter or guide to local events and activities. You might even be able to find all the information you need on their website. You should be able to find out all the information you need about various local youth sports leagues, sports camps and clinics, volunteer opportunities and more. Who knows, you might even find something fun (like an adult kickball league!) for yourself or a great family activity such as local field days.
3. Online directories.
Sites like FindSportsNow gives local organizations the opportunity to post upcoming events like road races, football camps, coaching and training sessions and other fun stuff. For instance, did you know there are camps for mountain biking? Or competitions for fishing fanactics? Or bocce ball tournaments hosted by local restaurants? You can just plug in your zip code and finds tons of upcoming activities in your area. The only downside is that organizations need to post their activities here in order for you to find them, so don’t assume there is nothing going on in your town if nothing pops up.
4. After-school activities.
Check with your child’s elementary school and see if they offer any after-school activities or intramural programs. This is a great way to introduce your child to a new sport without having to sign-up for a full season. It’s also a great place to make new friends and learn the fundamentals of a given sport without as much pressure to perform.
These are just four ways to-be sports parents can find out about local youth sports events and opportunities. If you’ve had success with a tactic of your own please share it in the comments below!