US Lacrosse has joined more than 1,500 youth sports organizations supporting the PLAY Sports initiative.

PLAY Sports, which stands for Promoting Local and Youth Sports, is a unique coalition of community and national sports organizations and leaders formed to support young athletes, working families, coaches and volunteers across all 50 states, particularly those in underserved areas, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen is serving on the advisory council for the coalition.

The mission of PLAY Sports is to ensure that youth and local sports survive and thrive coming out of this pandemic, providing families, and especially youth, opportunities for physical and mental health, character and leadership development and repairing a society that needs community, connectivity and joy.

Youth sports communities across America have never encountered an opponent like COVID-19, which has caused a forced pause in PLAY. This situation has dire consequences:

  • Nearly 60 percent of local sports leaders said they expect to lose at least 50 percent of revenue over the next year, according to a poll by the Aspen Institute for Sports 
  • The dramatic losses will have long-term effects on youth sports organizations’ capacities 
  • Many youth sports organizations will not survive 
  • Millions of young people will not receive the physical, social-emotional, cognitive, leadership and resiliency benefits sports provides 
  • Under resourced communities will have disproportionate damage

The Solution

The immediate and time-sensitive first initiative of the Coalition is calling on Congress to assist community organizations to survive until it is safe to fully return to play through the creation of an economic stabilization fund of $8.5B for youth sports providers that solve gaps with the CARES Act.

Play Sports has created a simple online form to contact local congressional representatives urging the support of this funding.

Beyond immediate relief, the coalition strategy includes supporting families playing and coaching again, and a playbook for return to play, ensuring there are clear guidelines, protocols, training and professional development to support the return of youth and local sports that ensures safe and positive sports experiences.

Support Youth Sports

Please take a few minutes to complete this simple online form to contact your local representatives to call on Congress to assist community youth sports organizations.

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