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Bill of Rights for Young Athletes

Ensure your kids' extracurricular sport experiences are positive with this guide from Michigan State University

The Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) at Michigan State University looks closely at the advantages and potential pitfalls of youth sports programs. They even offer a Bill of Rights for Young Athletes to ensure that the experience is positive.

This "bill" was drafted in the '80s by Dr. Vern Seefeldt with the ISYS and Dr. Rainier Martens. It was created "in response to growing concerns regarding the abuse of young athletes," the ISYS notes, and has been used by parents and coaches alike.

Here are the rights, in short. (Check out fuller excerpts from Drs. Seerfeldt and Maretens's book, Guidelines for Children's Sports.)

  1. Right to participate in sports
  2. Right to participate at a level commensurate with each child's maturity and ability
  3. Right to have qualified adult leadership
  4. Right to play as a child and not as an adult
  5. Right of children to share in the leadership and decision-making of their sport participation
  6. Right to participate in safe and healthy environments
  7. Right to proper preparation for participation in sports
  8. Right to an equal opportunity to strive for success
  9. Right to be treated with dignity
  10. Right to have fun in sports

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