Go Out and Play

Youth Sports in America

Published on October 8th, 2008

This study measures the nationwide participation rates of girls and boys in exercise and organized team sports. The central focus is on how the intersections among families, schools and communities are related to children’s involvement and interest in athletics and physical activity. Some of the personal and social benefits associated with children’s athletic participation are also identified and discussed. The athletic interests and involvements of girls and boys are examined from childhood through late adolescence, including entry into sport as well as drop-out patterns.

Read the Executive Summary here.


To assist readers who have specific interests, the WSF has created a series of Research Briefs from Go Out and Play on the following topics:

Go Out and Play – Athletic Participation and Children’s Well-Being
Go Out and Play – Entry Into Sports, Dropping Out of Sports
Go Out and Play – Gender Equity in Sports
Go Out and Play – Interest in Sports and Physical Activity
Go Out and Play – Participation in Sports and Exercise Activities
Go Out and Play – Participation in Team or Organized Sport
Go Out and Play – Physical Education
Go Out and Play – Sports, Exercise and Family Life
Go Out and Play – Understudied Populations
Go Out and Play – Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
Go Out and Play – Youth Sports in America – Full Report One Pager

Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America