Signing Kids Up For Youth Sports

What You’ll Need To Do Before Signing Your Kids Up For Youth Sports

[UPDATED: 5/21/18]

For many kids, youth sports are an important part of childhood. Most kids start out playing catch with dad or shooting hoops with mom, but eventually they want to play in a community or recreational league, or on a school team. Joining one of these leagues is a great way to improve skills and learn important lessons like teamwork and work ethics. Unfortunately, the process of joining one of these teams can sometimes cause a little extra work for mom and dad—in the form of application fees, sign-up requirements and mandatory meetings. However, it’s not too difficult to get things together and to get your kids signed up for youth sports and ready to play! Here are a few things that many athletic leagues require:

  • Proof of Age –The leagues want all players to prove they are the right age for the league or any age-specific division, to avoid any accusations of cheating. For many leagues, an official birth certificate is the “must-have” document. Make sure the certificate you obtain is an official, government-certified document so that you do not run into any problems down the line. Here’s how to determine if a birth certificate is official.
  • Proof of Address – In some leagues, children are placed on a team based on geographic boundaries. Additionally, some recreational departments offer a discount for in-district signups. It never hurts to keep a recent utility bill or bank statement handy for proof of address.
  • Sports Physical – It is important that your child is in good physical condition to play the sport he or she desires. A sports physical will make sure of this, and is typically a requirement for many leagues. In fact even leagues that do not require it will often recommend it.
  • Permission Forms/Waivers – Each league will have official forms to fill out and sign, giving permission for your child to play and waiving the league of any legal responsibility if something were to go wrong during a practice or game. You can often download these online or they may be available at registration.
  • Emergency Information – You will be asked to provide information for what the league should do in case of an emergency. You may need to provide insurance information, emergency contact information and give permission for your child to be treated in case you cannot be reached in an emergency situation.

Instead of waiting until the last minute to find out the youth sports sign-up requirements and gather you documents, why not look ahead to your child’s next sports season? There are more opportunities to play recreational sports than ever before—from basketball in winter, baseball and softball during the spring, soccer teams that play year–round, or less common sports like lacrosse and water polo, there is always something going on that will allow your children to challenge themselves athletically. Keep a folder of your children’s important documents, a list of sizes for uniform purchases, and know where to go for obtaining a sports physical – then you will be prepared when your child comes in the door with the “big announcement” of the next team he or she is eager to join!

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