Survey: 90+ percent of youth soccer parents expect their children will return and team play will resume by September

A survey of youth soccer parents conducted by indicates that most of them believe their children will continue to play soccer and and team play will resume by September after social activities are again allowed as the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.

Of the 1,437 respondents, youth soccer customers, to an online questionnaire conducted April 17-22, 94 percent of parents expect that it is somewhat to very likely that their children will continue playing soccer once team play resumes. Only 5 percent responded that they are somewhat to very unlikely to resume.

As youth soccer purchasers at, these parents and their children would tend to have a high interest in youth soccer. The key will be whether parents of more casual participants will sign their children up for the fall. Youth clubs and leagues are concerned that there will a drop-off in sports participation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn that has hit many communities very hard.

Following the 2008 recession, team sports participation dropped from 45 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2014, according to the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program, and has remained stagnant.

One reason for the high expectations of the respondents was the continued interest of their children in soccer during shelter-in-place orders: 81 percent said their children are training at home, 63 percent said their children are connecting with teammates digitally, 29 percent said their children are watching rebroadcasts of classic matches and the same percentage are playing soccer video games.

Of those youth soccer parents whom surveyed, 93 percent believe youth soccer will resume in their area by September, 80 percent believe youth soccer will resume by August and 61 percent believe it will by July.

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause widespread disruption to the organization of youth sports in 2020. A Wall Street Journal article reported on an estimate of 25 percent to 30 percent of youth soccer clubs perhaps folding by the time it's safe to resume play.

All travel sports will be hit the hardest. A survey of the  International Air Transportation Association reported 40 percent of recent passengers said they may wait at least six months after the outbreak is contained to travel again and almost 70 percent said they may stop traveling until their financial picture improves.

Signup numbers for youth sports at the local level will likely be known later as some parents will wait to see whether schools reopen for in-classroom learning before they sign up their children for other activities. That uncertainty will add to the complexity of issues youth sports organizers will face. Many of the things that have been taken for granted in the past -- access to facilities, field maintenance, sponsor support, paid and volunteer coaches and referees -- will have to be evaluated in the aftermath of the sharp economic plunge.

One thing is sure. The respondents agreed that the scene will likely be different when they return to the sidelines to watch their children.

Almost three in four parents (73 percent) responded that it will be somewhat to very important for spectators to follow social distancing and nearly half (47 percent) expect that spectators will wear masks.
8 comments about "Survey: 90+ percent of youth soccer parents expect their children will return and team play will resume by September".
  1. beautiful game, April 30, 2020 at 9:26 a.m.

    Not workable unless there is an accurate Covid-19 testing startegy and system in place. This virus is not predictable and caution needs to be the norm until a vaccine is developed.

  2. Guy Walling, April 30, 2020 at 9:27 a.m.

    So please let me understand this...these parents that are so desparate to get their children, whom they are suppose to protect, out there on the pitch will be practicing social distancing on the sidelines while their own children will be out there in a match sweating, breathing, and rubbing elbows with 22 other players and referees? WTF isn't this a form of child abuse, or at least neglect. Perhaps these are the same parents who will listen to Trump and inject their kids with UV light or a disinfectant before sending them out in a petri-dish to play. Just because irresponsible and ignorant governors, or Trump for that matter open up the country, it does not mean we should listen to these non-medical, so called leaders and send our children out without an effective treatment or vaccine! Germany opened up their country 7 days ago and today they are seeing a spike in cases! Why are we any different? Remember folks, soccer is a contact sport! Whether parents wear masks and it is important for them to follow social distancing on the sidelines, what about their children out there on the pitch????????

  3. Kevin Long replied, April 30, 2020 at 11:12 a.m.

    Where did you come up with "desperation"? And "child abuse"? Really? Stop the hyperbole. It was a survey of parents opinions, very likely imbued with hope. Nothing more. 

  4. Seth Vieux replied, April 30, 2020 at 5:45 p.m.

    Good lord - what's the risk to children again? Want to bet more soccer players die from vehicle accidents to and from practices/games as from COVID from being around other kids? If you were arguing that the kids could potentially spread to parents (and especially grand parents) I could understand your point (I'd still say those families worried about that should probably not have their kids play if that exceeds their risk tolerance), but you're out here screaming, "oh won't anyone think of the CHILDREN!!!!" when COVID has killed zero minors in NYC, our greatest hotspot.

  5. Guy Walling, April 30, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.

    Logical answers should not be based on hope when children's safety is in question. Answers should be based on facts such as, are there tests available for every player, are there effective treatments and vaccines? If a parent can answer yes, then they can answer yes to sending their child out to the pitch. It's that simple. 

  6. Seth Vieux replied, April 30, 2020 at 5:46 p.m.

    Zero minors have died of COVID in NYC

  7. Justus From SoCal, April 30, 2020 at 2:31 p.m.

    My dd has a better chance of getting eaten for breakfast by a shark when she's surfing then getting attcked by Corona.  I say 95% yes, we will be playing.  Gavinator might luck us down all year in Cali though.  If that happens, I will look to guest play on a team in Vegas or  Let the kids play and live stream the games for the parents.  The parents can scream at the TV instaed of the refs, other kids and their parents and their own kids :) The kids would play better too :)

  8. Seth Vieux replied, April 30, 2020 at 5:47 p.m.

    My god could you imagine a game where the kids aren't trying to listen to their parents when they should be listening to each other (and occasionally the coach)? :-)

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