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Professor Abrams Collaborates on Youth Sports Reform Book

May 13th, 2016

Doug Abrams

Professor Doug Abrams has collaborated with former National Basketball Association player Bob Bigelow on a new e-book, Youth Sports: Still Failing Our Kids — How to Really Fix It. A longtime youth sports reform advocate, Bigelow was a first-round draft pick out of the University of Pennsylvania. He played for the Boston Celtics, Kansas City (now Sacramento) Kings and San Diego Clippers.

The new e-book’s 10 chapters present a blueprint for reform, particularly in community sports programs for boys and girls under the age of 13. The authors explain that in these programs, “Kids should play their own games, keep their own scores, and develop their abilities under the supervision of adults who are unburdened by strategies, trick plays, fixed rosters, and league standings. Standings, fixed rosters, and the other trappings of formal league play can wait until the players get older, once they have developed their skills and nurtured their enthusiasm for the game to the greatest extent possible.”

By adopting the new model, a sports program for elementary-school-age children would stem tryout cuts, chronic bench warming, periodic violence from parents and coaches, and other adult-induced pressures that help lead about 70 percent of youth leaguers to quit playing by the time they turn 13.

Professor Abrams has also written law review articles and several dozen blog columns on youth sports issues.

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