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Gov’t Report Could Lead To An Infestation Of Federal Regulation Into Youth Sports, Experts Say

A major report recently released by a federal commission could result in a slew of new regulations for youth sports, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Status Commission was established by Congress in 2020 to address concerns about the U.S. Olympic Committee, including its handling of sexual abuse cases, and several important policies it believes the government should pursue. It provides an overview of the changes. Government influence on youth sports at the grassroots level; according to to the report. Introducing federal oversight and government into an already functioning youth sports system could create unwarranted regulations for leagues and force local diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. In addition to harming young athletes, Americans will also be forced to participate in sports leagues. They may not be interested, experts warned. (Related article: Jamal Bowman donates more than $1 million to organization trying to teach kindergartners about climate change)

“The biggest danger is that the federal government tries to standardize youth sports in ways that don't make sense,” Neil McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, told DCNF. “They may try to do everything based on standardized rules, such as how many minutes each child is supposed to participate.”The creation of his DEI for youth sports could begin. Yes, there are many things you can do.”

In its first recommendation, the committee wants to limit the Olympic Committee's focus to top-performing athletes and delegate youth and grassroots sports development to a new Office of Sports and Fitness under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). I'm here. According to the report. The new office will be responsible for setting national standards and practices for sport, as well as tracking data and supporting other governing bodies.

“If you are interested in Olympic sports, which can sometimes be difficult to understand, such as judo, fencing, and many other sports, you may feel that many people do not play those sports. The authors would like to see more money invested in these types of sports to help spread the word and get more people to participate in the sport who might otherwise not be interested. I felt like that was the case,” McCluskey told DCNF. “Again, that's not the role of the federal government. Its job is not to try to export sports to people who aren't interested in sports.”

Approximately 54% of children between the ages of 6 and 17 participated in sports in 2020. according to Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Families with higher incomes are much more likely to have their children play sports, with 70.2% of children participating in sports in families with a family income above 400% of the federal poverty level. Only 31.2% of families played sports. or below the poverty level.

“Youth sports, even relatively unknown Olympic sports, do not require federal funding,” Jim Lakeley, vice president and communications director for the Heartland Institute, told DCNF. “For example, if the Malaysians could put together a stronger badminton team than the United States, most Americans would think that's fine. It's not worth using tax dollars to buy gold medals. Moreover, the private sector can do everything the market demands. We already offer coaching and programs.”

DEI efforts are already widespread within the federal government, with DEI offices in various agencies within the executive branch, including the Departments of State, Interior, and Treasury. In February, the DCNF revealed that the Department of Defense approved a contract to fund DEI programs and consulting for military-run schools for children.

In its ninth recommendation, the committee urged the proposed HHS Office of Sports and Fitness to create a grant program for the renovation, repair, and construction of new public sports facilities and to They are calling for the creation of a new public league dedicated to “underserved communities.” Report. However, to qualify for the grant, applicants must employ “advanced practices in youth development programming, safety, and coaching education.”

The commission points out that every other country has a governing body that regulates and oversees sports policy at all levels, and while it does not call for the creation of such a body, it recommends that the federal government play a greater role. argues that it should be fulfilled. In “Fairness, Accessibility and Accountability in Sport”.

In response to this report, the United States Olympic Committee released A statement praising the recommendations.

“If you're seeing increased interest in a sport that's less well-known, you can say, 'Yes, there is merit in that sport,'” McCluskey told DCNF. “I don't see any net social benefit because people can keep their money and spend it on their own priorities, the priorities they know they have, and the government can Because you're better off if you can weigh it against all your other priorities than what you want to do.'' Their thumbs say, “Well, instead of using this to pay for your child's college education or expanding your business.'' , we will be donating it to someone who is passionate about luge.'' ”

The commission also called for addressing disparities in participation and promoting more “equitable access” for racial and ethnic minorities, as well as LGBTQ people. The report argues that almost all current sports programs are fee-based and that costs associated with youth sports should be tax deductible.

“If the government gets involved, there are bound to be bad additions, like imposing DEI on the ultimate meritocracy,” Lakeley told DCNF. “Sport is for everyone, but excellence has no color.”

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Status Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DCNF.

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