Sports

Study: Children Being Offered Gifts, Money To Hurt Other Players

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File photo of children playing soccer.  (credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

File photo of children playing soccer. (credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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TAMPA (CBS Tampa) – An incident like the NFL’s “Bountygate” may not only happen at the professional level.

According to a new survey by i9 Sports, 11 percent of children said they were offered gifts or money to hurt another player.

Nearly 350 boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 14 were polled.

The survey showed that most children do get hurt while playing youth sports. Sixty-three percent said they have been hurt while playing sports. Most also say they expect to get hurt while playing. Fifty-nine percent say injuries are part of the game.

The survey also revealed that 42 percent of those who got hurt would be called graphic names – even by their own parents.

But it is not only the parents that push their kids to win at all costs measures. Thirty-four percent of the children polled said their coaches put winning as a priority over safe play.

When asked who was influencing young players to rough it up, the survey showed that 57 percent said their teammates gave them the idea, 23 percent said it was their parents, and 11 percent said it was the coaches.

“I’m concerned about the direction of youth sports,” Dr. Robert Cantu, renowned neurosurgeon and expert on youth sports safety, said in a press release. “Over the past 20 years or so it’s all become so serious. Fun no long seems to be the main object. Now it seems to be about grooming your child to be a star. It can be taken to extremes.”

Youth sports should be about instilling strong and positive character in boys and girls while teaching them the fundamentals of the game they wish to play.

“Across the country, young players are all-too-frequent victims of a sports culture that’s turning its back on them,” Mark Hyman, sports journalist and author, said in the press release. “With each passing season youth sports seem to stray further and further from their core mission of providing healthy, safe and character-building recreation for children.”

I9 Sports is a national youth sports franchise that focuses on sportsmanship, team work, fair play, and fun over winning.

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