There was a time not so long ago when every parent knew where their children and their neighbors’ children were playing without having to use a cell phone.
“The kids are out front on the sidewalk, at the playground, in the schoolyard or at the ball field,” they’d say.
As kids' games developed over the decades and children became more connected to organized sports programs like Little League, CYO basketball and Pop Warner football, parents could locate their children by the practice and game schedules stuck to refrigerator doors. Playing on the stoop evolved into play dates, pick-up baseball games became tee ball leagues and roughneck touch football on an open patch of grass became the Youth Football League.
So, now the games are all organized and we are secure in knowing that are kids are insured, protected, mentored and coached into athletes who can develop into well-rounded students and people by participating in sports.
There are some of us who played on those stoops, playgrounds and sandlots who wish our children could be as free as we were to roam the neighborhood without having parents and coaches “interfering” with their fun. But those days may be gone as the world becomes less safe for kids to yell, "Ma, I'm going to the park to play ball and I’ll be back for dinner,” as they slam the back door.
We should all be grateful, though, for all the parents who coach, recreation leaders who organize, schools and recreation departments that offer sports programs and Pop Warner, CYO, AAU, swim, tennis, lacrosse, soccer and other clubs and groups that have replaced those sandlot and playground pickup games.
Main Street Connect, the banner over your local “Daily” news website, recognizes the important part that sports and recreation play in the lives or our children and others in the community. We are making an effort to publicize school, club and recreation sports so that your neighbors, friends and family will know “where the kids are playing” and how they are doing by posting scores, features, photos and calendars.
We encourage coaches, parents, league organizers, sports boosters and school administrators to submit information to us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.