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All Politics Are Local

Whether you like it or not, politics and organized youth sports go hand in hand: from the Little League coach who won't let your son pitch because he might show up his son to the mother lobbying the high school football coach to showcase her son in front of the college scouts.

Unfortunately, as bad as the politics often is during the season they  don't end when the last game of the season has been played. As veteran parents know, a lot happens in the post-season and off-season as well: fighting for playing time for your child in the championship game, electing new members to the local soccer club's Board of Directors, holding annual meetings, changing by-laws, picking coaches for the following season.

How does an outsider who sees a program headed in the wrong direction get elected to the Board? Get the club to revise its policy on playing time or increase the number of travel teams to give every kid who wants to play at a more competitive level a chance? How do parents surviving the politics, be an effective advocate for their child, deal with other parents, know when to go over the coach's head, work to reform the culture of youth sports to make it child- instead of adult-centered, and more about having fun and skill development than about winning? How can youth sports be less of a "No-Moms Land" and more of a place where woman, particularly mothers, can take a more active leadership role, both as coaches and administrators along side the men in equal numbers?

The goal of this center is to maximize your chances of being a successful youth sports parent by providing information and advice on how to handle the politics that are an inevitable part of youth sports. But, as usual, we need and want your help. For all of us to be successful as sports parents, we need to share what we have learned so we can all do a better job. To that end, please consider writing a blog, contributing an article, commenting on articles, or posting on and/or hosting a Forum. If you know of someone who you think has knowledge to share, ask him or her to join MomsTeam. Together we can make the youth sports experience less about political battles between adults and more about kids having fun.

To borrow from MSNBC's catchphrase, this is the place for youth sports politics.