Youth Sports Travel Habits

Youth Sports Travel Habits

Impact of COVID-19 on Willingness to Travel for Youth Sports

Parent feelings regarding their willingness to travel impacts their perceptions toward the 12 adaptations. When looking at parent responses for those who participate in travel sports that require more than 50 miles of travel from home, 38% reported that the current pandemic makes them less willing to travel and more likely to seek opportunities to compete closer to home. In contrast, 60% reported the pandemic had no impact on their travel plans, while 2% reported the pandemic makes them more willing to travel than before.

Travel parents less willing to travel during the pandemic are represented by the dot in Figure 4, while travel parents not changing their travel plans are represented at the end of the dotted line. Figure 4 shows that travel parents less willing to travel perceive all 12 adaptations in a more positive light, and their inclusion will add to their satisfaction. In contrast, travel parents who are not less likely to travel during the pandemic have a lower left drift for each adaptation, feeling more indifferent about each adaptation.

Figure 4. Comparing Less Willing to Travel (Dot) to No Change in Travel (End of Dotted Line)

Returning to Travel Sports

Travel sports parents demonstrated an increasing comfort level in traveling for competitions each month. Their comfort level increased from 42% in May to 76% in August. Figure 5 shows their comfort level during May through September.

Figure 5. Comfortability Returning to Travel Youth Sports by Month

Impact of COVID-19 on Sports Travel Budget

The economic turmoil wrought by COVID-19 has touched nearly every aspect of American life. However, 59% of travel sports parents (n = 8,824) reported that the pandemic will not negatively impact their sports travel budget, and only 23% will experience a decrease greater than 25% in their youth sports travel budget (see Table 8).

Table 8: Change in Sports Travel Budget for Travel Sports Parents

Budget has increased3504
Decreased by <25%1,50417.0
Decreased by 25–49%1,16513.2
Decreased by 50–74%5576.3
Decreased by 75% or more3904.4
No impact at all4,85855.1