So your child has had an interest in sports lately and wants to play on a team. Where to start?
Fortunately, there are many leagues and teams awaiting your sign-up across the Kansas City area, no matter what sport(s) your child is interested in.
Many keagues are in full swing, so check out how your child can get involved across several popular sports.
One of the most comprehensive leagues in the area is ran by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. The league opened a complex in 2018 in combination with the Kansas City Christian School that features five lighted fields, three of which are turfed. Registration opened up earlier this month for the J Baseball fall baseball league, of which games start in August and end in October for children aged from kindergarten to 10th and 11th grades.
However, there is a cost associated with joining J Baseball (anywhere from $140-160). A more cost-effective option is to tag along with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, which offers youth baseball leagues for ages kindergarten through seventh grade throughout the summer.
For instance, the Atchison Family YMCA offers a cost of $25 for members and $35 for non-members for its T-ball league for those at preschool age through first grade.
The 3 & 2 Baseball Club recently kick-started a fastpitch softball league. Age levels offered are first through eighth grade, and coaches are able to register their teams online.
The Northland Sports Alliance offers numerous sports, including softball leagues held during the summer and fall months. Registration for the fall period begins on July 1, and the organization notes on its website that it “prides itself on never turning a child away regardless of their inability to pay the enrollment fees, or a child’s lack of athletic ability, and is committed to keeping this component in place.”
Heartland Soccer Association in Overland Park is the nation’s largest soccer league and tournament host, with registration open for girls and boys in leagues catering to the under-9 to under-19 levels.
Games are held across the Kansas City area at Overland Park Soccer Complex, Swope Soccer Village, Compass Minerals Sporting Fields and Olathe Soccer Complex, and there are often regional tournaments held against teams from other states and countries, too.
Sporting Kansas City also runs a comprehensive youth soccer program, holding league play during both the fall and spring. SKC youth coaches stage camps throughout the year across the area for ages two to 18. For more information on Sporting KC Youth Soccer programs, contact Brennan Williams at [email protected]
Kansas Youth Soccer also has a comprehensive list of recreational clubs on the Kansas side of the metro listed on its website.
If you’re hoping your child becomes the next Patrick Mahomes, selecting the Missouri Wolverines for his or her development might not be a bad choice. The youth football organization has produced 76 college football players — 21 at the Division I level — since beginning in 1999. The Wolverines offer flag football before second grade, then tackle football until eighth grade.
The North Suburban Youth Football League, meanwhile, is another solid choice with pedigree to its name — all of its coaches must attend a yearly coaching clinic, and over half of the league’s coaches have at least 10 years of experience. The NSYFL offers three flag divisions (kindergarten through second grade) and five tackle divisions (third through seventh and eighth grade), with teams having participated from metro Kansas City to Raytown to Olathe and Lee’s Summit.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City offers a youth basketball league in addition to its large baseball operation, running leagues across three levels from kindergarten through seventh grade for both members and non-members. For children aged 3 through pre-kindergarten, there’s a “FUN-atics” class where those not old enough for league play can learn basic fundamentals of the game.
If you have a team gathered already, the KC Premiere League has competitions throughout the summer, fall and winter for both girls (third through 10th grade) and boys (third through eighth grade) as the largest provider of youth basketball programs in Kansas City.
For more highly skilled players, there are numerous Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams in the area, too. Many have performed on the national stage — such as MoKan Basketball and Legends — play year-round and host tryouts.
There’s no shortage of quality volleyball clubs in the KC metro.
Mid-America Volleyball (also known as MAVS KC) is a club that offers teams for both girls and boys across the area, while KC Premiere — along with basketball — plays host to volleyball teams, as well. KC Power, for the elite of the elite, has won national championships in the sport.
Not quite ready yet for your child to play competitively? There are options on that end, too. Kansas City Centerline offers youth volleyball camps and lessons — both on court and beach settings — with registration for a “Back to School” camp in August.
Heart of America volleyball has numerous camps, leagues and clinics, while players without teams can hop on clubs with open slots through a feature on the organization’s website.