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Youth Sports Organizations Face Staffing Shortages

Survey finds over 70% of youth sports organizations are concerned about staffing shortages. 

Several trends have combined that are making it harder and more expensive to hire and retain youth sports program staff. For different reasons, these challenges are pronounced for lower compensated roles and tech workers. 

PLAY Sports Coalition, an organization focused on providing support and resources to advocate for youth sports, surveyed its members. The survey found:   

78% were either very or extremely concerned about labor availability 
63% do not believe they will meet their 2022 hiring plan 
61% are either very or extremely concerned about rising wage levels 
65% are offering larger than usual employee wage increases 
43% are offering higher than usual starting compensation. 

Approximately 40% of respondents felt that an inability to be fully staffed would impact their ability to: 

  • Maintain proper staff-to-kid ratios 

  • Offer a wide range of programs 

  • Deliver on other roadmap goals 

  • Hit revenue or fundraising goals 

Respondents were most concerned about the coach, instructor, referee, driver, event & front-line staff, and development roles. More than half of the respondents did not note an impact on the ability to deliver on goals because of labor challenges. 

PLAY Sports Coalition asked its members to share context and solutions for navigating this challenging labor market.