Kids Were The Best Organizers Of Sports When I Was Growing Up
I don’t know if this is still accurate but years ago one of the biggest complaints parents had about the town they lived in was there simply was not enough for kids to do. So in a lot of these places they built playgrounds and basketball courts and baseball fields and more and do you know what…they sit empty most of the time.
Yes this is another one of those…”when I was a kid” segments and don’t worry I won’t include anything about walking 2 miles to school in the snow with holes in my sneakers. Seriously though it seems that kids don’t play sports unless it’s organized by adults. I have vivid memories of growing up in Seaside Heights and playing touch football in the church parking lot, basketball with chain nets in the playground and baseball in a dirt lot behind the Barnegat Ice House. We either called one another on our house phones or more often than not just met up at Terri’s Sweet Shoppe on the boulevard and once we had enough kids the game was on.
No adults, no referees, no parents. In baseball we were our own umpires and in basketball you better have a good reason to call a foul and football on the asphalt could get a bit rough. Games often ended when kids had to leave, dinner was on the table or when it go too dark. Of course this was well before cell phones so there were plenty of times where a parent pulled up in a car and shouted for you to get in or ride your bike home.
Today I don’t see any of that and there’s a better chance of organizing a group to play Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto then a basketball game so courts and fields remain empty. That is unless you have a uniform on and adults to run the show. I liked it when we ran our own.