Youth sports by the numbers

PHOENIX – Youth sports are booming in the US today. Almost 22 million children between ages 6 and 17 play team sports, according to Sports and Fitness Industry Association research.

For competitive sports such as ice hockey, tennis and soccer, NCAA athletes start early: 96 percent of men and 96 percent women basketball players, 96 percent men and 90 percent of women ice hockey players and 94 percent of men and 76 percent women soccer players start by age of 9, according to NCAA Convention Research.