Play Favorites

December 15, 2018  • Institute Staff

At the Institute’s 2018 Project Play Summit, the NBA’s Kobe Bryant urged adults to “get out of the way” and allow children to enjoy less-structured sports. “Sometimes the most important thing you can do is just to observe,” Bryant told more than 400 people at the Newseum in Washington, DC. “You just watch, and then you can guide.” The summit sold out for the fourth straight year, reached more than 850,000 people on Facebook’s livestream, and trended on Twitter. Other speakers included sports icons like Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Tony Hawk, NBC Sports broadcaster Mary Carillo, and, as always, lots of kids. (Watch all of their discussions here.) The Institute’s Sports & Society Program‘s Project Play Summit was also the site of more than a dozen announcements about youth sports in America. Nike and the US Olympic Committee partnered to develop a free, 30-minute training course on coaching children 12 and under called that was inspired by the Institute’s Project Play 2020 effort to increase the quality and quantity of America’s volunteer youth coaches. launched in partnership with the Hospital for Special Surgery; it’s the first one-stop resource to assess the benefits and risks of playing in the 10 most-popular boys and girls high-school sports. The State of Play: 2018 and State of Play: Mobile County reports were released at the summit, and new State of Play partnerships in Hawaii and Seattle were announced. The Institute, along with ESPN and Under Armour, will publish a “Teamwork Toolkit” in early 2019 to help community leaders build up youth sports in their own areas. Finally, 20 organizations were named Project Play champions in recognition of their commitment to sports and exemplary programming.