Landscape Our State Of Play

Build your community sports scoreboard and learn which kids are playing sports, when, where, why — and why not.

About This Module

Welcome To Landscape Our State of Play

In this section, Project Play will walk you through exercises to help you figure out which youth (through age 17) in your community are playing sports, which youth are not, and why. These are some of the processes Project Play uses to conduct research for the comprehensive, local State of Play reports our team completes for foundations and other organizations. For examples, see the reports we have created in partnership with leaders in Baltimore, Harlem, Mobile County (Ala.), Western New York, Southeast Michigan, and Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes.

How To Use The Module

A Step-By-Step Approach

Follow Project Play through this step-by-step approach to landscape your community’s state of play. You will be asked to complete online activities and take in-person steps to hear from others in your community. The Teamwork Toolkit walks you through both the online and in-person activities. If you want to skip steps, simply click the next button to move on. Your answers save each time you hit “continue.” The order of the steps is just a recommendation. Do what works for you and your community. The tool will be here. You can always come back.

When To Use The Module

The First Step To Change

The first step to improving access to quality sports experiences for kids is to understand the local landscape. Use this tool to get a better understanding of the gaps, needs and assets in your community and put your findings together in a State of Play report — then use the Mobilize Leaders module to work to close the gaps.

In This Module

Get Started

Set Goals: Any good exercise starts with a warm up. Take a moment to reflect on your goals for using the Teamwork Toolkit. We’ll coach you through it.

Build Your Working Group: Landscaping the State of Play is an effort that benefits from input from a variety of community members. One way to engage leaders is through a working group of at most 10 local leaders. Learn how to build and use an effective group.

Take Stock

Youth Survey: It’s Project Play’s first “play”: Ask Kids What They Want. Learn how to survey youth directly about their sport experiences. Then design a survey you can download and print to put into action offline.

School/Sport Administrator Survey: Schools and program administrators are key stakeholders in the delivery of youth sport. Knowing what they offer – and what they think – will help you understand what’s available and how to approach leaders in the next steps. Design a survey you can download and print to put into action offline.

Parent Survey: Parents and guardians are the gatekeepers to most youth. What are they looking for in sports for their kids? Ask them. Design a survey you can download and print to put into action offline.

Program Inventory: The only way to assess the available offerings is to make a list of what programs operate in your community. Use our maps and program directory integrations to get a start, then follow our checklists for where else to gather the information.

Facilities Inventory: Kids can’t be active through sport without places to play. Use our internet maps integration to see what’s available and where, then follow our checklists for where else to gather the information.

Collect Facts: Reap the rewards of researchers who have started this work. Learn where to find physical activity and other data, health rankings, other information — and how to make it work for you.

Engage The Community

Hearing from other community members, including kids, is key. Learn how to host focus groups.

Quantify The Benefits

Thanks to the Global Obesity Prevention Center at Johns Hopkins University, now you can measure the impact on your community of getting more kids moving. Plug in some numbers and see what’s possible.

Put It All Together

Use this template and the information you’ve gathered to build your State of Play report.

Learn Where Your Community Stands

In sports, we keep score. And some numbers matter more than wins and losses: How many (and which) kids are playing. How many coaches are trained in key competencies. What does your community stand to gain if more kids have access to sport? In this module, learn where your community stands – then progress to the Mobilize Leaders module to learn how to set “personal records” in the community sports scoreboard that matters.