Tim BannonIndependent journalist Tim Bannon and his team of reporting interns investigated the safety of for-profit youth sports. Concerns being examined included COVID-19 protocols at tournaments, injuries, the high price of entry, and other safety issues. 

Marquette students Margaret Cahill and Amanda Parrish collaborated with Bannon on the series.

The first installment of the series was published in September 2020. It examined COVID-19 precautions at for-profit youth tournaments. The reporting team found little masking, inconsistent rules and loose enforcement despite a high awareness from participants surrounding the risks.

The team continued to examine how sports were affected as they moved indoors for the winter.

In April 2021, they reported in depth on how the high cost of some youth sports leaves behind families without adequate resources.

In March 2021, the reporting team earned an Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State for their work on the series. The award recognizes creative, in-depth and innovative coverage of youth and high school sports by broadcast, print and online journalists.

Works published to date:

September 11, 2020
'I just want to play': $19 billion youth sports industry powers ahead through the pandemic largely unregulated

November 13, 2020
Should your child participate in the winter sports season? The data is limited, and mixed 

January 29, 2021
Despite COVID concerns, Wisconsin went ahead with high school hockey. It may be the riskiest winter sport of all.

April 29, 2021
How COVID-19 may have made the economic divides in youth sports worse than before 

The youth sports world can be confusing. Here are some tips to help parents navigate club sports, camps, clinics and more. 

As participation in youth sports grows, more are winding up on the injured list 

‘I do think of it as medicine’: 7 benefits of playing youth sports