Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

July 22, 2024

Sports For Kids

Photo by CelJak Photography

Fairfield coach Scott Smallwood says “Lacrosse is a fast-paced sport that provides today’s youth an exciting alternative to the traditional sports we as adults grew up playing.”  Many different elements of the game are appealing to kids, Smallwood points out. “The game combines non-stop action, the possibility of high scoring, emphasis on teamwork, and the development of precise skill. The sport also provides both boys and girls opportunities to play. Elements of soccer, hockey, basketball, and football (boys game) are rolled up into one neat package that seems to ‘hook’ many kids once they try it.”
Want more proof? Just ask the players. Lacrosse is all around fun, according to Cover Kid Jake. “I just like it! The contact and the action – it’s just really a great sport!”
For a basic intro to the sport of lacrosse, including rules of play, visit To find a local lacrosse league in your neighborhood, visit and choose “Find Local Lacrosse” under the “Parents” tab. And stop by Velocity Lacrosse (7967 Cincinnati Dayton Road, West Chester, 513-754-2299 or for the scoop on gear, news, upcoming events, indoor leagues, and camps and clinics.




Anderson Township Parks
Kids can join a variety of sports including tennis (ages 6 – 14), cheerleading (ages 4 – 8), track and field (ages 9 – 14), boys’ basketball leagues (grades 1 – 6), Lil’ All Stars (ages 4 – 5) for kids to learn three different sports, Lil’ Sluggers (ages 4 – 5), sand volleyball (grades 4 – 7), golf camps (ages 5 – 12) and soccer camps (ages 3 – 14). Visit site or call for sign-up dates.

Boone County Parks
Residents of Boone County of all ages can explore sports of all kinds, as well as safe, diverse parks and wholesome recreation programs.

Great Miami Valley YMCA

Atrium Family YMCA

Fairfield Family YMCA

Fitton Family YMCA

East Butler County Family YMCA
Offers soccer leagues starting at age 3 and other leagues at age 4, including basketball leagues that take kids until age 15 and other leagues until age 12. Sports leagues include youth basketball, spring and fall soccer, t-ball, coach pitch, machine pitch, kids pitch baseball league, girls’ softball, floor hockey, flag football, and indoor soccer.

Kenton County Parks
859-525-7529 •
Residents of Kenton County can take advantage of golf courses, adult recreational softball leagues, the “World’s Biggest Disc Golf Weekend,” high school disc golf championships, kids’ fishing derbies, and Punt Pass and Kick tournaments.

Mayerson JCC
8485 Ridge Road
513-792-5664 •
Sports programs available to PreK through Grade 8. The “J” offers action-packed sports and aquatics programs, including youth Blue Jays baseball and basketball teams, instructional tennis, co-ed pick-up soccer, archery instruction and more. The J also offers year-round Red Cross certified swim lessons for all ages and levels, including lifeguard training, in the indoor aquatics center. Membership is not required for JCC programs.

R.E.C. Kids Camp University of Cincinnati
2820 Bearcat Way
513-556-0603 •
Provides children with a well-rounded experience, R.E.C. Kids is structured to emphasize school-aged children’s development and education while promoting healthy lifestyles. Activities include swimming, sports, rock climbing, games, Friday special events and more.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
513-362-9622 •
Often the starting pint for many youth to learn about becoming and staying active and developing healthy habits, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati has 12 locations for youth sports of all ages and abilities.  Visit the site for each location’s programming.


Knothole Club of Greater Cincinnati
Youth baseball league for ages 6 and older with opportunities for Knothole Days with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. Visit the site for links to each district’s individual web site.

Little League
Kids can learn the game of baseball, improve their skills, and discover the joys and benefits of being part of a team. Use the league finder to find the team in your area.

Reds Rookie Success League
A free, co-ed, character building summer baseball program entering its ninth year that introduces baseball to ages 7 – 10. The program features components while focusing on a character-based curriculum and the “Six Stars of Successs” — cooperation, integrity, respect, education, determination, and spirit. Programs run twice a week for four weeks in Cincinnati, Butler County, Dayton and Clermont County. Visit site for dates and times.


Gametime AAU Basketball of Northern Kentucky
Organized and led by parents and open to kids in Greater Cincinnati, this non-profit league represents approximately 130 boys and girls in Grades 2 – 8 on 13 teams. Try outs are held in July for a one-year season, during which players are encouraged to join community service projects and develop as both athletes and productive members of the community. Scholarships and fundraisers ensure all kids have an opportunity to play, as does the league’s multiple levels for players of various abilities.

Kentucky Warriors

The Kentucky Warriors is an AAU basketball organization that offers boys and girls year-round weekly practices, basketball skills training, specialized  jump/agility/speed training and league games. The organization is for players that want to make the commitment year-round to do the necessary work to improve their individual and team basketball skills. The youth player’s goal should be to make it to the next level and play in high school. Then, having trained and practiced hard enough in their school career, earn a college athletic scholarship. We offer year-round individual and/or group basketball skills training sessions and specialized speed/agility/jump training sessions. We stress that student-athletes put academics first and athletics second during their school careers. Scholarships are available to players that qualify.

Northern Cincinnati Upward
513-868-8995 •
Serving grades K – 8, this program offers training in basketball and cheer with a focus on healthy, balanced competition.

Southwestern Ohio Basketball
513-771-0650 •
A youth basketball league for ages 5 – 17 that offers tournaments and camps, including a Drills n Skills program twice a year, as well as a winter, spring, summer and fall league.


Loveland Bike Trail
206 Railroad Ave., Loveland
513-683-0468 •
Offers more than 70 miles of flat paved trails for bikers, with lots of stops to relax and take a break along the way. Upcoming annual events include Loveland’s Amazing Race and a July 4th celebration. Visit the site for suggested rides for families with young children.


Boone County

PeeWee Football League
Providing opportunities for boys ages 6 – 13 to participate in organized, competitive, contact football, and cheerleading opportunities for girls.

Flag Football Fanatics
Serving ages 4 – 14, Flag Football Fanatics is the largest flag football organization in the state of Ohio whose sole purpose it to make football fun for kids.

Northern Cincinnati

Upward Flag Football
513-779-8800 •
For grades K – 8, Cincy Upward aims to keep kids having fun playing and cheering and learning the organization’s Christian message. All children get to play the same amount of time, with a focus on fun and not breaking records, and coaches are mentors both on and off the field.

Northern Kentucky

Youth Football League (NKYFL)
Serving grades K – 8, NKYFL has taught the fundamentals of football and cheerleading for over 50 years and consists of 12 organizations each with a district territory. There are six age divisions designed to maximize playing time that consists of Starters (Grades K – 2), PeeWees (Grade 3), Midgets (Grade 4), Junior Youth (Grade 5), Juniors (Grade 6), and Seniors (Grades 7 – 8). The season typically starts in mid-July and finishes with playoffs and a championship in early November.


Boone County Golf Courses

Boone Links
19 Clubhouse Drive, Florence

Lassing Pointe
2266 Double Eagle Drive, Union
Offers private youth lessons and junior golf memberships for Boone County residents.

Cincinnati Amateur Golf
Open to men’s and women’s high school age players and played in a similar concept to the PGA tour. The Tour concludes with a championship round that is handicapped to allow all members an equal opportunity to win. Full scorecards and stats are provided on each player’s personal page and all events are held locally.

Hamilton County Park District
Hamilton County Park District offers a full range of both instructional and competitive opportunities for young golfers, including the In-Reach Golf Academy at Meadow Links & Golf Academy, junior golf leagues, a Future Champions Club, junior tournaments, camps, clinics, private lessons, and even a Little Linkers program for ages 4 to 6. Also, kids under the age of 18 can play for free each day after 5 p.m. with a paying adult at any Hamilton County Park District golf courses.

Golf courses include:
Little Miami Golf Center
3811 Newtown Road

Miami Whitewater Forest
8801 Mt. Hope Road

Meadow Links & Golf Academy
10999 Mill Road

Sharon Woods
11355 Swing Road

Shawnee Lookout
2030 Lawrenceburg Road

The Mill Course
1515 West Sharon Road

The Vineyard
600 Nordyke Road

Kenton County Golf Courses
3908 Richardson Road,
859-371-3200 •
Junior golf lessons, including a PGA Junior Golf Academy, Family Golf Days and a First Tee program designed to introduce ages 8 – 18 to the game of golf.


Winton Woods Riding Center
513-931-3057 •
The Winton Woods Riding Center (WWRC) is a horseback riding lesson facility, for beginners through advanced riders that teach a variety of styles on its indoor and outdoor arenas. The WWRC hosts horse camps, schooling days, horse shows, Special Olympics events, lessons and trail rides. Children must be 7 years old or older to ride.


Cincinnati United Soccer Club
Providing children and young adults ages 5 – 18 of Butler, Hamilton, Warren, and all other neighboring communities throughout Greater Cincinnati and South Dayton a full range of opportunities to enjoy and develop in soccer, at levels appropriate for their age, ability and interest. Cincy United recognizes that children play the game for different reasons and hence offer a variety of programs to address the needs and interests of all.

Cincinnati West Soccer Club
One of the fastest growing youth soccer clubs in the area with a strong focus on being team and family friendly while still meeting the soccer development needs of more than 700 players at all skill levels and ages. Teams compete at all levels of the Cincinnati United Soccer League (CUSL) as well as the Buckeye Premier Youth Soccer League (BPYSL). Many players find that the varied development and competitive levels offered by CWSC along with the experienced, nationally licensed training staff, have well-equipped many to play for the “next level.”

Kentucky Youth Soccer Association (KYSA)
859-268-1254 •
Serving ages 5 – 19, KYSA was created to unite all youth soccer through the Commonwealth by affiliation and self-governance. KYSA offers programs for all ages and abilities, including a soccer camp in June in Melbourne, KY for ages 5 – 15. Visit site for sign-up details.

Ohio Elite Soccer Academy •
For under 8 through U18 age groups, both boys and girls, Ohio Elite creates a competitive soccer training environment for players, focusing on developing a “complete” player both on and off the field.

Ohio South Youth Soccer Association

25 Whitney Drive, Ste. 104, Milford
513-576-9555 •
A member of US Youth Soccer and the US Soccer Federation. Offering programs for players of all ages and skill levels, including a program for children with disabilities.

Soccer Association for Youth, USA (SAY Soccer)
One North Commerce Park Drive, Ste. 306 – 320
800-233-7291 •
Offers recreational youth soccer leagues for ages 4 – 18 in both the summer and fall. Visit the website and choose “find a location” or call the groups below:

Cincy Central SAY

Cincinnati East SAY

Cincinnati Hills

Cincinnati-Hamilton County

Community Agency

Darke-Miami Area SAY Soccer

Eastside SAY

Fairfield SAY

Five Points SAY

Greenfield SAY

Hamilton SAY

Kittyhawk SAY

Little Miami Youth Soccer Association

Mason SAY

Miami Valley East SAY

Miami Valley North SAY

Miami Valley South SAY

Miami Valley West SAY

Northwest Cincinnati SAY

Northwest Clermont County

Reading SAY

SAY North

WCBM Soccer

West Central Ohio Soccer Association

Western Area Soccer Association

Western Buckeye League

Winton Valley

Tri-County Swim League
Serving boys and girls ages 5 – 18, Tri-County Swim League promotes interest in safe swimming through friendly competition, to provide incentives for improving swimming skills, provide water safety awareness in children and young adults, to promote health, fitness and sportsmanlike conduct (including coaches and parents), and to conduct all league competitions in a fair and safe manner.


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