Some of the world’s top youth sports experts will convene in San Antonio, Texas in mid-September for the first-ever International Youth Sports Congress.

The Congress, which will be held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel & Resort, is open to youth sports administrators, league presidents, volunteer coaches, parents, officials, and anyone else with an interest in organized youth sports.

Lester Munson, an associate editor at Sports Illustrated, will deliver the keynote address, which will focus on the growing trend of anger and violence in youth sports. Munson is an award-winning writer and a member of the Illinois Bar Association.

The beating death of volunteer coach Michael Costin at a youth hockey practice in Reading, Massachusetts in July of 2000 sent shockwaves throughout the country regarding the escalating violence being displayed among adults at youth athletic events.

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Robert Silva, the Chief of Police for the town of Reading, Massachusetts, was the second officer on the scene at the ice rink. He’ll discuss what type of impact that incident has had on his community, and proactive solutions to help prevent these type of incidents from occurring again will also be covered.

Dr. Jay Coakley, a professor at the University of Colorado, will address the issue of youth sports parents and why many behave the way they do at their child’s sporting events.

Some of the other speakers will include Bryan Nakamura, John Wolohan, Gabriela Tymowski, and Dan Wann.

Nakamura, the city manager for Oregon City, Oregon, will offer his unique perspective on the issue of anger and violence in youth sports; Wolohan, an associate professor of Sports Law in the Sport Management Program at Ithaca College in New York, will discuss the impact violent incidents have on facility owners, user groups and leagues;

Dr. Wann, an associate professor of psychology at Murray State University in Kentucky and an expert on parent and spectator behavior at sporting events, will be an important part of a special panel devoted to kids and what they like and dislike about youth sports; and Tymowski will present findings from her research project – “Rights and Wrongs: Children’s Participation in High-Performance Sport,” which concentrates on the growing trend of sport specialization for young athletes.

Some of the many other topics and issues that will be addressed include:

Why is risk management necessary in my community?

How can we raise the professionalism of youth sports administration?

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