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Learning, activity… and injury? Caring for young athletes through appropriately designed modified (developmental) sport
  1. Machar Reid1,
  2. Tim Buszard1,2,
  3. Damian Farrow2
  1. 1 Game Insight Group, Tennis Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Footscray, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Machar Reid, Game Insight Group, Tennis Australia, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Mreid{at}

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It’s everywhere but our focus has been elsewhere

We enjoyed 2017’s American Medical Society for Sports Medicine issue of the BJSM focused on ‘Key issues in the care of young athletes’ that included insightful articles on sports specialisation1 and cardiovascular pre-participation screening.2 However, we would like to see a future issue address modified sport programmes which occupy playing fields on weekends and feature prominently in marketing campaigns of almost every sport interested in competing for the hearts and minds of children. Modified sport matters. It matters because it generally represents a child’s entry into sport and, if effective, helps to retain them in sport.3

Modified sport presents sports administration, medicine and science professionals with opportunities to ensure that the early sports experience of children is delivered in conditions that are suitable for their age or stage of development. In this way, modified sport recognises that the needs and abilities of children are different to adults and attempts to adapt its equipment and rules accordingly. Most sports now provide age-based guidelines on …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.