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A baseball game at Northwest Open Space in Northglenn. Photo: Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado youth sports teams travel more miles to get to games than those in any other state, a new study shows.

Why it matters: The extensive travel is part of what makes youth sports — particularly those in elite leagues — so costly and inaccessible for many children.

  • 27% of parents spent at least $6,000 a year on their child's athletics and 8% spent more than $12,000 annually, according to a 2019 survey conducted for TD Ameritrade.
  • It's more than money. The survey found 19% of parents spend at least 20 hours a week on their child's activities.

Driving the news: Colorado and the other four states in the top five for youth sports travel all are located in the West, where vast spaces between major cities require longer drives to games.

By the numbers: The average youth sport team travels about 1,200 miles a year for games and tournaments, based on an analysis of more than 550,000 teams nationwide that used GameChanger — an app for managing youth sports teams — from 2017 to 2019.

  • Elite teams journey more than 5,000 miles annually.
  • Softball teams travel 38% more than baseball teams, in part because of fewer teams and inequities in girls sports.
  • The travel is mostly driving, rather than flying, analysts said.
Data: GameChanger; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

State of play: In Colorado, teams traveled an average 2,551 miles per year — ranking the state No. 1 in the nation for distance traveled.

  • The teams that go the farthest come from Douglas and Arapahoe counties, the data shows.

Between the lines: The GameChanger app is owned by Dick's Sporting Goods and is used most often by softball and baseball teams.

  • But other sports, from hockey to golf, also travel extensively.

What they're saying: "I played sports in college and my dad never missed a game," said Sarah Schell, the data science leader at GameChanger. "Just before graduation, I calculated that he drove over 50,000 miles to watch me play."

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Go deeper

2 mins ago - World

Israel's "change bloc" collapses, leaving Netanyahu in charge

Bennett (L) with Netanyahu in 2015. Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

In a dramatic shift that comes amid fighting in the Gaza strip and clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett has announced he will no longer seek an alternative government to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: Bennett had been on the verge of a power-sharing deal with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid that would have made him prime minister for two years until Lapid rotated into the job. Without Bennett, Lapid has no path to a majority, and Israel will almost certainly head for its fifth election since 2019 with Netanyahu still in his post.

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.

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