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Youth Sports


At the Y, we believe every child deserves the opportunity to play sports. Many of our youth sports are FREE with a Family Membership. Non-members can also join our youth sports teams, and play with their friends who are Y members.

YMCA youth sports encourage healthy kids, families, and communities by placing a priority on family fun, healthy competition, the value of participation over winning, and team-building. We emphasize individual development, a positive self-image, a sense of fair play, and mutual respect. Parents are encouraged to contribute their time as volunteer coaches – as well as being their kid’s greatest fan. Every child plays in every game, regardless of skill.

If you register for a team sport, you can purchase a reversible YMCA jersey from your local Y for $15. 

  • Basketball (Fall and Winter ages 3 – Grade 6)

Got game? Hit the hardwood with the folks who invented the game – the Y! In 1891, while teaching at the International YMCA Training School, James Naismith was given the challenge of creating a game that could be played indoors during the cold winter months. Hanging simple peach baskets and using a soccer ball, Naismith created the game of basketball and wrote the first 13 rules of the game.

  • Soccer (Fall and Winter ages 3 – Grade 6)

YMCA soccer promises no tryouts, no getting cut, and no bench warmers! Every child plays at least half of every game while making friends and learning new techniques. Soccer practices are held weekly for an hour with games played on Saturday mornings. Basic skills of the game are developed through soccer games and activities—and fun!

  • Martial Arts (Year-Round, Ages 8-Adult)

YMCA/Salem Budokai martial arts classes are designed to promote positive behavior and to foster the growth of mind, body, and spirit!

  • Gymnastics (Year-Round, Ages 5-12yrs old)

Gymnasts in our beginner levels will learn basic skills on floor, balance beam, uneven bars, and vault. This program will focus on listening and cooperative skills and motor movement/development all while having fun! Intermediate levels focus on basic gymnastics skills in which we will work on flexibility. Gymnasts will have the opportunity to learn skills on floor, balance beam, uneven bars, and vault. Advanced levels build on basic skills learned in our intermediate program. Gymnasts will advance their skills on floor, balance beam, uneven bars, and vault.

  • Track & Field

Team YMCA is comprised of participants from all 4 branches of the Family YMCA of Marion & Polk Counties. Open to students in kindergarten – 8th grade willing to learn fundamentals of track and field and meet new friends!

  • Volleyball (Fall, Spring, Grades 3-6)

Develop and learn skills and fundamental training in the sport of Volleyball! What to wear: athletic shirt and shorts

  • NFL Flag Football (Spring, Summer, Fall, Grades 1-6)

Score touchdowns with your friends by joining the YMCA in NFL flag football! Work on teamwork, leadership, and basic football skills with this program.

  • Cross Country (Fall, Middle School)

Enjoy the warm weather and the great outdoors with Cross Country! Learn about pacing yourself and long-distance running.

  • Sports Camps (Spring, Summer, Grades K-8)

We offer a variety of instructional sports camps for youth. Come have fun and learn a new sport!

Adult Sports

  • Pickleball (Year-round; co-ed)

For ages 18 and up, the Salem Family YMCA offers Open recreational adult pickleball throughout the year. Check with Salem Family YMCA for additional details.

Youth Sports Coaching

Coaches are the heart of Y youth sports. We could not do it without you! All YMCA coaches must complete:

  • Volunteer application
  • YMCA coaches’ training, including concussion prevention
  • YMCA safety & emergency course

A youth sports program is only as strong as its coaches and that is why we want you to have all the tools you need for your season. We provide manuals that include multiple practice plans including drills, team circles, and fitness components.

For additional resources, including sports-specific training, visit the YMCA training website.