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Neighborhood Expert: Vienna youth sports

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

The town of Vienna has a rich history of family friendly activities and youth sports is central to all things Vienna!

You might not know where to start if you’re new to the area, or if your kids just recently proclaimed an interest in a new sport, so let me break down some options for you. I’m a former college athlete and my belief is that youth sports should be FUN first and getting better second. Hard stop. So you’ll see I’m going to add some nuances to each league so you can self-select into what feels right for your family.

Baseball

Baseball is a big deal in Vienna. There’s kind of no way to sugarcoat this. If your child is 4 or over, you can check out Vienna Little League (check age requirements to see eligibility). The league starts with T-Ball and goes through the age of 12 to the “majors.” There is a spring season (the usual baseball season) which starts with 1 practice and 1 game and progresses up to 2 games per week plus practice, and a Fall Ball season which is slightly more relaxed and less of a commitment (usually 1 practice + 1 game).

If you’re looking for just an introduction to baseball, the town of Vienna summer camps usually offer multiple weeks of instruction for school aged kids. It’s usually put on by some of the Madison High School baseball players through the MVP program and generally my kids have really enjoyed them (the t-shirt at the end is always a highlight!)

If you’re looking for a lighter version, there’s always fan favorite i9. This is a once week program for ages 3 and over on Sundays. Focus is purely on fun and the kids have so much fun because the staff is always awesome.

Softball

Softball is centered around the Vienna Girls Softball League, with a fall and spring season. They do offer basics for girls ages 3 and 4 and the league goes up to 18 and under. The season usually starts with 1 practice and 1 game and as the girls get older can move into 2 practices and games per week.

Football

Another anchor of the Vienna youth sports community and a staple on Waters Field on Saturdays is the football program through Vienna Youth Inc (VYI). The tackle football program starts at the age of 5 and goes up to the age of 12. They also offer a flag football program for kids aged 5-12.

If you want a once a week program for flag football, i9 also offers a Sunday option for kids age 5-8.

Basketball

VYI offers a house league for basketball for both girls and boys, which starts in Kindergarten. In grade 4, they hold tryouts if the kids want to try a “county” league (which acts like a travel league). The practices are once a week for an hour and then a Saturday game follows.

I’m sure I’ll surprise you here where I mention i9 offers a once a week Sunday option for kids ages 5 and up.

Soccer

Vienna Youth Soccer is a great organization for your young soccer player. They offer fall, winter (called Frosty Fields), and spring soccer season for kids ages 5 and up. The younger kids have a practice during the week and a game on the weekend. VYS holds camps throughout the summer too if you’re looking to expose your child to the sport. One thing I loved about VYS is they do try to keep kids together from the same school.

Cheerleading, Lacrosse, Rugby, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

I don’t have any personal experience with these leagues, but they are offered through VYI as well. You’ll see the cheerleaders at the VYI Football games showing off their skills too. Again, try i9 if you’re looking for a Sunday option for volleyball, lacrosse, and cheerleading.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that youth sports is about building friendships outside of the classroom and exposing kids to new things. They’re always looking for parent volunteers to help coach so also a great way to make more mom/dad friends!

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