The Over Under Initiative is a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to sport by converting public basketball courts and blacktops into multi-sport play spaces. We believe accessibility to sport is the most impactful way communities can address the health crisis kids in the United States are facing. That’s why we’re working with cities around the country to #openplay for the kids in their communities.

OUI was founded by Kyle Martino following his run for U.S. Soccer President. As he traveled the country listening to local communities, he became acutely aware of the steady drop in participation his sport was experiencing, and the national health crisis borne of that phenomenon. Further research and understanding helped to reveal this issue of consequence was not just soccer-specific, but part of a larger youth sports epidemic.

The Problem

Less than 1 in 4 US kids experience the recommended level of activity, a number that has fallen every year since 2011. This will decline further as our current economic crisis leads to the closure of local sports leagues. (Read More)

Kids from low-income homes are now only half as likely to play a team sport as kids from high-income homes.

30% of children from low income homes don’t participate in any sport, organized or pickup, even just for one day a year. That’s 3x fewer than kids from more affluent homes.

The Cause

Lack of Facilities – Scarce facilities in urban communities mean kids don’t just fight an uphill battle to participate in organized sports, but also struggle to find a place for spontaneous play.

High Cost – Low-income parents cannot afford the escalating costs of organized sports. On average, parents spend more than $5,000 per year for their kids to play.

Hyper-Specialization – Kids are specializing in sports at a young age due to increasing pressures from parents and society. This limits the options and access for non-advanced athletes.

The OUI Solution

OUI converts underutilized public basketball courts and blacktops into accessible multi-sport play spaces. Using our unique, low-cost court conversion technology and neighborhood investment strategy, we provide a safe way for children to experience the benefit of sampling sports without organizational or cost barriers.

OUI aims to

  • Raise interest and access for sampling sports — recreational and organized
  • Promote positive health and wellness benefits for low-income communities
  • Provide cost-effective multi-sport offerings to municipalities
  • Equip organizations and families with the tools and resources to open play

We plan to do this by leveraging our

Government Relationships – Our partnerships with local governments help us identify and unlock spaces that are underutilized, up for refurbishment, and would benefit from our work.

Network of Partners – OUI has the support of prominent organizations across the nation that are dedicated to making sport and play accessible to kids everywhere.

Proprietary Tech – GOALPHER is a patent-pending, low-cost innovative goal that can be installed under the court surface, brought up to facilitate new play options, and safely recessed when not being used.

Help us #OpenPlay today.