I agree wholeheartedly with the article. My own observation is that play has also been diminished by adults turning it into sport. I began surfing as a child and it was pure play. There were no formal competitions or other structures. We went out in the water and had fun in whatever way we could. Now it has become highly competitive, not only within formal competitions but also in free surfing areas.

I think this has happened in a wide variety of sports. I learnt to play soccer kicking a ball around the back yard. We would play a formal game on the weekend but training for under 12s was unknown.

The other issue is the massive increase in structured time. many children go from school to sport training to dance classes to music lessons etc. No play there kiddies!