As parents and grandparents (and great grandparents?), we sometimes find ourselves wanting to get good photos at a youth sports event. This calls for a fast shutter speed and a wide (small f stop number) aperture, and possibly letting your ISO go higher than you might normally. So it’s not a situation to use the auto mode on a DSLR. Shutter priority mode or manual mode will be much better to assure you have the right settings and get good shots.
This article has good information on the topic of photographing youth sports.