KIDS: Use 'children' unless you are talking about goats." So instructs the Associated Press Stylebook, the bible of proper newspaper language used by thousands of journalists around the globe.
The rule does not apply to high school and college sports. In the past few years, players have come to be called not "boys" and "girls," "men" and "women," but "kids."
Coaches, TV announcers and commentators are particularly fond of "kids." Billy Packer must have used it a dozen times during the NCAA championship in Minneapolis. Coaches talk about how "our kids have got to work harder on the press," or, "I've never been prouder of a bunch of kids."