Controlling Costs In Youth Sports

Far West Regionals 2013

Participation costs in youth sports are growing yearly – especially at the elite level.

From equipment to registration to traveling to events, parents routinely spend over $1,000 on sports-related activities.

Additional Travel Costs

This week, over 200 youth soccer teams are participating in a regional soccer tournamentin Honolulu. The yearly event brings together some of the top teams in the western part of the United States – from Washington to Colorado to Arizona.

The event translates to significant economic benefits to the host city – $6 to $8 million by some estimates. However, was the location chosen with the best interests of parents in mind?

Some families will undoubtedly turn it into a vacation, but many kids had to fundraise just to take part in the event. For some teams traveling from Phoenix, for example, each player needed to raise $1,500 just to attend.

Some state associations help, too. Cal South, the governing body for Southern California, donated over $186,000 to more than 50 teams to help defer travel costs.

Should Regional Events Be Held in Hawaii?

While there are additional travel and logistics challenges to hosting events out west, should events really be held in Hawaii given the significant additional travel burden?

It would be interesting to know the number of players and/or teams that were unable to attend due to funding reasons.

The Next Step

Keep in mind that the event is only a Regional competition. Teams that win must start fundraising to attend the National Championships in July – in Overland Park, Kansas.

What do you think? Should organizing bodies be doing more to control costs for these types of events?