People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Kids Sports That Cost as Much as the Pros

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Kids Sports That Cost as Much as the Pros

My six year old is gearing up for his first round of organized sports.  Oh sure, we did the little Happy Feet soccer stuff a couple years ago, but now he's ready to play Coach-Pitch Baseball.  His practices (seriously, these kids have practices??) start in a couple of weeks and we haven't even begun to think about the stuff he will need.  After all, I paid close to $200 bucks, shouldn't that cover everything?  I found out that it does not.  We'll still be charged for a uniform at some point and we need "appropriate equipment" whatever the hell that is! 

Yesterday we were invited to watch a baseball team that my day job is sponsoring this year.  This is a group of 7-9 year olds who play competitive baseball.  This is not the rec center group that we'll be playing on - this is a serious group of young athletes.  We paid them $500 bucks to put our banner out at all 75 (!!) of their games these season.  The money is going towards their own pitching machine. 

We had a lot to do yesterday so we arrived late at the ball park.  By our calculations the game only had another 15 minutes and we thought we could catch the tail end.  When we arrived at the ball park we were told it costs $5 for each adult to enter the park.  Seriously?  To watch 8 year olds play baseball??  I think I can get seats at the Royals for $10 on some nights!

We were a little shocked.  We hung out for a minute debating if we wanted to cough up $10 for 15 minutes or come to a later game.  A parent recognized us at the gate and sweet talked the guard to let us in for free since there wasn't much time left on the game.  I asked her if she had some kind of pass to come and watch her child play (since after all, she's paying BIG bucks just to have her kid on this team).  She said, "No, we have to pay every time too."  Whaaat??  Yup, just this weekend alone her family has dropped close to $40 on gate fees just to watch their child play.  That just seems nuts to me.  These are kids!  These are families who are coming to watch their kid play.  You're still going to make plenty of money off of them when they buy your crappy $6 hot dogs!

I realized this ball park was making bank!  I couldn't see where the money was going - other than I didn't have to do my business in a Port-a-Potty and they had electronic scoreboards.  But the parks aren't the only ones cashing in.  What about the companies that sell the uniforms, the batting helmets, the bats, the gloves, the cleats, the batting gloves, the sunglasses that cut the glare and the fancy bag each player has to carry all his gear?  I started breaking out in a sweat thinking how much baseball was going to cost us!




The Hubs assured me we would not need to spend near as much since we were doing rec level and the Kid wouldn't need all the special gear.  I calmed down a bit.

On the way home, we stopped off at the sporting goods store to get the Kid a baseball glove (Hubs didn't think the $4 one I bought at T.J. Maxx was going to cut it).  Did you know a baseball glove costs $40??  Yeah, I didn't either - I shop for ball gloves at T.J. Maxx, duh.  Did you know you then pay to have it broken in?  Yeah, I didn't know that either.  WTF???

OK, so he needs a glove, but that will be it, right?

Nope.  We ran into a family we knew who was there stocking up their son for baseball season.  He played last year and they had words of wisdom for us. 

"He'll need a glove."  (Check.) 

"A lot of the kids have batting gloves and they do help his grip." (Okay.  Batting gloves.  How expensive can those be?  Quick price check:  $20.  Are you freaking kidding me??) 

"You'll want a bat too, it's just nice to have your own.  The rec ones are kind of beat up."  (Yaaah, we'll take our chances with the beat up bats.  I mean, c'mon, it's still Johnson County, how bad can they be?)

And then their kids says, "Oh!  A helmet.  You'll want your own helmet!"  (Really?  I doubt it.  Surely the rec provides those!  It's a safety thing!)  "Oh yeah, they have them," he says. "I got lice from them last season."  (Screw the price!  The Kid gets his own helmet!)

Have I mentioned we're not even sure the Kid even likes baseball or has any real knack for it??  We're just "exploring" sports at this point to see what sticks.  I'm going to drop 400 bucks before this exploration is over!  What if he decides he hates baseball and then we're on to soccer next year?  Maybe I should encourage him to do track.  How much can running shoes cost?  (Ha!)

At least the team we watched yesterday have boys who know they love baseball and are actually pretty good at it, so you don't mind shelling out so much money - it's an investment - with my kid, it's a gamble and we all know, the house always wins.


UPDATE:  The team we sponsored won the World Series of their division.  So I guess their parents' "investments" paid off.  Gomer played one season of baseball and spent most of the time sitting in the outfield picking flowers in his white $25 pants!  (I forgot to add OxyClean to my list of baseball must-haves.)  This year we tried soccer and besides Adolpha's broken arm we all enjoyed soccer.  I think soccer will be the sport for this family.

65 comments:

ilikebeerandbabies.com said...

I wanted to sign my daughter up for tumbling until I found all the classes were $300 and aimed at making her an Olympian. WTF!

BetseeT said...

I have two that play hockey. One is high school so that season is two months. The girl plays travel so our season is nice and long - August sometime until March or April. Hurts less when I'm dropping 5 to $700 per kid for gear, and about 3K apiece for the ice bill.

BetseeT said...

Oh and the pros get paid and DON'T have to buy their own gear :)

spymay said...

It's every sport.My kids do karate and not only do I pay every month for them to go, but I recently had to drop almost $300 for sparring gear.And I have to pay for belt tests.And for new uniforms when they grow/wear them out.
At least their practices are never rained out.

medicmom said...

Been there, done that. I have a garage full of unused equipment. My kid did play 3 seasons of baseball but I haven't recouped my investment in cleat, pants, belts, bats, socks, helmets (yes there is an "s", I have 2!), the bat, the balls and the bag which HAD to have his name on it because what if the other kids wanted his! Then there was soccer, which he played one season which has its own bag, ball, shin guards and a book since we didn't have a coach at our city league. Luckily, all we have from our one basketball season is the uniform! I'm over sports!

Nikki said...

Um, I would die if I had to pay to come watch my kid play summer sports! Are you kidding me??? I'd be one of the those parents who watch from outside the fence. Call me cheap if you must! LOL

Anonymous said...

It gets worse. I work in college athletics and see the bills. Luckily by this level it isn't the parents coughing up most of it... but parents are still required to carry full-coverage health insurance that includes a rider on playing collegiate athletics, plus it is assumed that parents will join the booster club and donate tons of money to the team. And each player gets to add people to a pass-list so they can get in to the games free.

Jenne said...

I'm thinking you might want to take up horseback riding.

Helmet = $30-$50
Boots = $30-$60 (but you can find barely used that were outgrown at any horse rescue's tack shop for $10 - trust me. I've donated them LOL)
Lessons = $25-$50

Watching your child gain confidence and compassion = pricele$$

My best friend is just north of KCMO in Cameron - I can hook you up.

RedBirdRising said...

I help run a nonprofit youth football organization. I have to tell you it's expensive on our end too. Heck, Refs alone are $65 a GAME! And each game has 3 refs!!!. Factor in fields, equipment, (We provide most) it's over $300 a kid just to break even.

And you wouldn't believe all the specialized equipment parents will buy for their kids too.

Jane said...

My younger son has played Little League baseball for four years, so far. This past year was his first in the division where they play for scores and so forth. The first three years, the "uniform" they provided was a jersey cut tee-shirt with the team logo and number, and he got to keep the shirts after the season ended. This year, the jersey was more official looking, and was made from the same slippery polyester stuff that the "real" jerseys are made from. But, it was still a shirt that a pre-teen boy wore for three months (yes, we did wash it, every so often). It had snags, and I think there was a stain on it. Boy, was I surprised that we had to return that thing to the league. Seriously? We paid almost $200 and we didn't even get to keep the darn jersey? What else is he going to wear with the baseball pants had to buy (several pairs because for some reason all the coaches seem to think white is the best color for boys to wear...coaches should have to do the laundry for the whole team. Maybe then they would start picking black, or dirt brown, or grass green, as the pants color.)

Thankfully, we haven't had to buy a new bat or helmet every season; those do last at least a couple years!

Anonymous said...

I hear ya. Not sure about where your kids go, but where mine go, the fee for the belt tests go up with every belt. And there's the patches that are required to be on the uniforms (at $12 per set) when they start testing at a higher level (which, I put on the wrong side of the uniform). Then, there are the weapons. We shelled out $20 for a bow staff for our daughter, $10 for nunchucks for the boy. Both were purchased in neutral colors because they WILL be sharing them! The sparring gear I got lucky with... grandparents bought it as a Christmas gift. And don't forget tournaments... $45 entry fee, then $5 per additional event. $10 per person spectator fee, plus gas to get there because the nearest one is over an hour away. Hm, what else... OH! The instructor approved karate T-shirt so they don't have to sweat their asses off all summer in a full gi. That was another $25. And after spending all this money in the past two months, my kids tell me they want to quit before their contract is up. Yes, here we have to sign a contract for either 6 months or a year. I did the year... never again. They are getting tired of it because there is no break. School sports run in seasons with some time off in between. Karate... not so much.

Unknown said...

All 4 of my kids play soccer, 3 are in rec level soccer which doesn't cost much. The other one is in elite club level soccer - holy crap. I just dropped $500 for one kids uniforms, $1700 for training fees and that doesn't include all the travel out of state for games and tournaments. Granted she wants to play in college so it's kind of an investment. Probably should have just banked all the money we shelled out into a 529 fund.

tiwimon said...

Try ebay - seriously, my daughter for softball this season bought batting gloves, DeMarini's, which are normally 30 dollars for 8 bucks, brand new! The catch? last years style, who cares! Batting helmet, got the full face mask version - the one with clear protector instead of bars, far safer, for 20 bucks new, in stores they are considerably more, like 50 dollars. Don't know sizes or styles, try them on in store then shop online.

Kelly said...

Paying to get a baseball glove broken in? Whatever happened to the old fashioned... oil it, wrap it up really tightly with a ball in it and a belt around it, spit in it, hit it, play catch with it... I know these days, everything is about instant gratification, but isn't breaking in your own baseball glove a part of the experience? Maybe I'm a bit of a traditionalist... :-p

Jenne said...

I work for a community college -- and the coaches DO do the laundry because the players can't be TRUSTED to remember to bring their uniforms back clean for the next game.

Seriously?!?!

18-22 year olds, who can vote, drive and serve in the military, can't be trusted to do their laundry? Umm, then you don't play, don't get spotted by 4 year college scouts, don't get a scholarship, don't get spotted by professional scouts, and don't get drafted to the majors.

I'm thinking the young men will figure out how to work a dang washer pretty darn quick!

Anonymous said...

My husband is on the board of our local sports association (Football, Cheer, Softball and Baseball), and there is so much that goes into it. We are lucky here, our facilities are city property and they take care of the majority of the maintenance. But there is still people that have to be paid, like the officials, concession workers and trash people. All the coaching staff and board members are all volunteer. They all to a lot of work to provide a good place for these kids to play.

Depending on the sport the fee varies but their fee includes the majority of the cost for uniforms. The parents have to pay half the $ and then are required to do a league fund raiser to pay the rest. Anything additional the team needs or wants the team is responsible for coming up with.

amyunicorn said...

Even soccer shoes, shinguards, soccer socks and shorts can rack up quite a bill (our soccer league only gave the kids shirts). Fun times.

Leila said...

I can totally understand the frustration with how much money is put into the sports. But being a person who played those sports and my husband coming from a baseball family (parents seriously hoped that one would be good enough to go pro), I know that I would be totally willing to shell out that money for my kids. I think the big shock factor comes from parents who didn't experience that as a kid. No offense to those of you, but it can come as a surprise who much competitive sports can cost. And I know some places just don't have those more inexpensive rec leagues like others.

All that being said, there are other outlets in which to gear up your kids. Play it Again Sports is a great place to get gear. There is new gear there (usually a previous season styling) and a lot of used gear. You can outfit your kid for probably a third of what it would be at Sports Authority or Big 5. Also, look online. There are a lot of discount gear places online that are all new gear. Try Amazon or eBay. Google whatever sports gear your looking for. I got a pair of new softball pants for $15. You can get batting gloves for $10 a PAIR or even less. Not just for one hand. Just get sized at the actual store then order online. Cleats for $30 (adult sized. I'm sure it's even less for kids).

Don't just think sports are the expensive kid activity. Music can be just as expensive, sometimes more. Sure you can do the school class orchestra and music store rental thing, but after a certain point (and that point can come up REAL fast) those just don't cut it. In order for your child to continue progressing forward, you need better instruments (the step above student can start at $1000 just for violins), private lessons (typically at $25 an hour, every week), sheet music and music books, supplies (varies by instrument, but for violins it can be anywhere from $25 for a cheap new set of strings to $100. I personally get a $50 set. You're also supposed to change out all the strings every 6 months. Rosin can also be anything from $5 for a crappy one to $40 for a really good one. That also should be replaced about once a year to every other year), competitions, school travel, etc.

Any activity a child does can easily become expensive FAST. Question is: are you willing to pay that kind of money? If you're not, don't even bother starting them in it, cause it will just become a frustration for them and you. I speak from experience too. I had to fight with my parents as to why we needed to get something else for my violin or why I needed private lessons and why things costs so much. I was the first in my family to play instrument, so they didn't know how much it would end up costing.

Kelly and Sne said...

One word: garage sales. Oh, I guess that is two words... in any case, it can cut down on the cost of this junk significantly. But not the junk build up in the garage...

p.s. We too have enrolled our kids in everything under the sun to "expose them" to activities and see which one sticks. The good news: they offer most of the lessons, etc. at preschool so no running around yet. The bad news: I'm going to have to take out a second mortgage. However, so far I have resisted purchasing things like karate uniforms and baseball pants, etc. that they will outgrow soon. Will power!

L Carilo said...

Goooooaaaalll!!!

motherof2kids said...

I completely agree! We paid $85 for my son to play baseball last Spring, and $65 for my daughter to T-ball,...which I understand is cheap compared to other leagues. We had supply their own pants, jerseys were given out and able to be kept for the first time this past season, usually we have to give the jeseys back. We also had to sell candy, or do a candy "buy out". Which means either you pay $100 up front for a box of candy, and are stuck taking it work and selling it yourself because of course kids can't go door to door anymore, or you can pay $30 for a "buy out" and not have to sell candy. Team pictures range from $15-$55, and we have to supply all the equipment. Equipment includes a helmet, bat, cleats, and socks. When I asked the coaches about a bat, "where to get a good one?" I was told I could get a good bat at a certain store for about $300!!!!!! $300, for a childs bat, who is 8 years old, not being signed by the Yankees anytime soon????? Are you crazy? After all the other $$$ we spend? But the answer is yes! It depends on what kind of league you get your kids in, seriously. There are rec leagues, that cost $25-$50, that have T-shirts for uniforms, and 1 coach per team, maybe 2. They play just for fun, and everybody wins. Then there are leagues like the one you speak of, and the one my son plays in, where they are serious. Yeah they want to have fun, but that is on the back burner compared to learning the game, and winning. They practice 2-3 times a week, they have pitching coaches, batting coaches, and run laps around the field when they miss a pop fly. It is expensive and hard work. But the kids are better prespared for when they get into school sports, and it is no longer everyone plays rules. It isn't as tough when they find out that in school you have to make the team first, and you only get a trophy, if you win,.....not just for playing. I told my son that we will keep him in this league, as long as he wants, but if he doesn't want to play, or isn't having fun anymore, tell me and we will find another league next season.

Julie said...

Our community offers free hockey for the first year of Mites. All gear included. That's how they suck you in. That gear doesn't fit for long, and if they end up liking the sport, you'll have to take on a second job to pay for ice time, skates, pads, and everything else that comes with it.

Emmy's Mama said...

As one of your (recent) avid readers, I don't think you should look at this as a gamble. It IS an investment.. in your writing! Think of all the crazy baseball moms and dads you are going to run into! The insane coaches who take the game waaaayyy to seriously! It will be perfect fodder for PIWTPITT.
Me and my hub used to go watch little league games on the weekend (which were FREE for us to attend, thank goodness). Despite the fact that other parents looked at us like lurking pedophiles because we had no child with us, we had a grand old time watching all the sporty shenanigans.
One time, a mama screamed at her son, who was nervous about his moment at bat, "Pull your freakin' GIRL PANTIES UP and get out there and PLAY, fer Christ's Sake!" I'm pretty sure the boy was about 6 years old. Yikes.
Another time, the coach kept telling one of the kids who was at bat to step into the plate when he swung. Well, the little boy heeded the coach's warning and got hit with a baseball right between the eyeballs.
See? It's precious moments like that that are going to make your $400 SOOO worthwhile.

Crystal said...

Hockey is very expensive if your kid is any good. Thousands of parents pay up to $460.00 per month, yes a car payment to have their kids play AAA. It's hard sometimes to be at tryouts and hope your kid doesn't make it ;)

Brooke M said...

Just make sure your kids don't go for hockey or lacrosse. It is about $400-$500 for the pads and gear not counting the cost for team/rink/field. It is crazy!!!!

spymay said...

I hear you on them getting burned out.My older two wanted to quit at red belt and had convinced my husband to let them do so,but I stood firm.I told them that if they wanted to quit, they had to get to black belt first.They bitched and whined, but I was not about to let them get less than a year away from black belt and quit.

Anonymous said...

I would take "boy" sports over "girl" sports anyday...the boy was in baseball for 3 years and soccer for the next 8, kept him in good shape and he had a ton of fun (we much preferred the soccer) the girl? the overachiever of the family? soccer every summer, then throughout her school years right through high school, dance for a couple of years as a youngster, gymnastics for a year to "try it out", and the best one? Figure skating. right, not so much. She LOVED this one, the most. expensive. thing. ever. Learn to skate classes, private lessons, outrageously priced skates (which they need new/used ones every other year as their feet grow), ice time, club dues, tests, competitions, pretty dresses, then the best part came, synchronized skating. this meant travel across the country 2/3 times a year for national competitions. Although a great time was had by all, (mainly in the form of adult beverages by us wilting/fading fast oam's)she is now 21, and I am still paying for her childhood sport...but seriously, get Adolpha to skate, she'll love it ;)

pamb said...

Don't forget 'the cup', and the briefs to put 'the cup' in!

For the uniform, you can get by with one pair of pants (if you're willing to wash them after every game) and a belt and socks in the team color. Our league 'gave' us the team t shirt and baseball cap.

We went to Target for the bat and bag to put all the stuff in, but a sporting goods store for the glove and batting helmet. We've had lice twice, and I'm not going through that again!

Our league demanded that every parent work a 5 hour shift somewhere in the league (helping at practice, team manager, scorekeeper), or pay $200 to get out of it. Most people did nothing and hoped they wouldn't get caught (I didn't hear of anyone getting fined). I worked the snack shack for two shifts and considered myself done!

Vera said...

Just wait Jen until your kid loves a sport when they are older and decide to play/tryout for a "club" or travel team... we do volleyball.... $100 just to try out... WTF... and you try out for several clubs just in case... then you make the team and the cost is $3000... plus the shoes... who knew they made volleyball shoes... $145 for the cool looking ones... then the tournaments start... which means travel and hotel accommodations... food... tournament tshirt... then there are the private lesson at $65 an hour...cause you want your kid to have a competitive edge... plus camps... clinics... and that is for one sport... add Lacrosse to that... thank goodness we have only one kid... we hated softball and soccer... do you need a ponytail helmet, tball stand or some cleats... for you all free!

Lesley said...

Weird that I should read this not 15 min after signing my son up for soccer. $255. He's 9. WTH!?

Wordchazer said...

My road shoes for half marathoning were $60+ in Foot Locker 5 years ago or £100+ in a specialist sports outfitters here in the UK these days. Lycra and T-s, well ptl for Nike outlets is all I'll say because most of mine came from there or the UK store Marks & Spencer. Just don't ask me to wear fashion trainers as walking 13 miles in them is impossible. It's like walking in clogs! When I was figure and short track skating in my younger days, the white figure skating boots were around £40 (15 years ago), then there was the weekly entry fee to the rink (£5) and the temptation of food. At least the locker money was refundable... When I took up short track, there were club fees as well as the weekly rink entry to pay plus boot hire fees, as speed skating boots are made to measure when you take it seriously and I didn't have the £300 for that! Even gym memberships are around £50/month on a corporate funded scheme these days. I think any sport or hobby costs: if I added up the cost of my 20+ year penpalling fixation I would have been able to afford many more holidays than I have taken in that time. It comes down to the enjoyment that youngsters get out of it, or the plus points that you find in a pastime as you get older. When that outweighs the cost, it's good. Otherwise, not so super.

kaptnkarl said...

I can't believe people spending that much money on their kids' sports. I played softball in Cub Scouts for two years. I had a glove and a ball and we each got a matching t-shirt.

The first year our coach was one of those psychotic, "Winning is everything" coaches who insisted his son be the pitcher because he was the best at it (of course) and he could get the best coaching from dear old dad. Of course we sucked and lost every game.

The second year, our coach was a lot cooler. He thought we should just go out and have fun and learn the game. He had everybody rotate around at all positions except pitcher. The ones who pitched were the ones who were good at it. I played first base, second base, shortstop and outfield. And we came in second place in the league.

The idea of people spending outrageous sums of money on kids' sport is ridiculous. Even worse are the people that treat kids' sports as if they are as important as pro sports. C'mon people, these are small children. Let them play and have fun. They aren't gonna be pros. Ever.

Paige said...

My favorite uniforms are for one of the local soccer clubs. You buy one set (white shirt, green shirt, green shorts, white socks, green socks). When they wear out, you buy a new set. It's not tied to season fees to play and obviously can easily be handed down between siblings and friends.

$5 just to get into a park and WATCH a game? Are you kidding me? I've paid my share for my kids to play sports, but I'd be looking for another place to play.

Amy said...

Guess what sport is also getting pricey??? Competitive swimming.
For our summer recreation league - $130 for team fees wasn't too bad. The $50 swimsuit is what makes me crazy since my daughter hates it but has to wear it for swim meets. 8 wearings......
For fall/winter swimming, new gear each year - goggles, caps, fins, pull bouys (picked up new at Salvation Army) and practice suits. Not to mention the cost of practice time and coaches.

She loves to swim so we continue and no, she isn't going to the Olympics.

My son is a lacrosse player and the gear alone is shockingly expensive and they always "NEED" a new stick!

Good Luck!

kelly said...

My son played soccer and baseball when he was younger and football and basketball on traveling teams during middle school and football, basketball and track in High school. It cost a huge amount of money but the friends he made and the places we went as a family were worth it also it kept him busy and out of trouble. We always told him he did not have to play but he would have to finish out a season if he tried out for it since he made a commitment to the team and his teammates. The best thing that came from it was a scholarship to play college football. We only have to pay for his room and board and he is getting a 30,000 a year education. We never pushed him he just loves the game and when he graduates he will be a special education teacher and hopes to coach as well so he can continue to be a part of sports. So sometimes the investment does pay off.

Anonymous said...

Agree! The park my son played All-Stars on this summer did this. We sat outside the park and watched the games from the parking lot. I have principles. I cheered all the players equally...from that distance, they ALL looked like mine. LOL

Anonymous said...

I can beat that. Hockey costs $1000 JUST for the ice time! The equipment is a couple more hundred. It's killing us, but luckily the grandparents have chipped in. My son actually said he was sorry for liking hockey when he realized how much it was, but he is SO good we couldn't say no.

Miss LaMonte said...

Haha! I live in JoCo as well and was flabbergasted when our 5 year old's soccer dues were $85!!! They didn't even have practice and as you mentioned, didn't include anything, save for his team shirt. We still had to iron on his name to the back and buy whatever else he needed. NOT cheap for a 5 year old who might not even like the game and definitely will not be fitting into those cleats next season!

Anonymous said...

Try competitive cheer! I pay $280 tuition a month. (paid year round- no break) Plus stunt class at $68 onto of that. I just paid $250 for a uniform (That barely covers anything)$10 for the bow, $80 for the shoes, $150 for a warm up, $165 for practice cloths and $70 for the backpack. NOT to mention all the gas to get there every day- sometimes twice a day. Got an email today that pictures are coming up...and they are doing a year book this year. cha-ching.
The kicker- I have 3 girls to pay for...5,7 and 10 years old. I work to pay for cheer.

Anonymous said...

forgot to add...3 out of state comps. Plane tickets for everyone to Dallas and Orlando. Tickets to get in each comp is usually $15-20 per person. Orlando competition we have to pay for everyone to get into Disney if we want to watch my child. After all is said and done I am at about 5-6 thousand per kid. NICE

Anonymous said...

We live in East Lyme Ct and my son has been playing for 4yrs...He is 9. Our cost for the season through the town is approx 100.00. this cover's his team shirt and hat. We have purchased over the years a batting helmet (yes I am with you on that...lice don't want it and will spend the money) but I can't for the life of me understand charging to watch your child play. It is the parent's obligation to man the concession stand at least once during our child's game and that is that...There is an extra cost if there is a tournament but that is usually split among players and not amounting too much. My biggest gripe was the white pants...with practice two to three times a week and games at least two you need multiple pants (if your not a laundry Nazi like me) and while they look smart and I love my boy in them...so not practical. I would wait to see if your son loves it before I would invest in the larger ticket items.. Being a soccer mom x 2 it's a great sport..But just love watching my son play Baseball. Good luck

Wackichick said...

I'm secretly happy that I have a kid that doesn't care a thing about sports. He would probably smuggle his book to the outfield. He did however express an interest in guitar lessons. I'm thinking that could get pretty expensive too!

Anonymous said...

Our 12 yr old daughter plays premier club level soccer year round. We spend close to $5,000/ year once you add travel. This year we are going to CA, NY, MI, TX and all the states close to us in Maryland for tournaments. Our 5 year old son is showing an interest in baseball, tennis and golf. I'm sure our expenses for those sports will be even higher!

Jane said...

Very true. My older son was never a sports kid, but he got into dance when he was in fifth grade and is now attending a magnet arts program within his high school, taking dance two periods a day, for all four years of high school. I definitely have spent far more on dance classes, recital fees, dance shoes, and costumes for the past five years, then I actually have spent on sports registrations and gear for the younger child in the same five years.

Krista, Justin, Kamarin and Jaimes said...

Swimming and Waterpolo! Year round fee for swimming is $100.00 a month + fund raising. Goggles are 19.00. Swim suits are upward from 45.00 for crappy ones that will fall apart. Entering monthly swim meets $40.00 then driving 1.5 to 2 hrs to get to the venue & possible hotel stay. High School is even worse, new team suits every year for 4 years for both waterpolo & swim. Now we are playing travel Water polo and OMG I had no idea going in what the costs would be to get in to the games as a parent. Let alone all the other "fees", entrance fees, coach fees. "Junior Olympic" spectator entrance fee is $48.00! Obviously, I'm not going to watch. But, needless to say, six years later, we are still hanging in there..

brianne heath said...

RE: the $500 for the banner -- many schools have to charge that much because other businesses (such as a sign shop) are taking full advantage of print costs. I own and operate an advertising agency and I use my industry contact to provide low cost banner advertisements for schools and leagues such as this (I only charge $2.50 a square foot, a 4' x 8' banner is $80 and for $15 I ship anywhere in the states). I know the schools need to utilize this as a fundraiser, so they have to inflate costs to get that pitching machine you spoke of and things of that nature, but they should lower the sponsorship costs by purchasing banners that are not that expensive and at the end of the season give that banner to the business that sponsored them (win/win/win - tax write off for business as a sponsorship, league makes money, business gets a banner that they would have paid the same amount for around town but now the money is partially tax deductible and they are a local hero). :)

Kristin said...

We did soccer, baseball, basketball, and football as kids (and that's just "sports"). My parents must have been gluttons for punishment. There was always at least one uniform, at all times, soaking in a bucket of oxyclean.

Penelope Lolohea said...

Wow, they even charge admission! That's craycray. Hahaha. I played city league softball throughout my younger years, but I don't even know how much it cost my parents; sports were the one thing they spoiled my siblings and I with...as long as it was, you know, city league and cheaper than the other leagues. ;)

I did think about signing my son up for soccer this year, though...until I had a look at the websites for soccer in my area. I guess it's the biggest sport around here, so the only option for a children's soccer league is run by some company (instead of the city) that charges somewhere around $300 per season. For the 5 year olds!! I didn't even want to see how much they charge for the older kids.

Heartmom5 said...

WE are a hockey family-I have stopped keeping track of the costs because it would send me into a pit of depression. It is worth every penny because my son loves it with all his heart but I will tell you that between the money and the driving-I have no life (oh and there was that I pad I had to by my daughter who gets hauled all over New England to sit in freezing cold rinks at 6am)

Penelope Lolohea said...

I played multiple sports my entire childhood, and into high school, where I decided that I wanted to play in the WNBA (big dreams), and focused on basketball. My parents paid a LOT for my sports fees, and I've always known that. It was still a complete shock to see exactly how much is one has to pay for 5-7 year olds to play city-league sports. It's still a shock to see how much my parents pay for my youngest brother's high school sports fees. It's a pretty outstanding amount, no matter what one is already accustomed to. But you are right that if it's really something your child wants to do, you pay.

AmyD said...

Once you see that smile on his face, the confidence that he carries in his shoulders, and the friends he will make, it will all be worth every penny.

imissyouwheniblink said...

Word.

For girls, it's ballet (well, and also gymnastics, soccer, etc.). You pay for the class... then you pay for the jacked-up baby hooker outfit for the recital.

When I Blink said...

Word.

For girls, it's ballet (well, and also gymnastics, soccer, etc.). You pay for the class... then you pay for the jacked-up baby hooker outfit for the recital.

Beth said...

Let me just warn you now...rec league is slowly going away and it breaks my heart.. I have older kids so I've been doing this for while... I have 2 boys that play travel baseball.. Fees for my 14 yr old were $1000.00- b/c he has grown and is almost 6ft tall- he needs now catching equipment- that cost us $400. He plays first base, outfield and pitches.. He has 4 gloves all at $100 a pop or more-1st basemen's glove, catcher's glove, pitcher's glove and an outfield glove...then $250 for uniforms, $100 for cleats (b/c he wears a size 14 shoe!)... AND then there's the cost for travel.. We went to Indianapolis, Cincinnati (3 times), Michigan, Chicago and Omaha... all are 3-4 day stays with hotel, food and thankfully only gate fees at 1 park. Then, let's move on to my 12 yr old. He pitches, plays 1st and outfield..- 3 gloves for him... His fees were $1700 because they went to Cooperstown Dreams Park for a week to play. This team only did local games and tournaments (thank goodness) because of the expense of going to Cooperstown... AND Omaha and Cooperstown were in the same week- SO- I drove 13 hours with my son and another player to Omaha and missed my 12 yr old playing in Cooperstown. Now, in order to pay for all of this, I worked with a group that runs concessions at many big events.. so on top of my full-time job- I became a maker of hot dogs, popcorn, server of beer and other goodies... my husband worked side jobs in order to pay for the rest. My daughter played travel soccer- cost $600.. travel - only 3 out of town tournaments... On the plus side, our kids are great athletes (but also great students)....we will only do this until they say they are done....we have made life-long friends and so have they. But, we are NEVER home, we rarely eat a home cooked meal and I don't have a housekeeper that's keeping things up at home- that's on me.... Anyone reading this who doesn't have their kids in competitive sports will think we're nuts- I think we're nuts!! But, this is what is has come down to.. PLUS- our kids are so busy that we hope that it keeps them out of trouble! So, instead of hating me and condemning me, please say a little prayer for me... as you may find me laying in the fetal position at the side of the road one day surrounded by baseball equipment, losing my mind.

Susan said...

I remember going to watch my son play basketball, having to pay $5 each and watching the people turn away 2 young kids because they didn't have the money. What bothered me most was that these kids wanted to be involved in what was going on in their school and because the "boosters" had set the price so high, they had to leave. Wonder where they went and what they decided to do to entertain themselves. I would have bought their tickets but by this time the kids were mad and weren't staying for any reason! I remember when we were in school we loved it when parents showed up for activities...and only other responsibilities kept them away, now the working parents make time but can barely afford to keep thier kids involved in anything!

Susan said...

I just went to a recital for my Granddaughter and was truly appalled at the "costumes" they had these young girls in. I was kind of embarrassed for them and for me!! Just to go watch her was quite the expensive endeavor...I don't know how parents afford any of this anymore...which account does all this come out of??

TheJerseyShoreMom said...

I know it's crazy, my sons have been playing for 6 or 7 years now.

One thing, if it's Little League, if you can not afford it, they still have to let them play. (says so on the LL website) Your league may want you to do more volunteer work, but that option is there.

Paying to get into the park is ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

It never changes either! You go from Kids Inc. sports to paying $800 for senior pictures (for ONE kid). I need a t-shirt that says "Fuck me while I can still bend over" because there's 4 more kids behind him (blended family..not stupid enough to give birth to 5)!!!

Julia said...

unexpected sports expenses

swim team - team suit $50! goggles and swim caps. new goggles and swim caps for the ones they lost. snacks. at every practice. and twice at every meet. itunes songs they shazamed at the meets. celebratory team lunches at sponsor's restaurant. afternoon bonding activities (bowling, tie dye, etc)

Lacrosse - stick. mouthguard. new mouthguard for the one they lost. ice packs. balls. new balls for the ones that go down the sewer drain.

Ballet/Dance - now here's the real racket. $85 costume fee that they wear once! made out of $2 of fabric and 50 cents of labor. red lipstick. more red lipstick because the first one is too pink. bobby pins. more bobby pins. Flowers (for real $12 bouquets for these 5 year old divas) my daughter and I have always had a deal no flowers but we go out for ice cream afterwards. flowers for the teacher. Seriously, $250/hr she's getting paid (collectively) isn't enough? $10 per ticket for their one performance for the entire year. $30 for pictures/dvd. $85 recital fee just to be in the single performance per year that lasts all of 4 minutes or less.

cleats! - apparently you can't wear football cleats for soccer and baseball has different cleats too. And now I hear there are different cleats for different soccer positions! yikes!

Meredith said...

My kids are yet to hit sports age, but I'm already panicking for when they do. Watch them go for something really crazy expensive like ice hockey or something...argh! Feeling your pain!

i am a princess, yes i am said...

Girl, you're forgetting the $150+ bat (of course my boy has two), the $100+ equipment bag for your $300+ bats, baseballs, gloves, helmets, etc...oh and hen there are the cleats! Gotta have two pairs, one with metal cleats, one rubber! Then there's home practice equipment, ie. throwback nets, hitting nets, hitting sticks...

The only thing my boy doesn't have is a cup and that's bc hes a dumbass ;)

Yeah, we've spent over $10,000 in the past 10yrs in baseball. Thanksfully he'll be going pro

Anonymous said...

Play it Again Sports is THE place to shop. Gently used and/or surplus sporting goods. They are in business because kids try things and quit and grow out of equpiment and smart parents want to save a few bucks. It's a good place to recoup a few bucks on items your kid doesn't want/fit/need or to buy items. They have from golf to hockey

obscene.cupcake said...

after reading this blog, and all the comments, i think i've decided to never have children, far far FAR too expencive

Julia K said...

I'm lucky enough to go to a school with a fantastic music and arts program. We each meet with the director once a week for a lesson, and class is every day. While it can definitely become expensive, especially if you rent your instrument, getting an older one refurbished is always a great option. My clarinet was made in the 1950s, I think. We got it repadded for about $125, and it sounds awesome and plays well.

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