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HomeBlogFranklySteinThe extra costs of high school sports — FranklyStein

The extra costs of high school sports — FranklyStein

A coworker was bemoaning the cost of high school sports the other day. She knew she had a sympathetic ear with me.

Her daughter, a freshman, made the junior varsity lacrosse team at her Talbot County high school, and she was surprised at the financial demands of the team. She was told the varsity players had to purchase a pinny, jacket, sweatshirt, shorts and a T-shirt all totaling $125. The JV was only required to purchase the pinny ($25), but of course her daughter wanted everything.

“This is a poor county. Forty percent get free or reduced lunch,” she said. “ How can they require this?”

After stewing about it at her desk for awhile, she emailed the school’s athletic director and found out that no sports team is allowed to require such purchases. He said he would remind the coaches. But really, whose kid wants to be the only one who doesn’t have the gear?

At my daughters’ school, there are fees associated with playing sports. It’s a private school and they do it to keep tuition down — which makes sense. This year the fee was $125 per sport. If your child plays on three sports teams, that’s $375 a year.

Luckily, my girls only swam this year. But there were other costs associated with the swim team. They had to purchase the suit (about $60) and raise $100 for a swim-a-thon. The proceeds went to spirt wear for the girls — a shirt and shorts — along with a team lunch, senior gifts and some other expenses. So for both girls to swim it cost us over $500.

The truth is, I would never deny my child the chance to play a high school sport. It’s an amazing experience and they both loved being on the swim team. But some of these expenses really aren’t necessary. Does every kid need a jacket, sweatshirt, shorts and a T-shirt? I’m all for giving families the option to buy spirit wear — it can make a great birthday or holiday present — but it shouldn’t be required. That kind of mentality belongs to the club teams. And don’t get me started on that expense — bet you never knew there was such a thing as a $500 swim suit.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 17, Lilly, 15, Adam, 15, and Jonah, 11.


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