Rising Cost of Youth Sports

Remember growing up and going to your high school football or basketball games? Did you play high school soccer or tennis? What about little league baseball or softball? Do you have memories of being with your teammates or your parents cheering you on? Now imagine growing up where none of those things exist. Unfortunately it’s a reality for many kids and schools today with more youth and schools soon facing this same fate. For almost 40% of school districts nationwide are charging fees to participate in sports, known as “pay-to-play.” In fact, by 2020 it’s estimated that 27% of U.S. Public high schools will be without any interscholastic sports programs.

Lately, there has been a lot of attention on the rising cost of playing youth sports. And this attention is not just focused at the local and state level, companies like Dicks Sporting Goods and elite athletes like Serena Williams, Tom Brady, and Missy Franklin are joining in on the discussion of how to help fund youth sports. While this national attention is great, what is being done at the local level to directly impact schools and sustain this momentum? How can we solve this funding crisis and make a real impact?

It starts with addressing the root of the issue head on. Registration fees are needed to help fund programs for youth organization. Donations are needed at the school level to make up for the gap in what the school system can pay and the total cost of playing. If there isn’t a mechanism that supports or supplements these streams of revenue, schools are left to fund sports themselves and either sports become too expensive to sustain and will be only available for those who can afford them or programs must be cut.

StatRow’s mission is to help reduce the financial burden on young athletes. Our platform allows youth and school organizations to use their own content (game highlights) to help fund the cost of playing. Our goal is for any kid to play any sport because of their love for the game and not have to decide which sports to play based on cost. The goal is for every organization and every school on StatRow to reduce their reliance on registration fees and fundraisers each year.

On August 4th, StatRow will release our iOS app and will follow up with a Droid version and desktop site by the end of the year. If you have an iPhone download the app on August 4th and help us fight the youth and school sports funding crisis.