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School Sports Cost & Fundraisers


Well, the BAD community was right again! Princess public high school volleyball team is going to cost a required $300 to the school, and other “optional” equipment costs.

Cost to Play Public School Sports

The $300 price tag is broken down into two parts:

  1. $150 – Required Volleyball kit which includes Nike shoes (retail for $110,) Nike team warm up with school emblem embroidered on it and two uniform jerseys. (All of which we get to keep after the season is over.)
  2. $150 – to pay for game dates, referees, etc.

There are 37 girls on this team. The school is collecting $11,100 for a season that last just under 2 months. Holy cow!

Evidently this is the same way other sports work. (The volleyball coach also coaches the soccer team.)

This blows my mind. The parents pay for the uniforms, the parents pay for the referees…I confirmed with my parents that when I played sports in high school this was not the case. The school provided the uniform (and kept them after the season, etc.)

Princess Serving

School Sport Fundraisers

The coach did say the girls will participate in three fundraisers to raise the funds BEFORE the parents must kick in. That’s at least a partial release.

Currently, these are the fundraisers they propose (evidently must be approved by the school board first:)

  • Co-ed volleyball tournament – $5 per player with prizes handed out to first and second place team.
  • Selling donuts – I’m guessing Krispy Kreme, have seen this one done for lots of local organizations.
  • Selling something else – Ugh!

I am so not a fan of these types of fundraisers. Princess sold chocolate bars for the theater department this last semester, what a pain. And I’m still not sure what all that work and effort was for!

I am grateful for the chance to raise some of the money, but I really wish there were other options. Have your children had to do fundraisers for school? How do you feel about them?


  • Reply JayP |

    Wow, thats nuts. Why do they have to match shoes!?? And warm up jackets? Should be optional. I’m surprised that the school charges the parents for referee fees too. My kids rec team just made everyone wear black shorts and they had to buy jerseys. They looked great.

    • Reply Hope |

      I think it’s crazy too! What’s crazy is our rec team in VA was $60 for a season. That covered a t-shirt and all the play costs (gym, referees, etc.) The coaches were volunteer but they were able to use the gym as often as they wanted.

  • Reply Sue |

    That just seems crazy – they are basically keeping a lot of kids from playing sports! Mine weren’t really into many sports in high school – dd didn’t do any and ds did wrestling and cross country. Wrestling was very expensive, time-consuming, life-controlling…thankfully that only lasted 1 year. Cross country was probably about $300 and there was no uniform or anything to keep at the end of the season….that was for buses, entry fees, etc.

  • Reply Shanna |

    37 girls on one team? What is his policy on playing time?? I’ve never heard of that! Or is it the whole program encompassing a freshman team, JV team, and varsity team?

    Your daughter is old enough to babysit, mow lawns, dog walk etc. She can pretty much cover it on her own if need be.

    I refuse to ask other people to pay for my kids activities through fundraising and I just buy whatever they are responsible for myself. No snark intended, I just feel weird about it. But I realize that’s no possible for everyone. What about a team car wash? You can ask a local gas station to underwrite it by allowing it on their lot and using their water? Who doesn’t want their car washed by fun high schoolers?

    • Reply Hope |

      Sorry, I wasn’t clear on this point. There’s a 9th grade team, JV and varsity.
      I feel the same way about asking others to pay. I suggested a car wash and other ideas.

  • Reply Reece |

    $300 sounds pretty reasonable, tbh…..and at least she gets a pair of shoes and stuff out of the deal she can wear out and about. Not like if you had to buy cleats! I think anymore school budgets are so stretched any and all extracurricular costs are shifted to the parents….and hey, they do have to pay officials and other things. It is what it is I guess. I let my kids participate in the group fundraisers but we don’t sell stuff because everyone else is trying to sell to the same “pool” and if grandparents are going to contribute our would rather just write anchrck so 100% if the contribution goes to the kid. Those candy and other fundraisers are such a scam! Company keeps something like 40%…..

    • Reply Laura |

      I think the school budgets being stretched thin is exactly what it is. There probably isn’t any room in the budget for sports so the team has to raise their own money.
      I hate the selling fundraisers too. It’s usually a bunch of overpriced junk and the school gets a fraction of the proceeds. When my kid comes home with those I buy one or two things just so he won’t be the only kid not to turn something in and don’t pass it around to anyone else. The doughnut sales doesn’t sound too bad, if they are asking for fundraising suggestions I would also suggest a bake sale.

  • Reply Misti O |

    I live in GA and this is totally the norm due to budget issues. If you are able to front some money on the doughnuts we have had a lot of success talking to Wal-Mart and them allowing us to set up outside their entrance and sell the doughnuts. Takes a few hours in the morning but so worth it not to have to eat the entire cost

    • Reply Hope |

      That’s a great idea. I’m sure our tiny social circle here is getting tired of the fundraisers already. I am!

  • Reply Rachel |

    I went to (a wealthy!) public high school about 10 years ago and sports were $1000+/sport/season. Expensive ones like rowing were even more. I’m never did any because we couldn’t afford that.

  • Reply SMS |

    Ditto to above poster that Princess can contribute at least some of it, and she will probably understand why. Car wash sounds like a good idea too! How is Gymnast doing?

    • Reply Hope |

      Princess is already looking for a job. And certainly understands the financial aspect of things. I have also asked her to mention the cost to her dad. Maybe coming from her will make a difference.

      Gymnast is doing better…we are taking a day at a time. More news on what he will be doing for the rest of this summer coming soon.

  • Reply Mary |

    If Princess is old enough, maybe she can get a part-time summer job and have it carry through the school year? 8-16 hours a week isn’t bad. I did some part-time work my junior and senior year in high school, and it helped me pay for my prom dress, senior ball, prom, and all the other things seniors had to cover.

    • Reply Hope |

      She is applying to get a job, but will only really be able to work on Saturdays. She volunteers at the hospital and has volleyball practice almost daily.
      We are hoping someone will take a chance on her since she has just turned 14.

  • Reply CJ |

    Instead of doing a tournament where the winning teams keep the money, see if the school would host a volleyball camp for elementary and jr high school students where the high school kids could teach them basic volleyball skills. Then the parents of the kids attending the camps pay and then the money earned is split across those high school students who volunteer at the camp to go towards their expenses.

    • Reply Hope |

      I gave all sorts of suggestions that would not involve us “selling” things…
      Being the new parent on the block does not help my situation here. They don’t seem to be open to anything new.
      I even offered to have the coaches from her travel team come do a clinic. It would be PR for the travel team and a fundraiser for the school team…no go.
      It’s been very frustrating trying to break into the social clicks here. Definitely small town issues.

    • Reply Rrr |

      Ditto to this. The local dance team did a dance camp on days that school wasn’t in session so we paid for a dance camp instead of daycare. My daughter loved it and I don’t think the high schoolers minded doing it.

  • Reply OneFamily |

    My daughter just did tennis for 4 years in high school. We didn’t have to pay very much. I think there was a $50 cost to join ASB or something like that. They had a team t-shirt and sweatshirt (optional) to buy and of course had to buy their own skirts and racquet. The skirts were cheap at Costco. As she got better, she bought a more expensive racquet. All in all it was reasonable out of pocket costs. Transportation to matches was provided by the school.

  • Reply Cathy D. |

    I also live in Georgia and our high school also charges these fees for sports and band. What they don’t tell you is that they can’t legally make you pay. These activities are open to everyone by law and the school can’t deny anyone by law. Very few people know this, but not everyone pays! I’ve been on the board of the marching band and the state champion soccer team knowing kids did not pay and they still get to participate. Just keep that in mind. Yes, paying is the right thing to do and I explained to my kids. We offered scholarships for those who can’t pay. Scholarships are often available but not advertised. Food for thought.

  • Reply Patti Dailey-Ruddy |

    I get it’s a lot, but they also need to pay the teachers/coaches! It doesn’t actually seem crazy to me when I think about it that way

So, what do you think ?