SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Does Your Local Youth League Have Fiscal Transparency?

Parents in my area pay about $100 a semester to enroll their kids in the local soccer league. The kids get a shirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of soccer socks. The parents purchase the shin guards, cletes and the right-sized soccer ball for use in practice. Parents coach, the town provides the fields, and the traffic is maddening on Saturday mornings. The local organization has leagues for kids of all ages, an elite league where the kids practice several times a week, and then travel teams. The older travel teams venture far and wide, and that leads to a question: does all of our $100 a semester go toward our kids' teams, or where does it go? Does it, for example, subsidize the elite teams that the league fields?

I ask this question because many parents have beefed that the fees are high for what they get. I can't say I disagree with requests for disclosure. The volunteer coaches, parents all, are good, but where is the accountability?

I'm not suggesting that anything bad is going on, but I'd feel more comfortable if I knew there was a meaningful way to confirm that it's all good.

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