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Maintaining Soccer Opportunities for Kids During Tough Economic Times

April 6, 2009 10:00 PM

The economy continues to be a key topic of conversation and a number of families face financial challenges that were not present over the past several years.  Recently, Westchester Youth Soccer League, a proud member of US Youth Soccer and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association, provided with some suggestions on how to keep soccer affordable. 

Below please find a preliminary list of suggestions to either reduce costs or raise revenues:

Team Level Suggestions         

Require basic uniforms, not extras (warm-ups, 2nd jerseys, duffel bags, etc)

Bulk purchase uniforms and equipment through club

No player names on uniforms in order to recycle/reuse them

Use outdoor turf fields as substitute for indoor rentals in early spring

Review balance between paid trainers/paid coaches vs volunteer coaches

Review rates paid for trainers and coaches

Local tournaments vs distant tournaments with overnight hotel stays

Team level fundraising, events and promotions, and individual donations from families

Team level scholarships for players in need

Maintain full roster to reduce costs per family

Team carpooling to reduce travel expenses


Club Level Suggestions              

Create Fundraising Committee at Club Level

Club fundraising efforts (Fundraising Banquet/Silent Auction, Golf Outing)                            

Use Internet-based fundraising methods

Club level sponsorships- uniform logos, field banners, website ads, local soccer shops           

Dining to donate events

Formal club level Scholarship Program (with Board of Directors oversight)

Buy balls and gear in bulk for all club teams to reduce equipment costs

Competitively bid uniform, ball and equipment purchases if orders are large enough

Extend uniform cycle from 2 years to 3 years

Order reversible jerseys to avoid having to buy a 2nd set (rec, travel)

Use 501(c)3 status to avoid sales taxes on uniform and equipment purchases

Club level uniform and equipment recycling/passback programs

Two or more Clubs could combine their uniform orders- greater volume discounts

Review mix of paid trainers/paid coaches vs volunteers

Consider limits on indoor practices and paid trainer practices (reduce the "arms race")

Hosting Tournaments as fundraisers (box soccer for rec players, travel tournaments)

Fewer club winter indoor programs, reduce gym rentals                                           

Offer players paid opportunities- field lining, tournament helpers, trainers for younger teams

Offer payment plans to families (ie, pay club quarterly, not all upfront)

Encourage teams to maintain full rosters to reduce costs per family

Work with local soccer shop to create special "club sales days" – buy excess inventory cheap

Stay close to School and Rec facilities personnel to maintain low cost access to fields  


League Level Suggestions      

Identify fundraising ideas on web site- educate clubs about opportunities

Promote Member Club fundraising events (tournaments, camps)

Develop active sponsorship program (uniform companies, soccer camps, etc)

Create Fundraising Committee at League Board

Earmark a percentage of Select Program revenues to scholarships

More website ad sponsorships

Encourage carpooling to away games

Promote referee job opportunities as "work-study" program for players needing financial aid


Have additional ideas or suggestions?  Click on comments (top of page) and add to the conversation.




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