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3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #1 
It's a chunk for a kid to do a full year, for sure. Though these quoted numbers are a little bit more than my recollection of what our personal experience entailed for our DD's cost (not to be confused with the cost of a family traveling along with a player all summer long)

Thoughts?

https://twitter.com/TBHomeTeam/status/896029937257369600

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/softballpreps/softball-scholarships-a-pricey-pursuit-for-elite-travel-teams/2333442
Dusty

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Reply with quote  #2 
Interesting read, thanks for posting.  The proliferation of showcase events and increased fees for the established ones are most likely the biggest reasons why travel ball costs a lot more now than it did just a few years ago.  I'd estimate our costs to be in the $6-8k per year range for my rising HS senior dd but she's been on a regional travel team and not a national one.  I haven't added up our expenses this year but I'm sure they'll be much higher as dd guest played for a national team at IDT and PGF.

What I keep expecting to happen hasn't yet where regional travel teams become more competitive as parents get tired of the exorbitant cost of having their kids on national franchises like FC, BB, etc.  A regional team like the one my dd is on which can compete with a national franchise's #2 or #3 team is very difficult to find these days, most HS age regional travel teams are B or C teams in my area.  We told our coaches my dd would be in for this year only if they could replace our departing seniors with enough quality players to be competitive.  Fortunately, they found enough good players from national teams who were either tired of the cost of their current teams or got committed so they couldn't justify the higher cost of doing the big showcases they no longer needed to attend.  

No doubt it's easier to get recruited from a national team, they have the resources and connections to college coaches that a parent coached regional team doesn't have the time to develop.  If your dd plays for a regional team then you have to do all the work as a family of emailing coaches, signing up for camps and getting them to see you play at showcases but it can happen, my dd committed this summer.  We did get a lot of help from the coach of the national team dd guest played for this summer though.

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CoachB25

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Reply with quote  #3 
Many TB organizations are doing things in order to try to help defray the costs.  The organization my daughter played in and now coaches in offers ways for parents to do various fundraising activities to lower costs.  For example, they work during the St. Louis Blues games and the money the organization receives is then used to help parents defray costs based upon how many times that they worked.  They sell space on banners but also on their website.  There are other ways to defray cost.  On one team my daughter played on, one family drove a huge camper everywhere and then parents drove their cars to the events but slept in the camper.  They bucked up to help the camper family pay for the gas.  
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3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #4 
Other cost defrayers we used:

Four players in a hotel room.

And fundraisers, like hosting a local tournament for younger teams, with the top-of-the-line organization players working the event.... or a good poker night
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #5 
The Poker Night was always a great way to raise funds, we also did an Annual Golf Tournament. Another way was working the local Bingo Night. 

Typically, the team/organization set a dollar value per player & gave the parents option to either pay outright or work the requisite fundraisers to cover fees. 
Still_JAD

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Reply with quote  #6 
98.2% of parents who's daughters are playing TB for a softball scholarship will be disappointed.  Even players who do get scholarships receive partials and if you factor in the costs of 6-8 years of TB it is a losing proposition.  Do it to spend quality time with the family and to create a bond with your daughter!
sbparent

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Reply with quote  #7 
My daughters coach a team and tournament costs are just crazy.  Local "exposure" tournaments are now close to $800 for both entry and umpire fees.  They don't play Ronald McDonald anymore due to the costs. 
her1fan

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Reply with quote  #8 
The thing after going through the process that really upset me the most towards the last few years of travel was the stupid ass nine rule about staying and playing.  When we first started it was stay where you wanted and parents could save some money by staying at a cheap hotel or use Priceline.  That is not the case anymore.  One year when we went to Colorado we were stuck paying 179.00 a night which in itself made me sick!  Oh and if your team is chasing PGF and does qualify later in the year, you are railroaded with even higher hotel cost's.  
CAAggieFan

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Reply with quote  #9 
Some travel ball organization fees are higher as they pay for the players travel cost, but I agree the tournament cost and "stay and play" are way out of hand.  Some teams, including my organization have stop attending certain tournaments as the cost benefit do not make financial sense.

Also with the pending NCAA changes on softball recruiting should impact travel ball tournaments and hopefully lower some cost.
texassmallball

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Reply with quote  #10 
There is no doubt in my mind the rising cost of softball can be tied directly back to the tournament directors. Triple Crown, USSSA, PGF, ASA, etc. 

Not too long ago tournaments were $400-600 entry. Now...you can't touch a tournament for less than $1500. Many of their Nationals are more than $2000?!?!? What has changed?

Interesting quote from the Tampa newspaper article stated by the legacy director...."At the risk of sounding overly Pollyannic, there's nothing that I could ever touch where you'll have a direct effect on someone's life as this does," Atlanta Legacy founder Will Tomasello said. "To the layman on the street that drives by, what they see is a very aggressive for-profit picture. Are we here to make money? Absolutely we are. We're unabashed about that. But we also tell people there's nobody out there that does this business like we do and that puts these players in a position to be successful."

This fall will start a new era with recruiting. Watch out for all of the institutional camps on college campuses. It won't be long before they are "stay to play" as well. 

The college coaches started to look around and say to themselves, these organizations are making a ton of money and we aren't seeing a penny of it. 

Hopefully more travel ball orgs start to boycott events or refuse to pay the "stay to play fees". Without teams, the organizations don't have a tournament.
PH2

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Reply with quote  #11 
Totally agree on "stay to play."  And tournament costs are not only going way up, but they are stuffing so many teams into "showcases" that the teams without a big name are being stuck on fields where no coaches are going to go (at least not without a reason to go to those fields).  So for many teams, they are paying 2-3 times what a regular tournament costs to be "showcased" for no coaches.
sbparent

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Reply with quote  #12 
"Totally agree on "stay to play."  And tournament costs are not only going way up, but they are stuffing so many teams into "showcases" that the teams without a big name are being stuck on fields where no coaches are going to go (at least not without a reason to go to those fields).  So for many teams, they are paying 2-3 times what a regular tournament costs to be "showcased" for no coaches."


Ronald McDonald been doing that for years.  Their comment was if you contact the coaches they will come watch your games.  And then when the TD buddy comes in from out of state they would get games on the prime field.
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #13 
Some of these events which have gone all in for Fall Tourneys will take a financial beating. 

Also, the December quiet period may become not so quiet anymore. Travel org. who have their clinics etc during this period now will be beating each other up for programs to "sponsor" their event.  As discussed earlier about the Institutional Camps, Va Tech & Radford are already discussing doing some joint activity where they bring in as many kids as possible, run clinics, stations etc...and play games while the kids rotate back and forth between the Schools. A win/win for both the Travel Org & the Coaches.

Come Spring/Summer, business as usual AND, coaches now have unlimited recruiting days?

https://www.nsr-inc.com/scouting-news/divisioni-softball-recruiting-calendar/


3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_JAD
98.2% of parents who's daughters are playing TB for a softball scholarship will be disappointed.  Even players who do get scholarship most are partials and if you factor in the costs of 6-8 years of TB it is a losing proposition for most.  Do it to spend quality time with the family and to create a bond with your daughter!
Bingo.

Best front-row seats I ever paid for at a sporting event

And then, those drives home.... I would give a body part for just one more of them
spazsdad

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_JAD
98.2% of parents who's daughters are playing TB for a softball scholarship will be disappointed.  Even players who do get scholarships receive partials and if you factor in the costs of 6-8 years of TB it is a losing proposition.  Do it to spend quality time with the family and to create a bond with your daughter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
Bingo.

Best front-row seats I ever paid for at a sporting event

And then, those drives home.... I would give a body part for just one more of them


Couldn't agree more. I always tell people regardless of the scholarship she got I wouldn't trade a minute of the time we spent traveling around for softball. It was an opportunity I was afforded that I am extremely grateful for.
outofzone

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Reply with quote  #16 
As a father traveling around the country with a 14-17 yr old, pretty amazing. I agree, wouldn't trade for anything in the world. Even the 6-8hr car rides, plane flights, with her face buried in her phone. Quality time which now, sadly, has come to an end in no small respect. 

Now I look forward to similar trips with her mother. Can hardly wait to get badgered about having clean underwear, did I bring my matching socks, being told I can't wear "that" shirt. Can I put her war paint/lipstick in my pocket, hearing I'll be ready in five, being told "don't walk so fast" & "I need to stop at the next exit", It's too hot or too cold, you stole the sheets again last nite, did you use all the shampoo, I'll need your towel to do my hair, I need your Debit Card, you left too much tip, don't wear flip flops cuz your toenails look terrible, fix your hair, I can't believe she's wearing that, AND one of my favorites: I need to stop on the way to the field...

IM KIDDING, IM KIDDING, IM KIDDING

Gone are the days of simply grabbing your hat, cooler & cup of coffee and heading down to the lobby. 
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #17 
That last line...
lovsofbal

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spazsdad
Couldn't agree more. I always tell people regardless of the scholarship she got I wouldn't trade a minute of the time we spent traveling around for softball. It was an opportunity I was afforded that I am extremely grateful for.


Ditto
Softball_rules5

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Reply with quote  #19 
Just dropped DD off at school today where she will begin the journey of education and college athletics. Hardest thing I think I've ever done. What I wouldn't give to watch one more travel game at 10 or 12u when it was so innocent.
Fresh

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Reply with quote  #20 
Had to pull over and get myself together as we left for home. Toughest moment of our trip to the rest of her life. A friend/coach of mind said, "I'm not just losing my daughter, I'm losing my best friend". Have to go.
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh
Had to pull over and get myself together as we left for home. Toughest moment of our trip to the rest of her life. A friend/coach of mind said, "I'm not just losing my daughter, I'm losing my best friend". Have to go.



Awww, you're not losing anything or anyone![smile]
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softball_rules5
Just dropped DD off at school today where she will begin the journey of education and college athletics. Hardest thing I think I've ever done. What I wouldn't give to watch one more travel game at 10 or 12u when it was so innocent.
Why are you so mean to me????

It never got easier for me.... that was the amazing part
rudymartinez

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Reply with quote  #23 
Travel ball teams are piranhas who thrive off the dreams of softball parents. Don't jump on the hate wagon just yet. If you play for a travel ball team AND START then you have some desirable talent. Most top level travel ball clubs send the majority of their players to the college level. The price you pay is money and bragging rights. And with 25 to 30 player college rosters, then there becomes some disenfranchised parents. Please for Gods sake don't try to pretend as a parent you're just happy for the college experience and education. At least you got to be in a very exclusive club. You've paid a hefty price financially and emotionally.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #24 
You have your experience, I have mine.
rudymartinez

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Reply with quote  #25 
Far from a personal tale, mine never sat the bench. Just felt the frustration emitting from other families. I count our blessings and remember that for the grace of God go I. Otherwise it's just flaunting your good fortune over others.
EarlyGrayce

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Reply with quote  #26 
Not sure if it's been said elsewhere in another thread on this topic.
To me, the real payoff for many of the girls is that sometimes softball gets them into a University that they otherwise wouldn't get into, if based solely on academics. My kid had a 3.6 gpa and a low SAT score. She's not a good standardized test taker, but is a hard worker. She NEVER would have gotten into the school that she went to without a college softball coach/scholly paving the way. Their median SAT/GPA (5 years ago) was about 4.1 and 1950. 
Yes, Ivy's, Stanford, and some other high-end schools still require comparable academic scores, but many others have a lot of latitude.
Of course, just the experience and time spent together was worth every penny, but that admission into an otherwise closed University is very nice.

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CheckWriter

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Yes, Ivy's, Stanford, and some other high-end schools still require comparable academic scores, but many others have a lot of latitude.
Of course, just the experience and time spent together was worth every penny, but that admission into an otherwise closed University is very nice.
 


Still applies to the HYPSM schools.  Both DDs were, literally, #1 in their classes academically but so were the other 11 - 12 applicants for each matriculant.  Softball was the "differentiator" that got them their spots.

Another benefit of the experience for them is their time management skills. Neither of them are procrastinators despite my contribution to their genetic make up - I'm pretty good at procrastination.

I have about 1/4 million pictures of them and their team mates, from BobbySox through college.  That make it pretty easy to procrastinate any time I need to! Love those first time wearing catcher's gear pics!

Lots of other benefits.  Straight financial ROI was definitely NOT one for this family.

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1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheckWriter


Still applies to the HYPSM schools.  Both DDs were, literally, #1 in their classes academically but so were the other 11 - 12 applicants for each matriculant.  Softball was the "differentiator" that got them their spots.

Another benefit of the experience for them is their time management skills. Neither of them are procrastinators despite my contribution to their genetic make up - I'm pretty good at procrastination.

I have about 1/4 million pictures of them and their team mates, from BobbySox through college.  That make it pretty easy to procrastinate any time I need to! Love those first time wearing catcher's gear pics!

Lots of other benefits.  Straight financial ROI was definitely NOT one for this family.



I LOVED Bobby Sox!

sftbll4ever

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1janiedough



I LOVED Bobby Sox!



Yup, Bobby Sox to Little Miss.  I totally remember when everyone left Bobby Sox to play Little Miss because we could slide in Little Miss!!!  AAAHHHHHH those were the days!!
TruDat

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Reply with quote  #30 
A lot of the travel ball teams are rackets. But there are plenty of other areas where families get bilked out of their money. I would venture to say that most camps kids go to are worthless. Nothing is learned and it is just a way for some sponsor or a school to collect money from starry eyed kids and parents. Pitching coaches for kids who will never make it soak plenty of money from hopeful parents. To get to play for the big Teams you pretty much need to get into one of the feeder travel ball programs and pay the money. It is a distorted system. But since recruiting is restricted and dollars are tight it pushes the financial onus on the families of kids trying to make it into college with a scholarship.
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