Ohhhh FFS

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  • Tue, Aug 13, 2019 12:25 PM

    This is dumb.

    Are SOME sports more expensive than others?  Sure.  If you're cycling or playing golf, you need a bicycle or set of clubs, respectively.

    And are some traveling sports more costly?  Sure.  Traveling sports certainly add up.

    But basketball?  Sure, you might have to replace the shoes every few years, but they don't have to be some ridiculously expensive pair.  Other than that, it's ... what ... proper undergarments and socks?

    And baseball?  New pair of cleats every few years, which don't have to be some absurdly expensive pair.  New glove maybe two or three times before adulthood (assuming they start out playing teeball), and again, it doesn't have to be an exorbitant one.  Other than that, maybe socks and tape.  Pine tar, if you're feeling magnanimous, but our team always had it.

    Football?  Cleats that will last most of their school career (I used one pair from 7th to 12th grade ... still have them), one to three pairs of gloves over the course of their school career, proper undergarments, and a mouth guard.  And whatever joint braces you need after a few years of playing since, you know, it's football.

    This is a bad use of data.  The chart shows how much parents DO spend on sports.  It doesn't show how much is necessary for the child to play sports.  The difference there could be huge, but it's not taken into account to establish whether or not the bare minimum cost is prohibitive (and it isn't).

    Also, I get that gas to games and such costs money, but those are technically not prohibitive expenses.  What kind of asshole parent would keep their kid from playing a sport if they weren't able to afford the gas to go see the games?

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 1:45 PM
    posted by geeblock

    Coaches are 100% the problem. They absolutely punish kids for playing other sports for their own self gain 

    Not me.  A kid needs to be well rounded, and support their SCHOOL by playing and participating in as many things as possible.  I had an argument with the VB coach (I coach Basketball) about club volleyball.  I asked her if she openly encourages basketball players to play club volleyball during basketball season.  She said, "Yes!  I want to be a competitive vball team in league, and they have to play year round!"  I about lost it.  I want kids to succeed in VB, CC, FB... then move on to Basketball, wrestling, band, play, whatever... then move on to spring sports and succeed as well.  

    Don't get me wrong.  I love for a kid to WANT to play AAU basketball.  But not at the expense of another school sport.  Consider me in the minority, I guess. 

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 1:52 PM
    posted by O-Trap

    This is dumb.

    Are SOME sports more expensive than others?  Sure.  If you're cycling or playing golf, you need a bicycle or set of clubs, respectively.

    And are some traveling sports more costly?  Sure.  Traveling sports certainly add up.

    But basketball?  Sure, you might have to replace the shoes every few years, but they don't have to be some ridiculously expensive pair.  Other than that, it's ... what ... proper undergarments and socks?

    And baseball?  New pair of cleats every few years, which don't have to be some absurdly expensive pair.  New glove maybe two or three times before adulthood (assuming they start out playing teeball), and again, it doesn't have to be an exorbitant one.  Other than that, maybe socks and tape.  Pine tar, if you're feeling magnanimous, but our team always had it.

    Football?  Cleats that will last most of their school career (I used one pair from 7th to 12th grade ... still have them), one to three pairs of gloves over the course of their school career, proper undergarments, and a mouth guard.  And whatever joint braces you need after a few years of playing since, you know, it's football.

    This is a bad use of data.  The chart shows how much parents DO spend on sports.  It doesn't show how much is necessary for the child to play sports.  The difference there could be huge, but it's not taken into account to establish whether or not the bare minimum cost is prohibitive (and it isn't).

    Also, I get that gas to games and such costs money, but those are technically not prohibitive expenses.  What kind of asshole parent would keep their kid from playing a sport if they weren't able to afford the gas to go see the games?

    Respectfully this seems like a take from 1985. Or some really small town. Sure if you want to play in the park or in your back yard with your friends all you need is some equipment. I don’t think anyone was saying equipment was the problem. I’m retired from coaching now but I coached for 20 years and it’s not like it used to be. (Speaking from the Columbus, Oh experience). Now if you go back to my hometown in Cambridge oh, you can still play little league, babe Ruth and Legion ball at a reasonable and affordable price for almost anyone. 

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 2:57 PM
    posted by geeblock

    Respectfully this seems like a take from 1985. Or some really small town. Sure if you want to play in the park or in your back yard with your friends all you need is some equipment. I don’t think anyone was saying equipment was the problem. I’m retired from coaching now but I coached for 20 years and it’s not like it used to be. (Speaking from the Columbus, Oh experience). Now if you go back to my hometown in Cambridge oh, you can still play little league, babe Ruth and Legion ball at a reasonable and affordable price for almost anyone. 

    I'm not suggesting that there isn't a different required level of commitment, though that is absurd as well, and I'd agree that this is, in no small part, the result of coaches seemingly trying to monopolize athletes.

    I do, however, stand by the equipment costs not being a legitimate minimum entry requirement.  If a kid is good, a fresh pair of Js  every year isn't going to actually make him better.

    To your point, I am from a small town originally (though if you've been coaching for 20 years, you're older than I am), but I live in a larger city now, and I've been involved some with the local high school's football team, and I know for a fact that many of them are not having anything close to the above spent on them.  The actual amount they're spending and the kinds of things they're spending it on isn't really that different from about 18 years ago.

    But it doesn't really matter because, again, my point is that this is a misuse of data.  Asking how much your average parents DO spend per child in a given sport's season isn't the same as asking how much your average parent HAS TO spend per child in a given sport's season.

    So even if we assume that these numbers are an adequate cross-section of parents across America, the numbers are still faulty for attributing the drop in sports turnout to cost for two reasons:

    1. You're still taking the average spent, which is functionally never the minimum cost of entry
    2. The costs taken into account include both (a) necessities to play the sport and (b) luxuries to play the sport.


    If I'm dumb enough to get my kid a pair of BBB ZO2 shoes (why?), I'm counting that cost toward how much we're spending on him playing basketball, but let's not pretend he needs that $200 pair of shoes to play at a higher level, and let's not pretend he needs a new pair every year, either.  That's not being old (again, I think I'm younger than you).  That's just being fiscally responsible.

    I'm not saying you don't replace something when it breaks or gets worn out, and I'm not saying spending as little as humanly possible should be the only goal.  I'm saying a lot of what is paid for in sports for 12th grade and under isn't necessary for the kid to be able to play.  Not having those things doesn't bar entry into the sport.

    That being the case, the premise of the article is flawed.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 3:07 PM
    posted by geeblock

    The cost absolutely doesn’t allow inner city kids to play baseball.

    You guys realize baseball is not the only sport, and the article is not only about baseball?

    And you guys are making a completely different argument than the article suggests.  The article said kids aren't playing because sports are too expensive, not that they're just giving up because they can't hope to play highschool sports if they can't afford travel ball.

    If a kid wants to play and have fun, there are plenty of affordable options.  I can't afford travel balls seems like a really, really dumb reason for your kid not to play sports.

    And if the explanation is kids playing one sport year round, than that article is bad at statistics and making a totally erroneous argument.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 3:09 PM
    posted by Automatik

    Go on then. Feel free to refute the article...

     

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 3:18 PM
    posted by Automatik

     

    What is there to refute?  Otrap already laid it out - there's plenty of sports that don't require a big financial commitment. 

    The cost of travel ball DOES NOT prohibit people from playing a sport.  Why don't you refute that?

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 3:19 PM
    posted by geeblock

    The cost absolutely doesn’t allow inner city kids to play baseball. The cost to maintain the field and lack of fields is bad too. This is why most kids play basketball. Easily the cheapest sport. Lots of kids who are economically disadvantaged if they are really   Good and the team wants to win will often have a “sponsor” which is usually the team booster club or a rich parent of another player. I have seen this happen in football and baseball in my coaching days 

    If this were the case, there would be no inner city football teams, either.  Cost to maintain the field is just as bad, as more of the season is in inclement weather.  And equipment for the team is demonstrably more expensive.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 3:32 PM
    posted by gut

    What is there to refute?  Otrap already laid it out - there's plenty of sports that don't require a big financial commitment. 

    The cost of travel ball DOES NOT prohibit people from playing a sport.  Why don't you refute that?

    But you don't think cost is a factor at all?

    Where I grew up it's 100% on the parents/towns not giving a shit anymore, especially in baseball and basketball. Of the public fields/courts I grew up playing all have gone to shit except one of each off the top of my head. 

     

    Somewhat off topic, but anyone familiar with involving their kids in dance? I have a friend with two daughters who participate. Crazy amounts for an activity.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 3:42 PM
    posted by Automatik

    But you don't think cost is a factor at all?

    Where I grew up it's 100% on the parents/towns not giving a shit anymore, especially in baseball and basketball. Of the public fields/courts I grew up playing all have gone to shit except one of each off the top of my head. 

     

    Somewhat off topic, but anyone familiar with involving their kids in dance? I have a friend with two daughters who participate. Crazy amounts for an activity.

    I was in two dance classes/week from ages 4 to 18. I honestly don't know how much it was. There was a monthly fee for each class, plus one or two pair of shoes throughout the year. Leotards and tights weren't super expensive, and we only had to buy one costume per class per year. 

    I do have a friend with two daughters in competitive dance, and she definitely spends a fortune. They travel to competitions at least once a month, and it's not uncommon for them to have to fly to them. 

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 4:07 PM
    posted by Automatik

    But you don't think cost is a factor at all?

    Where I grew up it's 100% on the parents/towns not giving a shit anymore, especially in baseball and basketball. Of the public fields/courts I grew up playing all have gone to shit except one of each off the top of my head.

    I will say this, though I admit that it's speculative:

    It wouldn't surprise me to find out that cost is part of the reason that parents are so agreeable to their kids becoming sport-specialized.  I know a fair number of them probably go that way because they think little Jill or Johnny is going pro, but if you told a parent, "Hey, you don't have to bother with cleats, gloves, etc. because your son Skyy wants to focus on basketball year-round," I'm sure plenty would be cool with it from a financial standpoint.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 4:38 PM
    posted by O-Trap

    If this were the case, there would be no inner city football teams, either.  Cost to maintain the field is just as bad, as more of the season is in inclement weather.  And equipment for the team is demonstrably more expensive.

    Baseball is more expensive than football and harder to get into. Football fields usually share with soccer. Taking care of dirt and dugouts and the cost of baseballs and the number of games makes baseball more expensive and the lack of fields makes it more inaccessible to kids in inner city. The burbs have more fields but I see lots of kids playing on shared softball fields.  That is just my experience but I’ll admit I don’t have hard  data to back it up and I didn’t look it up. That’s and interesting tooic

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 4:46 PM

    I absolutely don’t think kids it’s true that kids don’t play sports because they want to play video games and I don’t even know where your going with the participation trophy part when half of your arguments say kids should just get together and play for fun 

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 5:45 PM
    posted by geeblock

    Baseball is more expensive than football and harder to get into. Football fields usually share with soccer. Taking care of dirt and dugouts and the cost of baseballs and the number of games makes baseball more expensive and the lack of fields makes it more inaccessible to kids in inner city. The burbs have more fields but I see lots of kids playing on shared softball fields.  That is just my experience but I’ll admit I don’t have hard  data to back it up and I didn’t look it up. That’s and interesting tooic

    Are dugouts different now?  Admittedly, it's been almost two decades since I played, but ours were basically just a concrete slab with cinderblock walls and a concrete roof.  Had some bat slots and a few hooks.  That was pretty much it.  Wasn't a lot to care for.  And I'm pretty sure that little shelter could have survived a nuclear winter.

    As for the dirt, there really was never much that went into it outside raking after every practice and game (which the players did for free) and the occasional pulling of weeds, which were never that bad, since the dirt wasn't exactly nutrient rich, and which we also did ourselves.  You never really had to deal with the turfing you see in football or the reseeding that football usually needs near the goal lines and near the 40s (which I can only assume is from kickoffs?).  Literally, the baseball field got mowed.  The players even put up the piping over the fences when the old stuff got too cracked and brittle.

    I don't mean to say it's free, of course.  The team (read: school) does have to supply bats, helmets, bases, base anchors, pitcher's rubber, etc, and those are the kinds of things that do eventually wear out and need replaced.  Bats aren't cheap.  Helmets aren't cheap.  I assume bases and the rubber from the pitcher's mound aren't dirt cheap.  Still, none of them should be yearly expenses, unless something happens (like a kid banging on a fence post with a bat ... happened once).

    With the kind of contact that happens in football, not to mention the sheer number of kids who can comfortably be on a team, I would imagine that you're replacing more helmets and pads more frequently, as well.

    I mean, my mind isn't made up or anything.  If someone could show me that there are other necessary expenses for a baseball team that I'm just not considering, I'd believe it.  At face value, though, it would seem like weather + frequency of contact + wear and tear on the field + number of kids on a given team would equal football being more expensive handily.

    For what it's worth, I'm not suggesting that video games are the reason that kids aren't playing sports necessarily.  We had video games when I was in school, too.

    I just don't buy that it's because sports are suddenly cost prohibitive, either.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 5:58 PM

    I think it’s many things that factor in. Lots of people in certain areas don’t want their kid getting concussions in football or soccer. Also people are having less kids I think. Getting your kid to and from practice and games when u work a lot isn’t easy. The world is definitely diff

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 6:04 PM
    posted by geeblock

    I think it’s many things that factor in. Lots of people in certain areas don’t want their kid getting concussions in football or soccer. Also people are having less kids I think. Getting your kid to and from practice and games when u work a lot isn’t easy. The world is definitely diff

    The world is, sure.  I'm just not sure the entry level financials for playing sports necessarily are.  In any way that they might be, it would seem like it's a man-made cost that isn't actually necessary.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 6:12 PM

    Fwiw I played a shit load of video games when I played baseball and hoops in the 90s. Also got a trophy for every season of little league regardless of record. 

    People (parents, kids, the community) seem to just care less from my personal experience.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 6:34 PM
    posted by Automatik

    Fwiw I played a shit load of video games when I played baseball and hoops in the 90s. Also got a trophy for every season of little league regardless of record. 

    People (parents, kids, the community) seem to just care less from my personal experience.

    I'm sure there's a reason behind it, but I think this seems like a reasonable theory.  For whatever reason, people care less.

    Tue, Aug 13, 2019 9:18 PM

    Seems like nowadays adults care about themselves WAY more than they did when I was a kid (wow, that sounded old).  Narcissism could once be fed by "living through your kid" at school events, but now it is fed through tons more outlets.  That could potentially be a factor in the "give a fuck" field.

    Thu, Sep 12, 2019 11:54 AM

    The OHSAA just issued a statement that might be indirectly related to some of this:

    https://delphosherald.com/Content/Sports/Sports/Article/OHSAA-issues-stern-warning-to-parents-and-fans/192/1187/210823?fbclid=IwAR1Eg5OWbzbOpg-9fhciA2ot0FIf9GAtMUnEOspIrK2fLwJfCv9rzX1hEJE

    I have to wholly agree with something like this.  Let the refs ref.  Let the coaches coach.  Let the players play.  Stop living vicariously through the players and/or trying to handle any team or coach issues for them.


     

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