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If you play with an academy team ($$$) and have one big tournament requiring a week far away, while the rest of the tournaments are fairly local, my estimate would be $6000.

$3000 for club fees and uniforms, $2000 for the week away (assuming driving to save on airfare; pre covid you could save by sharing Air BnBs with other families) $1000 for more local tournaments, day use fees, gas, and extra eating out.

It depends on the team. Both my kids played for heavily subsidized teams. Both traveled up and down the east coast. One went to Colorado. The oldest (daughter) was $750 for the summer. This team was subsidized by a very wealthy, elderly softball fan who felt sports are good for girls. The youngest (son) was $1,700. We don’t know where the money came from. We suspected a former MLBer and a MLB franchise.

Last edited by RJM

Average team price is $2200 $3500. Uniforms were $300. Then you add travel cost to tournament if it’s national you travel via plane hotel car rental (1500 a trip or cheaper depending on budget, rewards etc) . If it’s local you drive (food gas etc) think 6 weeks of travel for the summer. It can be reasonable or extra pricy etc. some teams are sponsored some is all out of your pocket.

It can get quite expensive. We’re going to Atlanta twice, South Carolina, Orlando, and Ft Myers. The rest are local. Hotels alone will probably be over $3000.

As RJM mentioned, there are some teams that will pay some of the costs and possibly even the entire cost, including travel. There are even teams that will pay you (your parents) to play on their team.

It is according to the future level of play.  If you see yourself/your player being recruited nationally then you need to play for a national team which a lot of them now are fully funded which includes motels and food.  If you are looking to play locally, no need to play on expensive team.  $1,000-1,500.  I would not pay the $6,000 to play because either there are better options or you are playing above your level of recruiting.  As has been said here a thousand times, know the right pond to be fishing in.

My son's team charged $175 a month for weekly practices and additional fees for tournaments - usually $400 for a week long event in Georgia or AZ, and maybe $200 for a local weekend tournament or LV.  All in all if he played a couple tournaments a month in the summer we'd be into it for about $2500 plus travel (at about $3k per week to Georgia or AZ the travel budget dwarfed the baseball expense).

My 2025 will be $2800 for summer fees, instruction, practices, coaches fees, local tournaments/ games.  $300 uniform/swag.  $1000 surcharge for 3 out of state tournaments/hotels.  Then his flights, say $1000.  Food?  If we go then our costs also...  Wait a minute this is completely nuts. That's $5+g.  Seriously it is nuts.  But he already has D1 talk about him in the travel org as a LHP and big bat. 



My 2023 is different.  Even more costs as he is in high school but likely D3.  Not sure about the value there at all but honestly hard to step off the wheel.  These days, with covid, I'm thinking he might need a big travel org vouching for him to get into a decent D3 program.

As an interesting side note, when son was in those years, he played scout ball with a lot of the best talent in Southern and Central California.  A bunch of teammates and opponents are now wearing MiLB or MLB uni's.  I don't think we spent more than about $500 per season.  Many of those players also played with high profile travel orgs but they didn't need to.  There were plenty of scouts and RC's there for many of those weekend (mostly single day) events.

@cabbagedad posted:

As an interesting side note, when son was in those years, he played scout ball with a lot of the best talent in Southern and Central California.  A bunch of teammates and opponents are now wearing MiLB or MLB uni's.  I don't think we spent more than about $500 per season.  Many of those players also played with high profile travel orgs but they didn't need to.  There were plenty of scouts and RC's there for many of those weekend (mostly single day) events.

In addition to the travel program my son also played in a mid week scout league. The team was 100% subsidized. I don’t know about other teams.

Including travel, monthly fees, tournament fees and everything else, how much are you guys spending on summer ball? Any estimates are greatly appreciated.

Not telling you is cheaper than getting a divorce.

Seriously, with an academy team, you're looking at the thousands. Most around me charge about $3K for summer ball. Then travel costs and lodging are on you.

I've seen people writing that academy teams give their A team a free ride while using the other teams to subsidize, and now seeing people writing that their kids' teams are mostly paid for. In the northeast I don't think this is the case (except for the most rarefied teams, or the lucky one that has a rich sponsor). None of the academy teams near me are having A team kids play for free. I am wondering if this is because finding training spaces is so much more expensive in cold-weather states.  From what I have seen the (Northeast) dad-coached teams are much cheaper than the academy teams and play more games than the pro-coached teams, with the possible exception being academy teams asociated with tournament facilities (like Diamond Nation or MSI in my neck of the woods). And of course, if your kid is a dude pitcher, you can guest for most teams without paying, or pay less as a PO...

@Fan2024 posted:

I've seen people writing that academy teams give their A team a free ride while using the other teams to subsidize, and now seeing people writing that their kids' teams are mostly paid for. In the northeast I don't think this is the case (except for the most rarefied teams, or the lucky one that has a rich sponsor). None of the academy teams near me are having A team kids play for free. I am wondering if this is because finding training spaces is so much more expensive in cold-weather states.  From what I have seen the (Northeast) dad-coached teams are much cheaper than the academy teams and play more games than the pro-coached teams, with the possible exception being academy teams asociated with tournament facilities (like Diamond Nation or MSI in my neck of the woods). And of course, if your kid is a dude pitcher, you can guest for most teams without paying, or pay less as a PO...

I ran a dad coached team for 13, 14 and 16u (kids were 15) in ‘06, ‘07 and ‘08. All four of us (coaches) had played college ball. Two played pro. We knew our stuff. It was $600 per summer to play in ten tournaments and a handful of friendlies (doubleheaders). We didn’t calculate travel. Two facilities were within 40 miles. One was 80. It was all day trips. We requested “no 8am games” at the facility 80 miles away.

But when kids are ready for college ball exposure you don’t want to be saving money playing for a daddy coached team. You want your kid on a team with a reputation with the college coaches, and coaches with wide ranging credibility and contacts.

When my son was going through the process ten years ago a local facility was known for bringing in name players and throwing their paying customers under the bus. While visiting the facility I saw a couple of names of kids I played college summer ball with the dads. I knew they didn’t live within 400 miles. I called the dads. They were told, “Get your kid there. The rest is on us.” Of course these kids were on the alumni board. They went to Vanderbilt. One spent seven years in the majors, The Upton brothers were also on the board. They lived 250 miles away.

Facilities have an A and a B team because 26 checks are better than 13. More checks = more money. More money coming your way is better when running a business. That said, yes, without question, some organizations will cut select players on the A team a discount where there is some benefit to having that player in the organization. But, it's not for everyone on the A team, just some, if any.

I find this discounted or free "A team" discussion interesting.  My 2025 LHP was offered to be on the club's national travel team but I declined as he is only 14 and having fun with his current teammates.  Besides there was going to be 17 players on the roster!  There was no offer of a discount during the discussion.  But I believe it probably does happen given the discussion here.  If he has a big year and makes the jump next year for exposure, how do you think one asks for a discount?  I suppose you get some other duck in a row and tell them you are thinking about jumping ship? 

I find this discounted or free "A team" discussion interesting.  My 2025 LHP was offered to be on the club's national travel team but I declined as he is only 14 and having fun with his current teammates.  Besides there was going to be 17 players on the roster!  There was no offer of a discount during the discussion.  But I believe it probably does happen given the discussion here.  If he has a big year and makes the jump next year for exposure, how do you think one asks for a discount?  I suppose you get some other duck in a row and tell them you are thinking about jumping ship?

My son committed to a summer team in December 2019 for 2020. As the months went on and Covid happened we started to realize playing for this guy and this team would be a huge mistake. We know the coach well but didn’t realize how much of a train wreck things had become. So I told him with the current business climate I could no longer afford his team fee. He then told me my son could play for free. Luckily a bunch of other parents were thinking the same way I was and the team fell apart and we were able to find a better situation.  A couple other teams have come calling since and I asked what the costs were and told them I couldn’t afford it to see what would happen. Sure enough they offered discounts.

FWIW, we pay the full cost for the team he’s on now. They don’t give any players a discount. Although I have seen a couple guest players that I’m sure didn’t pay

@DD 2024 posted:

Feels like I am on the wrong planet.

I have paid approximately $40k per year for my daughter to play travel softball.  Club fees =  $5000-6000. Equipment = $1000. Travel and tournament fees = $1500-2500 per weekend.

Am assuming baseball will be the same. Please tell me something different. I am not rich.

I think it's the club fees and the travel. In baseball, it SEEMS like the summer club fees would be closer to $3K. And, the travel part wouldn't be every weekend. Maybe once or twice we're on a plane and spending thousands on travel in the summer. The rest of the time it's by car, no more than 2 hours each way, and only occasionally requires a hotel stay. But, I realize softball is a different animal.

If it makes you feel any better, I spend $3K a year on a training facility. That is on top of summer ball. And, it's been GREAT there. But, he's only really there like 7 months of the year because the in season schedule doesn't allow much time for training. And, last year, with COVID-19, he wasn't there March through October. It was literally money burned.

One thing I have realized through this journey with three baseball players and a son who coaches travel softball, the better player you are and the higher competition you play the cheaper it seems to be.  I can guarantee you that the top teams in any travel sport are paying for their A team with other teams or have sponsors to pay for it.  The top team members are not paying to play.  Some of you will never recoup your money.  I cannot imagine paying $10,000 a year to play baseball, softball, or basketball to try to get a college scholarship or any other reward.  I thought ours was crazy when we were spending $2-3,000 a year to hopefully one day get a scholarship that is worth a few thousand dollars.  I do not understand paying thousands of dollars in training facilities and club fees to play on a team that will get your son/daughter to a small school.  Almost every top player in every state has an opportunity to play for free, some choose not to because they would rather play with a certain club but they have been given the opportunity.  There are true scout teams that the major league teams pay for everything out there also, not every team that calls themselves a scout team.  You have to ask yourself what is the end game.  If you pay more than $5,000 what are you wanting to get out of it.  What kind of scholarship will you get or what kind of team will they play on or what other thing are you wanting to get out of it?  Just know that the top guys are not paying that for any aspect of it.   There are guys out there that know their stuff and are willing to lessons for hitting or pitching for $40 an hour.  No one cares the name behind the lessons they just want to see the results.  They realize that the best guys in the lesson business do as many or more lessons for kids who will never play college ball as they do for those who will become pros.  The bad lessons are easier than the kid who is already defined.  it is a lot easier to teach a kid to just throw the ball than it is to refine a kid who is at the top of the game and wanting to add a fourth pitch or add 3 mph.  If your kid is not a D1 player, there is no reason to go to the big tournaments or travel around the world.  Stay near home and play on a team that will be seen by the schools he will be recruited by.  If they are a stud who wants to be at a large school, then you have to go with a team to tournaments where the large schools will be.

Our family was never in this for the college scholarship - there's not much money (for students and famillies) in baseball. For us, it was that my husband didn't have the opportunity or support to play high-level ball, although he always loved it,  and so when my son got interested baseball became (and still is) something that they do together. Son is likely done growing, likely D3, so we spent last fall reevaluating our choice of club teams -- we wanted a program that seems to care about team, in addition to player development and recruiting -- and are rethinking showcases, etc with a focus on son's goals. But we had fun traveling with his well-connected club team, and chose to spend our vacation/entertainment money on baseball. It's not something we regret.

ahhh....a side note:

....it doesn't stop with travel ball.  So your kid makes it to a D1, D2, D3, or other college team?  Are you just going to sit home and watch it lived streamed every weekend?  Better keep that baseball budget for the next 4-5 years.

Don't ever think that you will recoup  your travel ball money in a possible scholarship.  Think of it as spending it for an extracurricular activity (such as piano, dance, hockey, other).  We would always try to hit the best BBQ place in the area and tour one "touristy" thing to make it more than just baseball on travel weekends.

Last edited by keewart
@Fan2024 posted:

Our family was never in this for the college scholarship - there's not much money (for students and famillies) in baseball. For us, it was that my husband didn't have the opportunity or support to play high-level ball, although he always loved it,  and so when my son got interested baseball became (and still is) something that they do together. Son is likely done growing, likely D3, so we spent last fall reevaluating our choice of club teams -- we wanted a program that seems to care about team, in addition to player development and recruiting -- and are rethinking showcases, etc with a focus on son's goals. But we had fun traveling with his well-connected club team, and chose to spend our vacation/entertainment money on baseball. It's not something we regret.

This describes my family pretty well. A scholarship would be great, but we aren't forcing him to make his college decision based on the cost. He could go to a FL school for free but has no interest in them. Maybe my son will play college ball, maybe he won't. Our hope is that he will be able to use baseball to help push him through admissions with one of his top choices. He enjoys playing baseball against the best competition and my wife and I love watching him play, so that's why we are fine with spending the money.

@PitchingFan posted:

If your kid is not a D1 player, there is no reason to go to the big tournaments or travel around the world.  Stay near home and play on a team that will be seen by the schools he will be recruited by.  If they are a stud who wants to be at a large school, then you have to go with a team to tournaments where the large schools will be.

This is not easy to figure out, but it's true.  They hook you, though, by saying "maybe he's D1" - which could be true.  And, playing with more serious players can be more fun than a local team with a bunch of players who didn't make the high school team.  Those were the kinds of choices my son had, anyway.

@DD 2024 posted:

Feels like I am on the wrong planet.

I have paid approximately $40k per year for my daughter to play travel softball.  Club fees =  $5000-6000. Equipment = $1000. Travel and tournament fees = $1500-2500 per weekend.

Am assuming baseball will be the same. Please tell me something different. I am not rich.

Holy crap.  Holy crap.  I'm usually in the "to each his own" camp and "if you have it to spend, your choice" but if you  aren't rich, I am having a hard time understanding that big of a number per year.  What is the objective/purpose?  2-3 yrs of $40K per year would cover the majority of most college costs.  A competitive travel experience can be had for a small fraction of that number.  Help me out here. 

To answer your question, I have not heard a number near that one for baseball and I have been in those discussions for many many years.  I want to say $25-30K has been on the very high side.

@cabbagedad posted:

Holy crap.  Holy crap.  I'm usually in the "to each his own" camp and "if you have it to spend, your choice" but if you  aren't rich, I am having a hard time understanding that big of a number per year.  What is the objective/purpose?  2-3 yrs of $40K per year would cover the majority of most college costs.  A competitive travel experience can be had for a small fraction of that number.  Help me out here.

To answer your question, I have not heard a number near that one for baseball and I have been in those discussions for many many years.  I want to say $25-30K has been on the very high side.

This was my initial thought. The softball cost would pay for college.

For enlightenment for baseball only people softball is a better scholarship situation. Softball provides 12 rides for essentially 20-22 players. Rosters aren’t nearly as large as baseball. Softball typically has 3 pitchers versus baseball having 16 or 17.

More softball players get 100% or 50% than baseball. My daughter only received 25%. It was because she was getting 50% for academics and not a top recruit. As the top school in her major it was where she was going once they expressed interest. She verballed in the fall of her soph high school year. Girls also get recruited earlier since they physically mature sooner. Top recruits playing 18u Gold and verballing before high school is normal.

Last edited by RJM

There are people who spend $40k a year for high school tuition, and who might not consider themselves rich. That being said, the people who could be spending that kind of money on baseball might be the people who choose to have their kids play on club teams in the south when they live in the north (plane tickets and hotel fees could add up quickly). Not to mention lessons and gym fees. People can spend lots of money on those things too, as Francis already mentioned. Different people have different priorities.

Yeah, so ...

I know it's a lot. I've never actually added it up. I'm too afraid. One of the other parents on the team said he was in about $30k, and with covid the team had to travel quite a bit more to play (we live in CA), so I'm guessing $40k, it could be closer to $30k. But still.... I have a hard time explaining it. But so do 14 other families!

FWIW, this is a national-caliber team which draws from about a 50-mile radius around their home field. No fly-in players. 10 mins from our house to practice. But, they truly do need to travel to find competition. Way less softball teams in the world than baseball teams. They also have a private indoor facility that's available at any time (each player has a key) and they have team practice outdoors 2-3 days per week. Paid coaches as well. Only one team at each age group. Couple younger players are on scholarship because there's a multi-millionaire dad on one of the teams. But the guy who owns the org wants to keep it small, so there's no B or C teams that supplement the A team costs.

My sense is that softball is more expensive than baseball simply because they play way more games. Not unusual for our team to play 3 weekends/month, 2 requiring plane rides, one within driving distance. In summer, we play almost every weekend.

Glad to hear that baseball won't break the bank! Not sure I could stand another year of this. (Daughter is off to college in the fall.)

@RJM posted:

This was my initial thought. The softball cost would pay for college.

For enlightenment for baseball only people softball is a better scholarship situation. Softball provides 12 rides for essentially 20-22 players. Rosters aren’t nearly as large as baseball. Softball typically has 3 pitchers versus baseball having 16 or 17.

More softball players get 100% or 50% than baseball. My daughter only received 25%. It was because she was getting 50% for academics and not a top recruit. As the top school in her major it was where she was going once they expressed interest. She verballed in the fall of her soph high school year. Girls also get recruited earlier since they physically mature sooner. Top recruits playing 18u Gold and verballing before high school is normal.

Softball recruiting changed a couple years ago - colleges can no longer verbal 7th graders. First official contact is 9/1 junior year.

And you are right - it's an equivalency sport. 12 scholarships, usually pitcher, catcher, CF and shortstop have a full ride. The rest are broken up into 16 half scholarships, with the other half frequently made up of academic or need-based money. Rosters are usually 16-18 players, usually 4 pitchers; inflated this year due to covid.

The roster number I gave was for a 2011 college graduate. I don’t understand the expense and the need to travel so frequently. You’re in THE softball hotbed state. Outside nationals your furthest trip should be Southern CA. What am I missing? By the way, the 9/1 junior year contact is a joke in every sport. It’s easy to get around the rule. Many athletes verbal before junior year.

Last edited by RJM

I guess i'm a little "Off the Track", but do all those players in the MLB, who come from Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic, etc., spend $40K on summer ball? Is there any correlation to money spent vs length of baseball career?

Hey , if you got the money , and love baseball, why not spend $40K. I probably would too. But really, is that what it takes? IF so, then i'm out.

@DD 2024 posted:

Yeah, so ...

I know it's a lot. I've never actually added it up. I'm too afraid. One of the other parents on the team said he was in about $30k, and with covid the team had to travel quite a bit more to play (we live in CA), so I'm guessing $40k, it could be closer to $30k. But still.... I have a hard time explaining it. But so do 14 other families!

FWIW, this is a national-caliber team which draws from about a 50-mile radius around their home field. No fly-in players. 10 mins from our house to practice. But, they truly do need to travel to find competition. Way less softball teams in the world than baseball teams. They also have a private indoor facility that's available at any time (each player has a key) and they have team practice outdoors 2-3 days per week. Paid coaches as well. Only one team at each age group. Couple younger players are on scholarship because there's a multi-millionaire dad on one of the teams. But the guy who owns the org wants to keep it small, so there's no B or C teams that supplement the A team costs.

My sense is that softball is more expensive than baseball simply because they play way more games. Not unusual for our team to play 3 weekends/month, 2 requiring plane rides, one within driving distance. In summer, we play almost every weekend.

Glad to hear that baseball won't break the bank! Not sure I could stand another year of this. (Daughter is off to college in the fall.)

Softball recruiting changed a couple years ago - colleges can no longer verbal 7th graders. First official contact is 9/1 junior year.

And you are right - it's an equivalency sport. 12 scholarships, usually pitcher, catcher, CF and shortstop have a full ride. The rest are broken up into 16 half scholarships, with the other half frequently made up of academic or need-based money. Rosters are usually 16-18 players, usually 4 pitchers; inflated this year due to covid.

I sorta get most of that, DD, but I was in California for many years and had friends with P5 recruit daughters playing tons of top level travel.  So many of the better teams in the country were based in SoCal so an org could play most of their tourneys there if they chose.   

Sounds like your daughter is in a good place so congrats!

@RJM posted:

The roster number I gave was for a 2011 college graduate. I don’t understand the expense and the need to travel so frequently. You’re in THE softball hotbed state. Outside nationals your furthest trip should be Southern CA. What am I missing? By the way, the 9/1 junior year contact is a joke in every sport. It’s easy to get around the rule. Many athletes verbal before junior year.

SoCal is where the best teams are. But the sport has grown significantly which is great. The Southeast, Texas, Midwest even New Jersey have national-level orgs now.

We don’t travel to all of those places but we do travel to tourneys which attract those teams - think Las Vegas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida. Costs will definitely go back down when SoCal opens up  


Anyway yeah it’s nuts and I am very grateful baseball looks like it will be much more manageable. Seems like softball is expensive because of the number of games, way fewer teams and no MLB-type supplements along the way.


Cheers.

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