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BUSC Soccer fees soaring

Original post made by Mark, Highland Oaks, on May 22, 2013

Our family just received the registration notice for the upcoming BUSC soccer season. What a surprise to see the new price tag. On top of the registration fee BUSC have added $50 per child refundable when the parent volunteers 4 hours of our time. The coaches already volunteer their time. Supplies and clothing require additional fees. If you don't get your registration fees in by June 30 then there is another $50. When all is said and done it will cost we'll over $300 per pleasanton child. Multiply that amount by the 5000 or so players and we're talking real dollars. Exactly where does this money go? I'm guessing the answer will be liability insurance, field rental, etc. I think we need to look a little deeper.

Comments (22)

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2013 at 11:27 am

This is a good deal at twice the price. The overall program is very well-run and the players have a great time. The coaches, trainers, and staff are there for the kids and genuinely enjoy what they're doing. In large part it's a volunteer-based program, especially at the recreational level, and the $50 volunteer fee is there to coax you into giving up a little of your time for the club. Most people spend their four hours doing field marshal duty at one of the soccer tournaments at the Sports Park - pretty painless.

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Posted by Going Ballistic
a resident of Birdland
on May 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Are those fees for the traveling level or just rec? Either way they are outrageous. I think we need to get back to the basics where kids just go out and find a few friends to play some free soccer,basketball and baseball in the park its all about the exercise and social aspects that these sports bring to the kids so no need to pay someone to have fun whiile playing a sport. Especially if you really think of the number of people who really play beyond HS and college, just be healthy and happy having pick up games.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

nice try Going Ballistic. Pleasanton parents are too competitive to go back to the basics of a pick up game with your friends. Most of these parents are living vicariously through their kids in these sports. Especially football and baseball. Plus with the competition to get on a high school team, these parents will spend all sorts of money to get them to play, that is until it comes time to pay the fair share "donation" in high school. Then everyone bails.

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Posted by Busc parent
a resident of Del Prado
on May 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Coaches at the rec level are all volunteer. Some training is provided during the season but certainly not $300 worth. Yes the field usage can cost quite a bit, but perhaps the real reason for the spike in fees is to support out of town 'scholarship' players at the competitive level. Year after year we have seen the club recruit out of town folks to wear the ballistic jersey but who have no means to pay $2000 it cost to play.
What ends up happening is the money comes from general fund - the rec program and those parents who pay full price. If I were a rec parent I'd ask the Presudent of BUSC for an explanation about where funds go.

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2013 at 9:11 am

Amusing comments. Not much has changed in 35 years except, earlier parents volunteered their time (60 to 80 hours in the snack bar) during the season without the refundable fee to make them! LOL!

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Posted by Kate C
a resident of Val Vista
on May 23, 2013 at 9:48 am

Having moved here from the East Coast I was shocked at how high the fees are here to join a sport - I feel for the people that cannot afford it and the children who then miss out.

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Posted by Fair Share
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

The whole Fair Share fees at the HS level is a bunch of you know what. As a parent of kids who played multiple sports in HS I have paid every single year and I understand when some parents dont want to pay when their kids dont play or if the coaches are not dedicated or experienced enough to coach.

I heard that BB was like $400 plus per kid at FH and I heard that the team did terrible, what has happened to the talent? Heard FB not even 50% pay and they try to ask other sports to make up the difference.

When by kids were at HS level I payed $120 per sport and that was bus costs what has it come to now.

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Posted by Really?
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

Why does everyone think sports are so important. Afterall, it is called school not sport. Anything unrelated to school in my opinion should be 100% funded by the participants period.

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Posted by @Fair Share
a resident of Birdland
on May 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

This is for Fair Share:

The reason it cost so much to play high school sports, band, cheer, etc. in our schools is that the district pays nothing or extremely little toward these programs now. After all the budget cuts, there is not money for the extracurricular activities. That includes the uniforms, coaching/instructors, buses, etc.

And with the terminology being "Fair Share DONATION" not FEE - no one has to pay for any of these activities if they don't want to. I understand that for some there is financial hardship. But to just downright not pay because they can't make you is irresponsible.

Also, what happened to EARNING your fees through fundraisers if you are in financial hardship? And I am not talking about sending out letters begging for money. I am talking about car washes, bake sales, auctions, etc.

Moral character is on the downslide...everyone wanting something for nothing.

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Posted by BarbnJim
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Back to the original question -fee's for club sports are going up because clubs (BUSC, Rage, etc.) are a business. They are appealing because they dangle the parental ego-building carrot of sports 'scholarship' in front of parents to keep them hooked and paying fat fees and have a bottom-up business model. Do the math. Say there are 12 girls/boys on a team -volunteer coach, $30-40 for a uniform (they buy in bulk), $50 per kid for balls/referee's (if needed)/fields. So, clear $200 per kid, $2400 per team -the money rolls up hill to pay for comp team coaches, director of coaching, etc because comp fees of $1800-2000 don't cover the cost of coaching. Rec subsidies comp...that's why these fees keep climbing and retention is critical.

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Posted by New Mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Regarding BUSC: Having lived in other places, I can tell you that these fees are in line with what we have paid in other states, including the volunteer fee.

To 'Really?' and others questioning the value of sports in the schools: Sports and other extra curricular activities are an important part of high school life. Many of us with children who are athletes have no expectations that our students will play beyond high school. However, participation in HS sports, or marching band, etc teaches our children many things, including, how to be a part of team, how to lead a team, how to deal with people they don't necessarily like to still get a job done, how to manage their time. Many athletes are also 4.0 plus students. Others, use the carrot of participating in a sport to keep their grades high enough to be able to participate in sports. Being a part of team also gives our students a place to belong. Being successful in sports teaches our students the value of determination and hard work. Being on a team that isn't so successful teaches our students how to lose gracefully (we hope) and that they gave it their best shot and life goes on.
I've had a HS student not in sports ( but in band ) and a student in sports. Honestly, I didn't recognize the value of sports until I had a student participating, but it is a tremendous experience. I know that my student won't participate at the college level. Honestly, my student has a much better chance at an academic scholarship. But the hard work and feeling part of team has been an amazing experience, even on the team that isn't so 'successful'.

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Posted by ValueNotFees
a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Having had two kids go thru the soccer programs in Pleasanton, I have to say that although expensive - they are both well run and quality programs. Look at how may parents bolt from neighboring communities to join our programs... thats speaks volumes. Lots of programs in other town are folding everyday, lots of chaos etc...

For those questioning the value of competitive sports in the formation of our children, all I can say is that is you must not have had that experience yourself, which is unfortunate....

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2013 at 8:49 am

@ New Mom & ValueNotFees - Well said - Thank You!

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Posted by Soccer mom
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

So let me get this straight, a portion of the fees I pay to have my 8yo play on a BUSC soccer team go towards subsidizing the fees of a competitive player? I have an idea for the BUSC board, can we get the competitive players who benefit from this supplement to also volunteer their time back to our younger boys. I can tell you that my 8yo would love to have the experience of kicking the ball around with a competitive 15yo.

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Posted by C
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I know the main focus here is the boys, but I have a quick comment to add about the girls. We pay about $250 for rec. I get the value of friendships, learning a sport, teamwork, etc. However, the issue I have is that the girls are provided with TWO jerseys. One gray and one orange. So names have to be put on both each year. From what I understand a few years ago moms were upset about colors their teams' were given so Rage opted to make everyone orange....... I know having to purchase two jerseys for each child adds to the cost. I think both colors are ugly, especially for photography. I hate having to remember which jersey to bring, and I think is ridiculous that we can't have different colors for each team. When I was young, part of the excitement was finding out what color you would be wearing for the season.

Sorry if a bit off topic.

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Posted by soccer parent
a resident of Del Prado
on May 24, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Soccer Mom - what a great idea to have the older, competitive players volunteer their time with the younger rec players. Problem is, it will never happen. Those who benefit from the scholarships, are almost always the parents you will NEVER see setting up or taking down the fields, working the snack bar, or any other volunteer job. How do I know this? I've witnessed firsthand the people who take handouts year after year, and give nothing back to the club. It is sad that BUSC competitive program no longer draws from mostly from the community of Pleasanton. If they did, then the the competitive players would most likely be happy to pay back their good fortune by spending time volunteering with the younger ones who are their friends and neighbors!

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Soccer Mom - sad, isn't it...

I also loved the email I received from Rage (after paying $275) that they needed to do fund raising events to pay for the field rental. I though....what????????????????? Where does my money go? We get a uniform and refs and one "clinic".

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Posted by Me
a resident of Castlewood
on May 29, 2013 at 8:32 am

My children left Soccer after BUSC failed attempt to make them have a life long love of soccer (by forcing them to choose a single sport at a young age.) Truly BUSC has lost thier way, there not for profit mission statement says it is in place to serve the children of Pleasanton. The new mission statement should read "to promote the coaching careers of the coaches while siphoning funds from an affluent Pleasanton community" The recruiting of non paying charity players from external communities (based purely on thier skill) is just a way to promote said careers. BUSC argues they pay field fees, so stay out of thier business. Those fees are for marginal costs not for land purchase. It is time for the city to start charging non-resident premiums directly to the benefitting families, I pay property taxes for my family's and community's benefit not for BUSC coaches benefit.

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Posted by Rob Borghese
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm

“I was recently on this website and noticed some comments published about BUSC. My name is Rob Borghese and I am a board member at BUSC. I can assure you that our competitive program is not subsidized by the registration fees paid by those who play in the recreational program. The fee structure for those players playing in the BUSC competitive program pays for the coaching and administrative costs necessary to run that program. Unfortunately, the rising costs of insurance, fields and referees dominates much of the registration fee costs. There are some administration costs that are paid for by everyone, but that constitutes a fraction of the registration fees. Moreover, our survey of neighboring soccer clubs show that our registration fees are in line with those programs and that in many instances, our overall program costs are lower than other clubs. Additionally, the cost to play recreational soccer is again in line with and sometimes lower than the costs to play other sports, including lacrosse, baseball and rugby. While a volunteer fee is charged, it is very easily earned back through a small number of volunteer hours donated to the club. Recreational coaches and board members automatically qualify for the return of the fee, since those jobs are all completely filled with volunteers. Please note that other clubs, such as Dublin, charge $100 as a volunteer fee. While we would prefer not to charge the fee, without it we simply do not get enough volunteers to help run the club. Without volunteers, the club will disappear. Feel free to call me if you wish to learn more about the club and its operations. We hope that the misinformation about registration and volunteer fees will cease, and that if you have questions they will be directed to the club so that we can provide you with accurate information. Thanks.”

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Posted by SoccerGuy
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for your comments Rob.
Can you tell me where I can get a copy of the BUSC budget? Is it available online?

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Posted by mark h
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:54 am

Truly appreciate the explanation and expected the answer to rising costs would be attributed to field fees and insurance. It's too easy.

Is BUSC working with those other sports, leagues and citiies mentioned above to leverage "volume" to get the best deal possible on insurance, field fees, etc? If not then I will gladly volunteer my time this year helping you to shop around and negotiate better deals on behalf of us parents who write the check$.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

if you refuse to pay the money, run a small net across your dinner table, buy 2 small paddles and a small white ball and play PEEM POM!

tee hee hee...

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