School sports offer many health and educational benefits for kids who participate, including improving their performance at school. But for many families, the cost of school sports is too high – leaving their kids on the sidelines.
We asked parents of kids age 12-17 about their children’s participation in school sports and how the cost has impacted their families. Among parents in lower-income households (annual incomes less than $60,000), only 30% had a child who played sports. For parents in higher-income households (greater than $60,000 per year), 51% said they had a child playing sports. Overall, one in seven parents who did not have a child playing sports cited cost as the reason their children didn’t participate. Read the full report: Pay-to-play sports keeping some kids on the sidelines.
Over 60% of parents whose children played sports said their children had a pay-to-play fee required for school sports participation. This infographic shows the amount of school sports participation fees as reported by parents in lower and higher income families:
This NPCH Report was a follow-up to another report released in May 2012. Sports participation among lower-income students has decreased by 10% since the 2012 report. Additionally, nearly 10% of parents from higher-income households said cost had caused a decrease in participation for their children – which is nearly double the rate found in 2012.
NPCH Associate Director Sarah Clark, MPH discusses the cost of school sports and these results in this video: