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Maintaining Soccer Opportunities for Kids During Tough Times
As the economy slides into a pretty severe recession, it is clear that a number of families face financial challenges that were not present over the past several years.   In order to help keep soccer available for the kids in our communities, the WYSL has asked its club leaders and coaches to offer suggestions on how to keep soccer affordable during tough economic times.  Here is a preliminary list of suggestions to either reduce costs or raise revenues:
 
Team level             Require basic uniforms, not extras (warm-ups, 2nd jerseys, duffel bags, etc)
Suggestions          Bulk purchase uniforms and equipment through club
                              No player names on uniforms in order to recycle/reuse them
                              Use outdoor turf fields as substitute for indoor rentals in early spring
                              Review balance between paid trainers/paid coaches vs volunteer coaches
                              Review rates paid for trainers and coaches
                              Local tournaments vs distant tournaments with overnight hotel stays
                              Team level fundraising, events and promotions, and individual donations from families
                              Team level scholarships for players in need
                              Maintain full rosters to reduce costs per family
                              Team carpooling to reduce travel expenses
              
Club level              Create Fundraising Committee at Club Level
Suggestions         Club fundraising efforts (Fundraising Banquet / Silent Auction, Golf Outing)                            
                             Use Internet-based fundraising methods
                             Club level sponsorships- uniform logos, field banners, website ads, local soccer shops           
                             Dining to donate events
                             Formal club level Scholarship Program (with Board of Directors oversight)
                             Buy balls and gear in bulk for all club teams to reduce equipment costs
                             Competitively bid uniform, ball and equipment purchases if orders are large enough
                             Extend uniform cycle from 2 years to 3 years
                             Order reversible jerseys to avoid having to buy a 2nd set (rec, travel)
                             Use 501(c)3 status to avoid sales taxes on uniform and equipment purchases
                             Club level uniform and equipment recycling/passback programs
                             Two or more Clubs could combine their uniform orders- greater volume discounts
                             Review mix of paid trainers/paid coaches vs volunteers
                             Consider limits on indoor practices and paid trainer practices (reduce the “arms race”)
                             Hosting Tournaments as fundraisers (box soccer for rec players, travel tournaments)
                             Fewer club winter indoor programs, reduce gym rentals                                           
                            Offer players paid opportunities- field lining, tournament helpers, trainers for younger teams
                            Offer payment plans to families (ie, pay club quarterly, not all upfront)
                            Encourage teams to maintain full rosters to reduce costs per family
                            Work with local soccer shop to create special “club sales days” – buy excess inventory cheap
                            Stay close to School and Rec facilities personnel to maintain low cost access to fields  
 
League level        Identify fundraising ideas on web site- educate clubs about opportunities
Suggestions        Promote Member Club fundraising events (tournaments, camps)
                            Develop active sponsorship program (uniform companies, soccer camps, etc)
                            Create Fundraising Committee at League Board
                            Earmark a percentage of Select Program revenues to scholarships
                            More website ad sponsorships
                            Encourage carpooling to away games
                            Promote referee job opportunities as "work-study"  program for players needing financial aid
                            Reduce the "burdens" of playing in the WYSL (registration process? make-up games?)
                                                        
ENYYSA level       Scale back State ODP into the League Select Programs, reduce travel distances
Suggestions        Reduce costs and "burdens" of Premier Leagues (long distance travel, hotels, etc)
                            Take advantage of ENYYSA offer to provide free coach education courses for Rec coaches
                            State Cup will be eliminated for U-11s next year (already decided by ENYYSA)
                            Reduce Risk Management compliance costs
                            Renegotiate rates for insurance, passing savings back to leagues and families
                           
 
 December 6, 2008