Privileged to participate

DEDICATION Hockey skates and pads can cost up to $1800, along with added costs for ice time and travel. Photo by Bianca Puglesi ’19.
HIGH COST Lacrosse comes with a price for equipment including sticks, helmets, cleats and pads. Sticks and helmets alone can cost upwards of $500. Photo courtesy of Miles Digeman ’19.

While watching high school sports, the costs and behind the scenes of the game may not be the first thing that comes into your mind. Many South students play sports without knowing the costs that go into playing.
In the case of ice hockey, skates can cost from $150-800, with the rest of the gear between $200-1000. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg for cost, Kelsie Francis ’20 said. Players and their parents have to pay for the ice times in order to skate at certain rinks, and gear maintenance is very important– over the course of the high school hockey season, the overall price can reach up to $800 or more.
“I definitely think that (ice hockey is) more expensive than other sports,” Francis said. “Finding and playing for ice time is very costly.”
Another sport with a lot of behind-the-scenes action is lacrosse. While less expensive than hockey, Chuck Ulbrich ’20, the price still adds up. Arm pads and rib pads are recommended for nearly all players, he said, and lacrosse sticks can cost from $40 to $200 and helmets can cost up to $100.
“(The whole price) depends on what gear you choose to buy,” Ulbrich said. “However, it can be a pretty affordable sport if you can get your hands on someone’s old gear instead of buying all of the new stuff.”
Ulbirch said a commonly-overlooked aspect of purchasing sports gear is buying the proper equipment. Lack of proper equipment in any sport can be damaging to the player, especially in lacrosse. He said lacrosse can be a dangerous sport at times, and proper equipment is necessary for staying safe on the field.
“If you have non-proper equipment, you could put yourself in a position to easily get hurt,” Ulbrich said. “There’s a lot of stick checks thrown that hurt, even when you do have proper equipment.”
To participate in a sport at South, South Athletics has a $220 registration fee, according to field hockey coach Jessie Rouleau. She said separate team fees, such as busses, equipment needs and events add onto the registration fee.
“There is a family cap of $880 per year,” Rouleau said. “So, if a family has multiple athletes at south in multiple sports, they will pay a max of $880.”
With the addition of registration and team fees, equipment and maintenance, the cost for seemingly inexpensive sports begins to add up. However, Rouleau said the costs shouldn’t stop students from playing the sports they love.
“Sport fees can add up quickly, especially for a multi-sport athlete,” Rouleau said. “However, our school does have policies to ensure all students can participate in sports.”