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The most expensive kids’ sports

We shared with you a lot of stories on how families are stretching their budgets on high-priced kids’ sports, so let’s face it. Parents will do whatever they can for their child and sports industry knows that – they make $15.3 billion annually, which mean it has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Families are spending as much as 10% of their income on sports, but sky-high costs are also preventing some kids from participating.

When it comes to kids sports, expenses can really add up, taking also into account that needed equipment needs to be replaced more often than in adulthood. The cost, of course, varies for each program, but let’s see which kids’ sports drain parents’ pockets the most.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a popular youth sport and also one of the most expensive ones. Just the cost of equipment can start out hefty, and one must take into consideration that kids grow and they do it fast, so they require many replacements. Skates can cost up to $1,000 and sticks up to $280. And there are also helmets, shin guards, elbow pads, shorts, and shoulder pads. By adding the costs of ring time, training and travel, expenses rise to $7,013 on average per year, with an upper limit of around $19,000, according to a Utah State survey.


No equipment doesn’t necessarily mean low expenses. At the beginning costs in gymnastics are expensive but palatable, starting at around $15-$20 per class, but once the kid gets compatible, then they escalate over $300 per month. And the costs can really add up by progressing to higher levels, with travel costs, registration fees and intensive camps, that cost around $500. Many parents stated that is easy to pay $1,00 to $5,000 a year just for basic expenses.

Horseback Riding

Equestrianism is well known to be a rich kid’s sport, and there is a good reason for that. Cost of lessons are usually $30 to $85 per hour, cost of proper riding uniform and the use of a horse can run over $1,000, and competition fees start at $500. Not to mention the expenses if you decide to have your own horse. Horses cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, and then you have to count in also their maintenance. To keep a horse healthy, one can easily spend anywhere from $2,500 to $3,600 annually. As stated on Investopedia, on of the parent they spoke to confessed, they spend over $25,000 a year on their child’s equestrian career!


Price of lacrosse training can really build up with proper equipment that is quite pricey, and again, replacements are needed when it damages or grows too old.  Lacrosse sticks can cost from $40 to $100, gloves $50 to $100, helmets can run from $120 to $200, padding from $45 to $80, and quality cleats are anywhere from $40 to $100-plus. According to Utah State survey, the average cost for training this sport is $7,956 per year, with an upper limit of around $17,500.


Skiing is another one of those sports that cost a fortune, especially if one decides to prolong his youth career into a pro. At the beginning expenses are of around $535 for gear alone – $200 for a rundown of skis, boots $100, poles $25, a helmet $50, goggles $30, skiing pants $40 and gloves $30. Then one has to expect to pay for group or private lessons, ski lift tickets and travel costs, in case family doesn’t live near a snow resort. Based on two past SportyCo campaigns we learned that the cost of a professional young skier can reach about $15,000 in alpine skiing and  $20.000 – $27.000 in ski cross per season!


This sport has a high potential to wring family budget to the max since it has a long lifespan – one can start practising as a three-year-old and can continue until college. A cheerleader uniform costs from $150 to $800, and there are also shoes, warm-up clothing, accessories and travel clothes. A school team can cover the costs of training and gym retail, but there are still the expenses of travel to events and competition fees, that can range depending on the level. In the end, parents can spend thousands per year on this sport.

The list can go on and on. According to survey research from Utah State University, there is $4,044 on average spent per year for playing baseball (maximum $9,900), $2,739 for football (maximum $9,500), $1,472 for soccer (maximum $5,500), and $1,143 for basketball (maximum $5,150). And let’s not even start to talk about the costs of motorsports.

The fact is,  that almost every sport can become very expensive when the kid gets involved in it seriously, and unfortunately not every family can pony up for it. As Travis Dorsch, one of Utah State’s leading researchers on parental involvement in youth sports, said in this regard: “How many Michael Jordans and Michael Phelpses are out there who don’t have the opportunity?” Probably plenty. But SportyCo can change this significantly.    

Sources: Investopedia, Fatherly, Metro Parent, Time, GOBankingRate

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