Starting this fall it cost students a little more to be athletes at Westfield Washington Schools.
Business manager Nick Verhoff said the district planned to increase its “pay to play” amount to $70 per athlete per sport last year but decided to soften the blow and only increased prices to $55. The other $15 will be added starting this fall.
“We believe that it is the max,” he said. “No student will not be allowed to participate if they cannot afford the fees.”
Verhoff said the “pay to play” initiative was started when times got tough with the athletic programs. He said other districts have had to drop its junior varsity or freshman teams or sports at the middle school due to budget concerns.
“We started the fee to keep teams so more kids can participate,” he said.
Officials said Westfield’s prices are still considerably lower than surrounding communities.
“There’s no comparison to what other schools charge,” Verhoff said. “The charges are lower fees than what most of these kids are paying to play in recreation sports.”
In comparison, Verhoff said Hamilton Southeastern High School charges $180 a sport and Zionsville costs more than $200. Funds are used to support the athletic program to hire more coaches to provide more teams and better supervision.