how much does youth soccer cost



How much does youth soccer cost?

It's the question you don't like the answer to.  You want your kid to play the world's number one sport, but you fear the amount of money you have to shell out. Here's what you need to know about prices you can expect to pay for your child to play soccer.

soccer mom credit cardPaying For Youth Soccer

According to statista (Youth Soccer Spending) families spent  $537.00 each year for their child to play soccer. About 29% ($158) of that total investment was used for registration, and 23% ($125) was spent on youth soccer equipment. The remaining costs were $107 for travel, $73 for soccer camps, and $66 for training.

This post will give you the breakdown of soccer costs for kids, how you can save money, and examples of costs in several locations across the USA.

Here's a quick look at the results of a survey of soccer parents all over the USA of what they spent on soccer for their child in 2019.

Youth Soccer Cost Bar GraphYouth Soccer Cost Bar Graph

The biggest component of the cost was for registrations fees, which averaged $158 in the sample population that was questioned. Research indicates that registration fees varies immensely, with some towns charging as little as $10 for participation in their local recreational program. Other competitive travel clubs may charge several thousand dollars to pay for the privilege of playing on a select, traveling, club soccer team.

Here is the data from from the survey shown above.


$125 23.3% EQUIPMENT
$107 19.9% TRAVEL
$73 13.6% CAMPS
$66 12.3% LESSONS

why does club soccer cost so much

You can look at both a local small town recreational youth soccer league and a select memberships traveling soccer club like a business with income and expenses. Their income comes from registrations fees and the expenses come in many different forms:


  • Liability and Medical Insurance
  • Fees paid to the league
  • Payments for the game referees
  • Balls, goals, and other training and game day equipment


  • Renting training facilities
  • Paying coaches and trainers
  • Participation in tournaments

soccer cost examples

I did my own cost research for kids soccer and found that registration fees for kids soccer can vary widely across the nation, from city to town and from level of competition. 

I sampled 3 soccer leagues in 5 different states of the country for youth soccer costs and here are the results.

IOWA. Recreational leagues range from $60 for the youngest players to $155 registration for the oldest players. Club soccer players cost ranged from $340 to $1475.

NEW JERSEY.  The town recreation cost ranged from $45 and $100, Select travel team registration cost was $150-$600.

GEORGIA. The range of prices for youth soccer in the Georgia associations I found were $65-$220

CALIFORNIA. Price ranges for rec soccer were between $57 and $165. Club soccer registration average between $100 and $530.

NEW YORK. The price of kids soccer for 3 different soccer organizations in New York for recreational and select teams ranged from $35 to $200.

5 ways you can save money on youth soccer

Participating in youth sports can get expensive. Fortunately, soccer is not too high up on the list of most expensive sports for kids to play.

There are several ways on how you can save money on the cost of soccer. Some may not be feasible for you and some will be quite easy to implement. Here is a list of 5 ways to save money on youth soccer.

1. used equipment

Used cleats. Some towns and leagues have cleat swaps where you can trade in your soccer shoes for another as your feet grow. Other sources for used soccer equipment are the Facebook-Buy Nothing project, Craigslist, thrift stores, consignment stores like Play-it-again-sports, yard sales, and eBay.

soccer practice shirtsSoccer Practice Shirts to Save Money

Instead of buying pinnies or specific practice jerseys, try using shirts with certain colors to identify certain players or designation of teams during scrimmages.

2. REGISTER EARLY or volunteer

Some leagues offer a discount if you register early. This is a simple way to save money on the cost of your child playing soccer. Some soccer leagues will give you a discount on your child's registration price if you volunteer to coach, manage, or work the snackbar.


Youth soccer leagues often have their own fundraisers. Some have the option of a buyout where you simply pay the extra fee to avoid participating in the fundraiser. Opt in! Most friends and family are willing to contribute when it comes to funding a young soccer player's play.

You can also run your own. For some very creative ideas of fundraisers for kids soccer try this: Fundraising Ideas.

4. combine resources

Carpooling can save money on whatever traveling is involved. This is true whether it's just to practices or to actual games. Also, it may be possible for teams to share equipment as well.

If you're considering using a trainer, think about joining with a few other parents. Most trainers who instruct individuals will give you a discount if there are a few kids involved.

5. stay away from travel soccer

There are many expenses that come along with soccer, especially with the more competitive levels like "club" soccer and "travel soccer. Recreational soccer is much more affordable than travel soccer. 

Depending on your situation, you can organize an informal soccer "play group." This is a great strategy for homeschooler play groups. Finding an underused open field and temporary goals rather than a dedicated soccer pitch may help avoid any costs of reserving time on the field.

breakdown of soccer expenses

1. registration

Registration is the basic cost that just about every youth soccer league has as an expense. There are a few leagues that don't charge a registration fee, but this is rare and usually involves the programs for the very youngest of  soccer players who are just starting. Sometime registration fees include a soccer ball and uniform.

2. equipment

Soccer equipment can be just as big of an expense for soccer parents as registrations. Here's a particle list of youth soccer gear.

  • Jerseys
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Shin Guards
  • Mouthguards
  • Shoes
  • Backpacks
  • Bags
  • Jackets
  • Soccer Ball
  • Water Bottle

3. travel

Travel Soccer Van

With recreational level soccer, travel may just mean a little gas money to get to practices and games. For select and club teams that travel bigger distances, it can mean gas, tolls, food, and lodging.

4. camps

Soccer has become a year round sport for many families. Summer camps are a popular way to bridge the Spring and Fall soccer seasons. Soccer camps can be just as expensive or more than a regular season of soccer, particularly if it's a town recreational league.

As an example, I sent my 3 kid to a week-long higher level soccer camp one summer (Vogelsinger) that was over $400 per child. Our local registration fee was less than $75.

5. training/lessons

Private and group trainings that go above and beyond the normal team practices are an option for individual players and parents who are seriously committed to improving their level of play.

final thoughts on the cost of youth soccer

Let's face it. Even if it's on for playing in an organized recreational youth soccer league, you'll likely have to spend a few hundred dollars on your child if you add up all the expenses involved.

You can keep your costs down by making wise choices when you buy equipment, avoiding the highly competitive levels, and by not participating in tournaments. That might not be the best solution-it's all a matter of personal choice.

I hope this article helped give you a different perspective on the cost of soccer. You can use the search box below to find other articles on this website about youth soccer and parenting.

Be grateful that its not ice hockey, costing you around $2,600 or skiing/snowboarding which come in around $2,200/year.

Keep it fun!

Coach Bruce Signature

Soccer coach Bruce Lovelace started playing soccer in 1974 when, as a young boy, he constructed his own makeshift soccer goal. He played in high school, then in college and beyond. He started to coach his own children in the 1990s and then ran a Soccer Shots franchise for 12 years. Now, Coach Bruce publishes the website.  Find out more about youth soccer coach Bruce Lovelace  and what inspires this website.

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