Playing Youth Baseball On A Budget

4 Cost Effective Ways to Participate in Youth Baseball Without Breaking the Bank

5 min. read

It doesn’t take an expert data analysis to figure out that youth baseball families spend more money in the sport of baseball than most other youth recreational activities. Baseball is known as one of the most expensive youth sports to play. Youth baseball ranks among the more expensive youth sports to participate in no matter the geographical region, district, or youth baseball league. When considering the equipment factor alone, youth baseball families spend hundreds more on gear than soccer or basketball families. Coincidentally, soccer and basketball are two of the cheapest and yet most popular youth sports in America according to many studies and statistics. The truth is, lower income families tend to play sports associated with less cost. This simultaneously gravitates some lower income households away from a sport like baseball which is consistently ranked amongst the top 5 most pricy all seasonal sports to play. Let’s quickly breakdown as many costs as we can attached to playing youth baseball for a standard season in the USA (In making this list, I am considering an approximate average staying on the lower end of the cost spectrum):

·       Registration cost - $100
·       Yearbook - $5
·       Coach’s gift - $10
·       Team collections throughout the season (banner, snacks, etc…) - $20
·       Youth Baseball Batting Glove - $20
·       Youth Baseball Glove - $30
·       Good Youth Baseball Bat - $100 / Good BBCOR Bats - $250
·       Cleats - $40
·       Game and practice apparel (pants, belt, tops, hat, mouthpiece, etc…) - $100
·       Catcher’s Gear (optional) - $150
·       Catcher’s glove (optional)- $30
·       Bucket of baseballs - $25
·       Miscellaneous gear - (baseball bat tape, eye black, extra hats, sun glasses, etc…)- $50

By the end of the season, a youth baseball family is looking to invest well over $650. This does not include other amenities like:

·       Any additional lessons
·       Batting cage times
·       Paying extra for quality brands
·       Extra miscellaneous baseball equipment
·       Baseball training equipment 
·       Camps

If a youth baseball family wants to put forth the extra money, time, and energy to have their youth baseball player significantly and consistently contribute to the team and play more the minimum required amount of innings, you can expect to throw down well over $1500-$2000 a year to develop your child’s fundamentals in baseball. Considering all the coats related to playing youth baseball listed above along with a multitude of costs not mentioned, it’s easy to discern how families with lower income earnings can’t afford to play a sport like baseball.

The following are 4 cost effective ways for youth baseball families to participate in organized youth baseball while sticking to a budget that won’t break the bank.

  1. Utilize “Like New” Used Equipment and Gear

When managing a budget for your child’s baseball experience, one area parents could save a ton of money is with the personal gear and equipment they purchase. With the rate children grow, most youth baseball families have to buy new helmets, batting gloves, bats, etc... every season. All of these various types of baseball equipment are generally still in great condition. As a youth baseball parent, take advantage of cheap used gear on websites like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist. Trust us, the deals are out there and if you look hard enough, you will find it.

2. Take Advantage of “Out of Season” Sales

As I’m sure most youth sports families know, a major blowout closeout sale usually transpires from sporting goods stores or online retailers looking to sell off their excess baseball products that couldn’t get sold during the season. Purchasing various types of equipment like L Screens, the best pitching machines, baseball bats and batting gloves tend to have additional markdowns once the season has concluded. We highly encourage youth baseball families to take advantage of these savings by searching online sites for the best possible deal on whatever youth baseball gear you need. Planning ahead for next year tends to save people the most money.

3. Avoid the Cost of One on One Baseball Lessons with Free Online Tutorial Videos

If youth baseball parents seek to improve the fundamentals and skills of their child, the best method involves the utilization of personal one on one lessons. Receiving the undivided attention of baseball experts is simply the quickest way for any child to become better ball players. The problem with one on one instruction deals with the expensive financial demand associated. For a quality pitching coach with credentials inclusive of some collegiate or semiprofessional background, it’s not uncommon for private lessons to reach anywhere between $50-$80 an hour depending on the level of experience from the baseball instructor. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars for these lessons over the course a baseball player’s career, we highly encourage youth baseball families utilizing the wide variety of tutorial videos found all over the internet. With such online platforms like Youtube, families have a large and inexpensive method of improving their ball player’s skills and abilities. This of course will cost a family more time and energy but it saves on cash. We highly recommend sitting down with your ball player and watching videos for 30 minutes or so every few days. Organize what you watch and take your lessons to the field schedule permitting. Watch a wide variety of video regarding the same topic and take notes on the best parts.

4. The Reselling of Unused Equipment and Gear

At season’s end, it’s a good idea to conduct a full and complete inventory of all your baseball player’s gear and equipment. Separate everything into specific categories like:

  • Items to be used next season:

    • Training equipment

    • Any gear your child will not out grow

  • Items that can be resold:

    • Lightly used bats

    • Gloves

    • Cleats

    • Training equipment your child WILL out grow, etc…

We highly encourage our visitors to take advantage of online areas to resell your products like Amazon and eBay. Every year, before long, reselling unwanted, used, or outgrown equipment can generate income to put a major dent in the cost for all new gear.

We hope this helps, as parents of kids who’ve gone through this, we’ve shared our tips and tricks in hopes that it’ll help others. Thanks for reading!

Updated: July 28th, 2019