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Navigating Club Soccer: Club Fees

Every year parents ask me if I have a list of clubs and their fees. Although this is a common request I never took on the task because I fully believe you shouldn’t decide what club to join based on cost and it is absolutely impossible to compare clubs on paper.  After being approached earlier this week with several very similar requests I thought maybe I could compile the list people are asking for and that in itself would prove my point.  

Before looking at cost, which is very important, there are a few items I want you to consider that have nothing to do with money but that might add to or devalue a club based on your family's preferences.

  • Club size and structure

  • Uniform Cycles

  • Location

  • Coaches

  • Facilities

  • Training Schedules

  • Competition (Leagues & Tournaments)

  • Culture

Joining a club soccer team is a significant commitment for both players and their families. Club soccer fees vary widely, not just across regions but also within the same locality. Deciphering these fees can feel like navigating a complex maze, but with the right information, you can make an informed decision that benefits both your child's development and your family's budget. 

While our data collection efforts provided valuable insights, it’s important to note that our findings are not exhaustive. Clubs may have requested exclusion from our study, and there may be additional fees or nuances not captured in our analysis. Therefore, we encourage parents to conduct their own research, reaching out to clubs directly and seeking feedback from current or former members. We gathered  fee information from more than 30 clubs across Ohio. We respect the wishes of clubs that chose not to be included in this post and have removed them. Although we found fee information on many club websites we are only including clubs who provided and reviewed their information. We wanted to do our best to not misrepresent any club information however we do not guarantee any of this information and suggest you reach out directly to clubs you might be interested in to get the most up to date fees and data.

Our research revealed the diversity in fee structures, highlighting the importance of thorough research before committing to a club. One of the key challenges we encountered was the lack of standardization. No two clubs are the same, and comparing them can be like comparing apples to oranges. Some clubs operate with separate club fees and team fees, while others offer all-inclusive packages. Most clubs offer programs somewhere in between.

In regions like Cincinnati and Dayton, it’s common for clubs to adopt a franchise-like model, where teams within the same club function as independent units with their own budgets and decision-making autonomy. This decentralized approach with so many variables can make it challenging for parents to gauge the true cost and value of a club. Parents who like this style appreciate having input into their programming, and their teams can manage overall costs through meticulous planning and often fundraising.

In contrast, Central Ohio clubs tend to have more standardized fee structures, with fewer add-ons and extras. However, there are still variations based on factors such as league level and additional training opportunities. Some clubs include summer and winter training in their fees, while others may charge extra for these sessions or not offer them at all. Parents who prefer this approach do so because they know what their costs will be upfront, without surprises.

In the Northeast and North Central parts of the state, club fees seem to be a mix of approaches. Variations in services provided tend to be based on winter training options, futsal, and competition level.

Deciphering club soccer fees requires diligence and thorough investigation. However, we suggest you look beyond the price tag and consider factors such as player development, club culture, and overall value for your family. These aren’t things we can put in a table. By doing so, you can ensure that your child’s soccer journey is not only financially viable but also enriching and fulfilling.

Click on the table below to go to the google sheet where you can view the data and click links. This table will be updated as clubs submit more information throughout February.

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