In a RAGE over Pleasanton RAGE’s registration fee increase Sports, posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm
Pleasant Rage Girls Soccer Association (PGSA) has announced a large increase to player registration fees this year. I don’t recall the exact amount of last years' fees, but I believe they were approximately $185/player. There is no doubt these are challenging economic times for many, but I think such a large increase is unjustified and, quite frankly, price gouging. Our school district is asking for donations of $150 per student to offset budget cuts, but at least the school district has provided detailed explanation as to the jobs that will be saved and resources for our children that will be maintained by the donations. Pleasanton Rage has provided very vague and inadequate explanations for the required increase in fees. I realize playing a recreational sport is optional, but why should the extreme cost increase prevent the youth of our city in participating?
A fee increase of approximately $80/player is quite significant – not to mention the additional cost if the player plays flight or upper division. Considering many families have more than one child playing soccer, the increase per family is about $80-$240 more than last year. A family with three children playing soccer will cost about $700! That’s crazy for a recreational sport.
New Fee structure:
Registration Fees for D4 are as follows:
U5/6-U7: $245 1st player/$195 subsequent players
U8-U19: $265 1st player/$215 subsequent players.
Flight U12 and U14: $265 plus $125
The Pleasanton Rage Board provided the following explanation for the increase:
1.) "To avoid the confusion and lack of available uniforms that we had last Season, it has been decided that all of D4 will be wearing the RAGE orange and grey/white uniforms. This will increase our cost by $7-$10/player."
Included with registration, players receive new uniforms every year. Based on the above statement, are we to understand, ordering the SAME uniform color for ALL players will cost more than individual team uniforms?
2.) "Age groups U7/U8 receive training sessions at no extra cost to the recreational players. Being that we are utilizing the time and talents of our RAGE technical staff and staff costs have increased, a portion of this increase goes to try and compensate for the time the staff is taking for these sessions."
I don’t feel an approximate $80 increase in fees/player can exactly be considered ‘no cost’. And if this training is only for U7/U8, why spread the ‘cost’ over ALL age groups? Why not make the training fee-based and interested parents/players can choose to participate? Perhaps individual teams can fundraise to cover some or all of the training sessions to minimize the financial burden.
3.) "Rage has offered and will be offering Coaching Clinics to all Recreational Coaches, using our Technical Staff's time and talents again, as a way of improving the skills of our Coaches so that our players skills improve as well."
While these clinics are certainly nice to have, many of our parent coaches have been coaching for years and if the choice is between large fee increases and another coaches’ clinic, maybe we should consider alternate training methods or, once again, make the training fee-based - or even a fundraising goal by team. How much does each clinic cost exactly? $50 - $60/coach? Spread over a team of 11 girls, that is $5-6/player…still far from the estimated $80+ increase.
4.) Rage states that "after researching the registration fees of the other leagues in our area, RAGE has one of the lowest registration fees and yet, we are the League that is most well known and Nationally recognized."
Really?? Exactly which leagues in our area did Pleasanton compare against? And why would the costs of another league have any bearing on our fees anyway - shouldn't it be based on operating expenses and estimated income?
Based on my research, Rage fees are still the highest in the area.
2010 Registration Fees of Leagues in our area:
• Danville - $100 U6, $225 U7-U19
• Livermore - $170
• Dublin - $125 U5-U8, $155 U9-U19
• San Ramon – U5-U6 $105, U7 and up $170
Furthermore, the fact that our League is considered “well known” and “Nationally recognized” should not translate into a fee increase. 90% of the league is parent-coached on a volunteer basis.
5.) "Due to the budget cuts, the City may be forced to charge all Sports Leagues a field usage fee, which then increases our costs."
The key word here is ‘may’. The city has not yet announced any such increase. Does this mean an additional hike next year?
I understand there are about 1800 registered Rage players each year. At $260/player X an estimated 1800 kids = $468,000 annual budget...approximately $150k increase over last year's budget. Not to mention the additional income received from tournaments, Flight & Upper Division fees, etc. That seems more than enough to compensate our technical staff, order the same color uniforms for all and cover anticipated field usage fees.
I feel Pleasanton Rage, if nothing else, owes its members a more detailed explanation of exactly where the fee increase will be allocated. In a time when everyone is 'pinching pennies', it would be nice to see our town's recreational soccer organization doing all it can to keep sports affordable for the families in our community.
Posted by soccer parent, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm
Considering the season covers about 4 months and the teams practice at least 2X week and at least 1 game a week, your per event cost is quite low. Do you have any ideas on how to keep costs down? Do you volunteer? Perhaps you should run for a position on the board. There are always needs in these organizations.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm
Concerned Parent. Well written and researched posting. I don't believe as do some of the above posters that you should take it or leave. Standing up and speaking out is necessary to keep small groups of people from shoving down the throats of the majority their decisions. Those who manage the soccer organizations in this town have historically been a small clique. They don't necessarily speak for the majority of parents. (I was a Pleasanton referee for more than a dozen years in years past and saw this dynamic in action.)
Posted by Pati, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm
My 4 kids played soccer in Pleasanton and the most we paid for any of them was $80 dollars per season. Granted that was about 8 or 9 years ago. It was about the time when Pleasanton brought in Boyd and his wife and decided to go bigtime. I believe at that time we lost the small town soccer mentality.
Posted by parent, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:28 am
The U6 players paying the same as the older groups is also ridiculous. They get no extra training and need a postage stamp of grass for practice. There are no refs and always parent coaches Note the U6 charges for the other clibs. Get a clue greedy Rage! Let's charge those out of town U15 and above kids extra - as they take away playing time and field space from our local kids - for whom we pay property taxes to maintain! Someone is lining their own pockets here.
Posted by parent, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:05 am
As a 10 year parent of RAGE players, I can say with certainty that financial transparency is not a concern of the RAGE board. We have had several run-ins with the treasurer in past years trying to get financial explanations. This move follows suit. The emphasis has always been about Premier level teams and paying for their coaches.
Posted by soccer parent, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:09 am
I do agree, there should be a very large premium for out of town players. I don't believe that U15 and above players should automatically pay extra if they are playing recreational soccer. It is time to attend a RAGE Board meeting and express the views. There are many San Ramon, Dublin and Livermore kids playing in Pleasanton, it's time to charge them for using the Pleasanton resources.
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:39 am
Get involved. Attend a RAGE board meeting. Could the increase in fees be due to anticipated scholarship requests? I don't know what "proof" that RAGE requires for scholarship requests.
This is a bit off topic but may be related in some way. Did you know that children can get free meals in the schools if the parent fills out a form to request assistance? I am aware of a family in town that does this and they also have a very nice lifestyle. Clearly they don't need assistance. How many other families do this? I questioned an authority in the Child Nutrition office and she told me it's done on the honor system. Hmmm.
Posted by jaycee, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:39 am
I have never thought it was right to bring in kids from other leagues to play on Pleasanton competitive teams. If allowed, they should definitely pay a higher premium. They take up a position on the team that would otherwise go to a Pleasanton player...doesn't seem right. I haven't registered yet this year so I had no idea about the fee increase. What a shock! NOT!
Posted by Frustrated, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:55 am
I completely agree. I am so frustrated by these fee hikes. And what bothers me most is that Rage doesn't currently pay the city to rent out the fields nor do they pay the coaches so what -- besides the uniforms and a slight fee for balls/cones -- are we paying for?! The idea that they "potentially" might pay the city for field rental is ridiculous. Why don't you raise the fee once you determine that!? I realize the idea with Rage is that you're paying into the club but paying $500 for both of my kids to play city rec soccer is absurd. I am really disappointed in the organization for having increased the fees. And I'm grateful for this forum to express it! Please Rage, reconsider your stance on this!
Posted by Concerned parent, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:22 am
I am glad I am not the only one completely outraged by this increase! I did send an e-mail to Rage directly and was told it was partly due to a $7-$10 increase in uniform costs (do we really need head to toe addidas uniforms for rec soccer?) as well as the fact that the city "might" be charging them for field use in the future and that the hired a trainer. Personally I can't justify $500 for my 4 and 6 year olds to play recreational soccer. I fear that this will force other families to make the same decision and thus price MANY young girls out of the game. I played soccer for 31 years and learned to love the game, gain self confidence and team work skills without a trainer and in a plain old t-shirt. I hope that the powers that be read all these posts and reconsider.
Posted by AnotherSoccerMom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:44 am
Has anyone ever seen a financial statement from RAGE? I'd be very interested to see how much their trainers and technical staff are paid. They do send out a newsletter so perhaps it's time to come clean and publish a statement.
Posted by TS, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 10:45 am
My daughter has been in this league for 7 years now, and this is the first year where I'm actually having a hard time justifying paying these fees. We've had the same color uniforms for the last 3 or 4 years now, so them saying its costing more just doesn't seem to make any sense.
We also do flight,which is supposed to give us an extra 5 hours of professional training for the extra cost we pay. Last year, the trainer looked to be a high school student and the girls learned NOTHING from that trainer.
I understand that prices go up but be honest about what your charging more for. We ARE the highest price league in the area. We have had the same colored uniforms for 3 to 4 years. These reasons don't add up.
Posted by Ron, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:02 am
I have worked with RAGE for several years now and I may not agree with the rate increase I think I can help you understand a few things. Then you can take your complaints to the Board. First the program has the most girls recruited to college than any other program. It gets more national recognition than any other soccer program. To some people this is worth paying for. Your girls will get in front of more Colleges and work with some of the best soccer professionals in the area. All of this will increase the cost to participate. Lastly the added fees from the city that were not there before. Let's face it girls soccer is bigger and better than boys soccer in Pleasanton and demand will drive price. Also, I do not think that out of town players should get assistance from the program.
Posted by Kelly, a resident of the Walnut Hills neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:14 am
I agree with the author of the original post. The fees are outrageous. I will still be signing my daughter up to play because she enjoys playing, and we enjoy the overall experience as well. If she wasn't as enthusiastic about soccer as she is, this definitely would have been our "opt out" point. Someone suggested writing a letter to RAGE rather than speaking out on this forum. Many have written to RAGE and received the same weak explanations that are in the newsletter (the same explanations posted on the original message). Obviously just writing to RAGE hasn't proven to be helpful. I agree, those of us with concerns should go to the next RAGE board meeting to perhaps convince them to change their minds.
Posted by member, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 11:31 am
In response to Ron's post, how many Rage girls who do not play Premier and AC get seen by colleges? The girls in Division 3 don't get to participate in the big College Tournament that is held in August. How do those colleges see those girls?
Posted by Dan, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm
It would be nice to get an impartial article from the Pleasanton Weekly to discover what is really going on. An investigative Reporter could enlighten all of us to what is actually going on. Rage you might want to invest in a shredder.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:23 pm
Yeah.... Let's waist some reporters time on discovering why RAGE rates went up. Nothing better to do right? Fees go up every where all the time. Do we hire a PI to figure out why milk costs more this week than last? If you do not like the fees play something else.
By the way RAGE had like 13 girls get signed to colleges last year alone. Foothill and Amador I am not sure. Ron, do you know?
Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 2:37 pm
I was asking about Division I out of Amador and Foothill not all schools? It sure seems that the parks belong to Pleasanton as do our tax dollars and our children should be the ones playing here not kids from other towns. They should play in their own cities. Seems that the money should be focused on education rather than a few going to play soccer.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 6:39 pm
After reading through this thread, it strikes me that Rage has become an organization that "taxes" the majority of parents who simply want recreational soccer for their kids in their home town for the benefit of a distinct minority who aspire to compete semi-professionally and get soccer scholarships. They do this with city resources, that is, the sports fields which are made available to the organization.
It is time that the city and citizen taxpayers get involved in how their sport field resources are be used (or abused).
Posted by Rat Turd, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 7:19 pm
Another league should start up to teach children the benefits of exercise, teamwork, accomplishment without making them think that they will be the next great soccer player. Kids dream and should but to try and make money off of parents and children who dream is wrong and I believe that is what is going on here.
Posted by formerboardmember, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Frank, you're correct. There was a decision a few years ago to make Rage into one of the premier soccer clubs which was defined as having a significant number of players recruited by Division 1 colleges. If you look at the costs of the Division 1 teams, the other levels are helping to subsidize those costs via higher reg fees etc. Plus a significant number of Div 1 players are from out of town. Not necessarily a problem, as I do believe that its important to field competitive teams but they should pay their fair share!
Posted by Lara Schreiber, Rage D4 VP, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2010 at 7:39 am
The RAGE "BOARD", as many of you mentioned, which consists of 15 VOLUNTEER PARENTS of current RAGE players, most, if not all, who have full time jobs, has read and heard your opinions and concerns. We are NOT an invisible "Big Brother" entity out to raise costs of girls that want to play soccer, as these costs affect us as well. We increased the Volunteer Fee from $25 to $50 in the hopes that we can recruit more parent volunteers, as we are a non-profit organization, which operates mostly through volunteers. (Which brings the Reg Fee to $215 and $195)We thank you all of you for your thoughts and opinions and we will be posting more regarding the Registration Fee increase on our website for those that have additional questions or concerns.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2010 at 8:05 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
It struck me as odd your statement regarding hoping to recruit more volunteers by raising the volunteer fee. I don't see how more volunteers will be attracted to service by providing the disincentive of a higher fee. Perhaps you could provide a little more detail?
Posted by new guy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2010 at 8:43 am
So is the RAGE the only show in town? If my girls wanted to play soccer, I would be forced to join the Rage?
So what you guys are saying to me is out of Softball, Soccer, LaCrosse, Tennis, Swimming, Golf...etc...I should rule out Soccer because of the dirty practices of the Monopoly ran by the Rage? All of the posters that were connected to the Rage didn't offer ANY explaination of the rate hike. Nobody said the TRUTH... they raised fee's because they COULD!
Posted by Happy Valley, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2010 at 8:56 am
To clarify Lara's statement, the volunteer fee is refunded back to parents that volunteer. Lara is pointing out that the increased volunteer fee (refund) reduces the net registration fee.
But, for parents with more than one child, only one $50 refund is issued late in the season - even if that parent coaches/volunteers for more than one team, so remaining child registration fees are still at the increased level.
Bottom line, I don't think we would be so upset over the increase if Rage was more transparent about their budget and specific justification of the increase - particularly why there is such a large discrepancy between the boys' and the girls' fees. And why U5, U6 is charged the same fee as older age groups?
Posted by Raging Bull, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm
My son played for Ballistic many years ago...having to buy a uniform year after year was hilarious especially since he was the same number for 4 years, stayed the same size and basically was told it was mandatory to buy it even though it was exactly the same as the year before...
I went as far as calling a company myself to ask what the cost of the uniform was for 18 kids and the cost I got was about half of what was being charged by the league...go figure they need to make a profit somewhere right..
Posted by soccer mom, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2010 at 8:59 am
Mustang is a better girls club than Rage - at all levels. They charge $100 for U6 - $150 less than Rage. They charge $225 for U7 and up. It is an OUTRAGE that Rage is charging so much for the little kids. The city should charge Rage for field space - and offer free space to anyone who starts a new league with the right goals and appropriate leadership. Rage would have to hike the feees even more and the girls would all go to Mustang.
FYI - I have heard that the club is spending more than $30,000 on non-technical trainers this coming year. What percentage of the players will benefit from this? Ridiculous.
I think this should be taken to the city - not the parent driven board - who represents the competitive players.
Posted by Rage Parrent, a resident of the Happy Valley neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2010 at 8:40 am
What you are seeing is the Rage staff using the rec. program to increase revenues to spend on the competitive programs.
With the stated goal of making the club a nationally ranked club, the staff is focused on two things: 1) Winning major tournaments, 2) Having girls receive scholarships.
To do this, the club is recruiting top girls from San Ramon, Livermore, Castro Valley, Dublin, and other areas to allow them to complete against other clubs that recruit, i.e. Mustang.
Since many of these girls are being recruited by a number of clubs, Rage needs to keep the fees low, or offer scholarships to these recruits to entice them to come over with the intent of making the club nationally recognized.
So in summary, you need more money to make the top teams, made up of 5-10 Pleasanton girls and 5-10 free agents competitive and you can not raise their fees, so, you hit it to your largest revenue base, rec. soccer, and use that to generate the income you need for scholarships, renting all weather fields, paying for tournament fees for national tournaments, and adding additional paid trainers and coaches.
All of these expenses provide zero value for the rec. player, unless you value being able to say, "My daughter plays for Rage, the #20 ranked soccer club in the US."
To me it is an expensive subsidy rec. is playing to say that.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2010 at 9:35 am
Sorry but Pleasanton Rage is a product and you are the consumer. You can choose to buy it or not buy it. These sports programs provide skill building, team bonding and social skills, for some an avenue into a college scholarship and a significant amount of effort and time on the organizers. If you don't want to pay then don't pay. It kills me that people want their kids to enjoy all the benefits of the schools, teams, marching band, choirs, and academic competition teams but they don't want to pay. More and more students who can afford to pay say my parents WON'T pay it......NOT my parents CAN'T afford to pay it. They want all they can have for free. Well, sorry folks but someone has to pay for the services given.