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Midvale Journal

The cost to play high school sports may increase next school year

Apr 09, 2024 11:56AM ● By Julie Slama

In Canyons School District, cross country and other UHSAA-sanctioned sports may experience a price increase next school year by its school board to cover rising costs. Other school districts’ school boards also will review athletic fees. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

The cost to participate in high school athletics in Canyons School District may increase next school year, but District officials say it’s to match inflation and the rising costs associated with sports.

The proposed bump “isn’t unusual; it occurs every couple years,” said Canyons School District Director of High Schools Tom Sherwood.

“The UHSAA (Utah High School Activities Association) has had an increase for the cost of officials the past few years; they’re paying more to attract more officials, so we have to account for that,” Sherwood said. “We don’t raise fees every year. We try to phase them in.”

One of the least expensive sports, cross country is proposed to cost a maximum of $2,560 per student-athlete, up $265 from last year and up $655 from 2021-22 season. While the UHSAA participation fee has increased $40 during the past few years, camp costs have increased $325 and team travel, $250.

Cheer, one of the more expensive sports, has risen from $3,950 in 2021-22 to a proposed $4,240. However, the increased from last year to this year is only $40. During the past couple years, UHSAA participation fees have remained the same, but its camps, clinics and team meals that have fluctuated.

“We tried to equalize the sports in terms of travel and camps and clinics. There’s no reason to have a camp and clinics cap different by sport. It should be the same for all sports and the same can be said for travel,” he said.

Canyons’ proposed camp and clinic maximum within each sport is $400. Travel, at $1,500, matches the current school year’s maximum cost.

“It’s important to realize that the maximum amount per student in athletics and in activities is $5,000. That doesn’t mean every student will reach that amount. Last year, we only had one student who did. It also doesn’t mean every coach will spend $1,500 per student on travel; we’re setting the boundaries and trying to make it fair across the board,” he said. “All this money goes to that program and to kids by rule. We don’t use it to pay for anything outside of that program or for the kids. None of this goes into the coaches’ pockets or to the school. This is just the operational costs for these activities. A few years ago, the (Utah) legislature made it so every activity had to be self-funded. The kids have to pay whatever it costs to play that activity. So, when the activities become more expensive than what we’re collecting, we got to adjust it.”

Canyons School District’s fees also increased for soccer, golf, track and volleyball. The proposed fees for Canyons’ sports and activities can be found at

The student fee proposal will be reviewed by the Canyons Board of Education through its March 12 meeting, said Canyons spokeswoman Kirsten Stewart. Patrons can address the Board through public comment or by contacting their school’s Board member.

“No child has ever been turned away from an activity,” Stewart said. “We always work with families.”

Families who qualify can apply for fee waivers. Schools, on a case-by-case basis, may grant fee waivers to a student who does not qualify for a waiver, but because of extenuating circumstances, is not capable of paying the fee, she said.

Sherwood added that most teams also provide fundraising opportunities.

The cost of student fees for athletics and activities is reviewed annually by school districts. While each district may break it down differently and can vary per sport, usually it accounts for participation fee, camps and clinics, uniforms and clothing, team activities and meals, travel and miscellaneous costs.

Murray School District’s proposed student fees for the 2024-25 school year can be found at

Jordan School District’s proposed student fees for the 2024-25 school year can be found at

Granite Board of Education will review their high school student fees at a March meeting, said spokesman Ben Horsley. λ