Originally created 08/15/98

Higher fees studied



The Georgia Youth Soccer Association is increasing its fees -- so much that Columbia County's Recreation Department Director is questioning the benefits of the expense.

Recreation Department Director Charlie Beale said the fees charged by the Georgia Youth Soccer Association came to a little more than $10,000 last year.

But this year, the cost of registration along with a new requirement of certifying coaches could cost the county more than $20,000. The registration allows the county's select or premier teams to play soccer on a statewide level.

"GYSA ... requires right now that each member of your (recreation) league be a member of GYSA so that the select teams can participate in GYSA," Mr. Beale said. "We pay a GYSA fee for all those kids whether they play in the GYSA select program or not."

The association's fee for regular recreation league soccer increased from $9.95 to $11.95 per player, and for the select players the fee increased from $11 to $16 per player. The fees are paid by the county's Recreation Department.

"We're looking at how much it's costing us to pay for all those other kids who don't really participate in GYSA," Mr. Beale said.

The county's recreation program has about 120 soccer teams between its fall and spring seasons -- 11 of which are considered select teams. Select players must go through tryouts for the teams, which play half their games on the road, Mr. Beale said.

The select teams are usually for players looking for a higher competition level than the other recreation league teams, which play games among themselves.

During the recent fall season, there were 784 players in the county's regular recreation program and 154 players on select teams, said Athletic Coordinator Mike Lilly.

To play soccer in Columbia County's program, players -- select and recreation -- pay the county a $50 registration fee. Mr. Lilly said other select programs charge players about $150 to play.