Pay to Play: Perceptions of sports participation fees policies among US high school athletic directors
ISPAH ePoster Library. Eyler A. Oct 15, 2018; 225262; 423
Prof. Amy Eyler
Prof. Amy Eyler
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Abstract Background:<\b>
Participation in high school athletics is associated with increased physical activity and other psychosocial benefits. Budget cuts resulted in shifts of financial responsibility for sports participation from schools to students referred to as “Pay to Play” policies. The purpose of this study was to explore sports participation fee policies in U.S. high schools through a multi-method study. Methods:<\b>
State laws related to school fees were collected and analyzed. Twelve key informant interviews were conducted with state and district athletic directors and the information was used for quantitative survey development. The survey was sent to athletic directors to assess presence of sports participation fee policies, accommodations or waivers to the policies, and their general perception of how the fees impact student athletics. Results:<\b>
Eighteen states have school fee policies laws. One state (CA) prohibits fees. Key informants reported a wide variance in policy structure and implementation. All reported that districts have waivers or sliding fees for low-income students. There was an overall acceptance of fees as an alternative to eliminating sports programs. Over 900 athletic directors (27% RR) completed the quantitative survey either online or via paper. (Currently being analyzed and will be completed May 2018)Conclusion:<\b>
Sports fees in U.S. high schools are widespread and vary in scope and implementation. Although most schools have provisions for low-income students, students not qualifying for financial assistance might be impacted. Longitudinal studies are needed to identify the effect of Pay to Play policies on student athletics and longer term adolescent outcomes.
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