Guilford County Schools “pay-to-play” Athletics Programs will begin this Fall, with the new 2017-2018 seasons

The Guilford County Schools will begin their “Pay-to-Play” athletics programs this Fall for organized teams sports involving middle schoolers and high schoolers in the Guilford County Schools System…

GCS Athletics participation will require a one-time per year fee of $45.00 and that fee will cover a student-athlete for all of their sports for that given school year(2017-2018)….

There will be special circumstances where if a student can not afford to pay, they will receive a special waiver, like the schools have with the Free Lunch program…

No students who have not paid the fee or been granted a waiver will be allowed to compete this Fall….

The fee must be paid before the first official games/contests this Fall/Late Summer….

To read more about the “Play-to-Pay” requirements and for key details, CLICK HERE….

Joe Sirera, at the News and Record, has done a good job of breaking this new program down….

If a kid wants to really carry their own freight, it is not too late, to get a Summer job…Say if if you have a household of six, it might be time for the older athletes to be hitting the bricks….


  1. Does this mean that the child is also guaranteed minutes? Also, will the parents who volunteer be no longer needed? We have to pay for extra expenses (shoes, mitts, etc…), pay for games we don’t volunteer, and pay for physicals. Just asking…

  2. Other than just raising additional funds, I’ve not seen any theoretical justification for this. I suspect this is becoming a somewhat common practice, but seems to be chock full of potential for new problems, including those raised by Pay2volunteer. It also seems odd that any such fee would be the same for multi-sport athletes as for single sport athletes. At NWG, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant decrease in participation in sports such as cross country and swimming.

    I have no doubt funds are tight, but I really hate seeing this.

  3. Board of Education,

    Guilford County goes from “Saying Yes” to “Pay for Play.”

    The problem with this Athletic Fee is that only athletes will be charged to cover the shortfalls of the county’s education budget. Why not band members, Robot club, Math/Science club? Why not a county wide student activity fee? Does this sound like a goal of better education? This, to the public, sounds as if the fee is being instituted to cover the costs of creating downtown jobs, which has nothing to do with the classroom and better education.

    I am not 100% against this idea for the purpose of supplementing the schools’ athletic departments. However, the key word is “supplement” the athletic budget rather than replace a budget. These fees should be utilized only to help fund middle and high school interscholastic athletic programs.

    If you are going to make families pay an athletic fee for their children to play sports, at least allow that athletic fee go to the specific athletic program of the school they attend. If you are going to institute any kind of fee, then make it an Activity Fee for every student and not just athletes to cover the shortfalls in the budget.

    Show us where the money is going?

  4. It was just a matter of time. It will hit the other cities. If your child play any youth sports, they already paying much more than this. My question is about the waivers. Most kids are on free or reduce lunch

  5. This is the current trend in high school athletics. I agree with GSO Pirate that at least a portion of the fee should be kicked back to the school and sport of the athlete—-but what if a student plays multiple sports? This could have a negative impact on booster donations as parents psychologically feel they have ‘contributed’ financially.

    It may increase commitment from student-athletes who flock to participatory sports to adorn a college resume, while increasing school costs via buses, equipment wtc.

  6. You would think if this is going to be a true athletics fee, then the fee should go to the cost of covering athletics in the Guilford County Schools..

    If this “Pay to Play” sports have the money go toward the sports programs and if you want to expand the funding to cover other areas, make it “Pay to Play” in the band and make it “Pay to be the School Play” too…

    In a proper system, the funds should go to the school from which the funds came from…If you are paying at Dudley, Page, Grimsley, Smith….Have the funds you paid go toward helping fund Dudley, Page, Grimsley, Smith, etc….Same for WG, NWG, NEG, SEG, SWG, NG, SG, EG, Ragsdale, HP Central and HP Andrews….

  7. I think some of the Guilford County schools ought to break away and form their own league and forget Guilford County. They may be afraid to do it but it might be something they should try.
    Guilford County is going about this all wrong.
    I guess next they will start charging if you want to take home a library book….And that might be a good idea.
    Why don’t they raise the admission prices to the ball games to say $7.00 or $8.00 a game.
    You are already paying to come see them play and you have to pay for them to play too?
    They need to re-think this plan. The more you talk about it, the crazier it seems.

    Maybe we should just go back to having intramurals during the school day?

    Best bet though, is to break away from the county and form your own leagues.


  8. How about all the parents and athletes boycott this pay to play and don’t pay at all until everyone pays a student activity fee? We have to take a stand on something. As a parent i would be mad as all get out if i payed and my child did not play. It should be “pay with the potential to play.”

  9. A lot of local sports fans are now calling this measure, “Pay to be on the Team”, instead of “Pay to Play”….

    I don’t feel the fee is going to assure you any minutes, so it is more like, “Pay to be on the Team”, instead of “Pay to Play”…..

    I don’t think they are handing out any ‘guaranteed minutes’….

    Wonder what the estimated amount of money raised will be for the schools????? Wonder how much funding the measure will bring in?

  10. In a bit of the ‘Back Track USA’ look, there could be what you would call guaranteed minutes on the Middle School level, with the 5th Quarter Plan that they use for football and basketball…

    With that 5th Quarter Plan, which adds a fifth quarter of the game, to be played before the actual games begins, kids do get their playing time there…

    Lots of variables to be looking at and there will be some crazy twists and turns….

  11. What about all the kids that play club sports and say year round soccer, baseball and LAX? They have to pay to play those sports. How many kids gonna pay to sit the bench. In football alot of teams do not make cuts, so they can be on team and never play. Are they gonna pay to play? Gonna hurt participation and funding, so more pressure on booster clubs to raise money.

  12. Just curious is this fee kinda making up for the low attendance rate in Guilford county sports today. It crazy how empty the stadiums and gyms be nowadays. Seem like the parents and students don’t support sports like they used to. Schools used to bring in alot of money just off of athletics, I think those numbers are down now. Also do you pay the $45 to try or you don’t pay until you officially make the team? Regardless I hate this idea.

  13. No way they should move the ticket price up, it’s bad enough they moved it from $5. Pushing the price up is just going male the attendance rate even lower.

  14. This is strictly a move by our new Superintendent to cover shortfalls in the education budget that she feels is needed like taking Teachers Assistants out of schools and putting more positions downtown. If the Pay for Play fails then she will say Eliminate athletics all together in Guilford County.

    The only way any change to this new policy (or tax on athletes) will be changed is if people voice their concerns to the Board of Education.

  15. If anyone who has children who will be athletes in GCS middle schools or high schools this fall is willing to share their thoughts on the record (using your name) for a story I’m working on for next week, please email me at



  16. Be sure to support Joe and his work at the N&R…Always good to start local and stay local and this is about as local as you can get…

    Get on board with the News and Record feature article and be sure to tell them Andy sent you….

    Be sure to hit

  17. Can someone make an educated guess about how many student/athletes in Guilford County will be paying this fee?

  18. That’s a real good question right there…

    And the estimated amount of money that will be raised???

    That makes for some interesting thought….

  19. @Savant GCS is budgeting revenue of $400,000 from the athletics participation fee during the 2017-18 school year, so at $45 per student that equates to just under 8,900 students in middle schools and high schools combined.

  20. Might want to also think about those costs in terms of how many central office administrators they cover. Or maybe just the central office travel budget.

  21. 2016-2017 GCS Budget Items (couldn’t easily find 2017-2018 budget on line):

    Administration $28,400,000 (+3.97% from 2015-2016)
    “Bonus Pay” $802,000
    Food Purchases $18,500,000
    “Other Food Purchases” $500,000
    Telephones $1,886,000

  22. Comes out to little over a dollar a week for the school year
    How about the kids that get cut from the team and there parents pay into the school system every year. Raising gate fee. What a idea one or two games a week for each family. The dollar a week looks a lot cheaper. You really need to find something else to CRY about or play travel ball it’s cheaper lol

  23. Athletics should not be part of the school budget period
    Every child doesn’t have the opportunity to play
    If you want to play/ pay. Some don’t have transportation,have to work ,
    Let kids that are athletic transfer to school so kids in district get cut
    And the almighty kids of other coaches at school or friends

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