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Signing youth contracts

Mar 14, 2012
14
1
My son just tried out for a new team and the coach offered him a spot.
I have been trying to find out basic info such as how many practices a week, what costs are involved, Practice location, etc. His answers have been very vague. Then he sends me a contract which states I need to pay the entire amount up front...immediately with the check made out directly to him. There is no break Down of what I’m paying for. Nothing. No info. It’s the most vague contract I have ever seen.
if our state shuts down again, I feel like that money will be Gone forever.
Are any teams/clubs adding clauses for Covid shutdowns?
Is anyone else being asked to sign these types of vague contracts? Just curious.
 
Mar 6, 2016
141
43
I wouldn't do that. Ask yourself...Would you pay up front X amount of dollars for ANY service not knowing at all what you would be getting for that $$? Ask the same questions to the coach you asked here and also ask....what happens if tournaments or anything else gets canceled?

If the coach can't or won't answer your questions...adios! There's always other teams or orgs out there.
 
Mar 13, 2017
25
3
My son just tried out for a new team and the coach offered him a spot.
I have been trying to find out basic info such as how many practices a week, what costs are involved, Practice location, etc. His answers have been very vague. Then he sends me a contract which states I need to pay the entire amount up front...immediately with the check made out directly to him. There is no break Down of what I’m paying for. Nothing. No info. It’s the most vague contract I have ever seen.
if our state shuts down again, I feel like that money will be Gone forever.
Are any teams/clubs adding clauses for Covid shutdowns?
Is anyone else being asked to sign these types of vague contracts? Just curious.
We have lowered monthly fees for our four clubs since we aren’t playing games or tournaments. But we make it clear where all money goes up front. This guy is a big ol’ red flag.
 
May 20, 2016
297
43
No way i would sign anything if i didn't know what i was getting. Also i'd imagine tryout season is just beginning for you, lots of coaches will try to pressure you into signing up right away. Unless it's their dream location, tell them you'll get back to them in a couple weeks.
 
Jul 29, 2016
192
43
Lawyer here, but please don't consider this legal advice since I'm not your lawyer.

In law school, the very first thing we learn in Contracts class is the concept of consideration. This is the very essence of the contract, and it represents what each party is giving up for the contract. Usually one side pays money in exchange for goods and services. A contract which doesn't make this clear is considered "deficient for want of consideration."

What this means to you is the contract should spell out exactly what you're getting for your money. If it isn't in there, then you write it all out before you sign it. Normal people have a arms-length negotiation before a contract is presented. I suggest there be a discussion about what happens if the season is cut short, how many tournaments you'll be playing, and what is included in the proce (uniforms? Equipment? Facilities rentals? Etc). All of that should be spelled out in the contract. It doesn't have to be technical, but it should be written down.

This will help temper expectations on both sides.

And what he is giving you may not be a valid contract, but if the season is a wash and the team goes belly-up, what happens to the money? My guess is it evaporates. You'll have to sue the guy to get your money back, and if he's broke, squeezing the money out of him using garnishments probably isn't worth the headache.

Also, you should ask him if he has "open book accounting" meaning anyone can look at the books at any time just by asking. If he doesn't, suggest that. If he is unwilling, draw your own conclusions about why.
 
May 17, 2012
2,032
63
Also, you should ask him if he has "open book accounting" meaning anyone can look at the books at any time just by asking. If he doesn't, suggest that. If he is unwilling, draw your own conclusions about why.
I would lead with this and ask to see it in its current state. He should have specific amounts for his budget (and not general amounts).
 
Jul 29, 2016
192
43
I would lead with this and ask to see it in its current state. He should have specific amounts for his budget (and not general amounts).
Agree. We were offered by a travel team over the weekend, and I asked the HC about fees. He said "Give me a minute, and I'll email you or balance sheet."
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
899
63
The financial exposure when joining a team shouldn't be all on the players. Generally, I'd avoid any team with a large up-front fee unless they are very well established with an impeccable reputation. Probably 99% of ball teams fall short of this standard for one reason or another. Ideally, there's a smaller up-front fee (like $200-300) to cover uniforms and perhaps a portion of expected general team expenses, but tournaments should be billed as they happen. As outlined by the board's staff attorney, what you're getting for your money should be spelled out.

I think probably the majority of coaches end up spending their own money to run a team, and they're not hard to spot. Those that try to make a living off running an organization are pretty easy to spot as well.
 
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