Sports Travel Cut by Rising Fuel Costs

By: Keith Jones Email
By: Keith Jones Email

The Valley Blaze softball team's season is in full swing, but like other travel teams, they won't be playing that far from home right now.

Parents got together and came to that conclusion because of the high price of gas. They have to pay $400 every season just for their daughters to play, but that's not all. They say that each tournament costs them an additional $150 just for gas.

So while the girls are ready to play, the economy is literally slowing them down.

Parent Kelly Adams says, "Some of the girls will stay home and work with their parents a little more, particularly the ones from Augusta County because it is a trip."

Adams watches her daughter, Taelor, practice with several other parents. The team is made up of girls from all over the Valley, so some parents stay and watch just to save money on gas.

Adams says, "More parents are sticking around and the girls are carpooling a lot more than each one coming individually, and some just can't come at all to every practice because they live further away."

Coach Mallory Anderson says, "It costs approximately $400 to play for the team, including uniforms and all 12 tournament costs and insurance."

Anderson says, during their last tournament in Front Royal, she spent $150 on gas alone. That's one of 12 tournaments the team has on the schedule.

"If the economy continues the way it is and gas prices continue to rise, then instead of playing in big tournaments, such as Richmond or the Virginia Beach area, we decided to stay local this year," says Anderson.

She admits it's tough not traveling to places like Virginia Beach or Salem because they end up playing the same level of competition all season, but it will save money.

The team is funded by sponsorship, fund raising, and out-of pocket costs. Parents say coming up with money is difficult.

Adams says, "In the tournaments that we are attending are much closer: Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, that area, we're not going to Virginia Beach or Salem, those areas we used to go to."

Anderson says the team will still play one tournament in Richmond. The Valley Blaze is set to travel to Crimora for a tournament Saturday morning. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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