Biloxi to re-introduce fees to sports leagues

Biloxi’s sports programs will be charging participation fees for the first time in more than a decade when registration for football begins this weekend.

“Budget considerations have caused us to have to charge fees,” said Parks & Recreation Director Sherry Bell, “but we’ve worked to make them the most-affordable we could, and, in fact, they’ll be among the lowest — if not THE lowest — sports fees you’ll find anywhere.”

The fees — which will be charged for each individual sport — will be $30 for one child, $50 for two children and $75 for three children. Non-Biloxi residents will pay $50 per child to participate.

“These fees will help offset the cost of the city youth sports leagues,” Bell said. “They offset expenses for things like equipment, uniforms, officials, and closing ceremonies.”

Biloxi had offered free sports leagues for 11 years, saving parents anywhere from $25 to $150 a year or more, depending on the number of children and sports they played.

Bell hoped that the fees would not diminish participation in the city’s youth sports leagues and summer camp, which had rebounded to 3,600 participants a year, still off from their high of 5,000 participants a year before Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s hard to say at this point,” said Bell, a 25-year veteran of the city’s recreation department. “We had about 450 kids in football last year and 170 cheerleaders.” The city’s most popular sport: Soccer, with 1,200 players ranging from 4 to 19 years old.

Details on football, cheerleading registration

Registration for youth football and cheerleading on Saturday, Aug. 7 and Saturday, August 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Donal Snyder Sr. Community Center, 2520 Pass Road.

Youth football is open to children ages 5 to 12 and youth cheerleading is open to children ages 7 to 12. Football players must be at least age 5 by September 1 and cheerleaders must be at least age 7 by September 1. Both sports are $30 for City of Biloxi residents and $50 for each non-Biloxi resident. Proof of residency and birth certificate is required at time of registration.

For more information, call the recreation office at 228-435-6148 or email