Here is one other issue I have. Some clubs require out of town teams to schedule their overnight accommodations through a booking agency. Hotels get placed on the list of available hotels by agreement of the Tournament Director and host club. The club receives a percentage of the revenue from the traveling teams. In many instances, the hotels and prices made available are not the cheapest options available. And, since the only way to book a room is through the agency at set prices, parents cannot use websites like priceline or hotwire to secure cheaper options. Oddly enough, the State Association (STYSA in the Houston area) has to approve the tournament and , vis a vis, approves of the practice. So, why is this inequitable?
The reason is obvious. The teams that are already spending more money to be at the tournament are being asked to spend more. While staying overnight is not a requirement, it is a requirement to book through the club’s agency IF you do stay overnight. Some tournaments have gone so far as have the team manager sign a sworn statement that his team has complied with penalties of forfeiture, expulsion, and preclusion from future events if the host club discovers the parents booked their rooms on their own.
Take Houston for example. In a typical Houston tournament, 60% or more of the teams participating are from Houston and do not use the booking agency or stay overnight. The other 40% or less are already incurring costs in travel and food. But, to tax more costs on them, clubs are allowed to force them to purchase overpriced hotel rooms or risk exclusion. So, the out of town teams, the ones that are traveling in many cases because they lack the competitive opportunities in their areas, are forced to shoulder a disproportionate share of the fundraising fees.