Question: I saw the article about the young man going to Australia for some all-star football games. My son (who will also be playing this fall at Menlo College) was invited to play in those games, but it was going to cost big money. If those were true all-star games, it shouldn't cost anything for the players to participate.
- John Hull, Elk Grove
Answer: In theory, that's the way it should be. But youth sports wouldn't be the booming big business that it is today if not for all the so-called all-star games and other events that have mushroomed through the years. There are few free rides these days when it comes to major athletic competitions, unless they have deep-pocket sponsorship. Even long-established events, such as the Junior Olympics, United States Youth Soccer and ASA softball, require parents to shell out all or part of the travel expenses to compete in national competitions.
- Bill Paterson