Match Equipment to Play Level
Before making purchasing decisions, first assess your user demographics, such as player ages and competition level. You may want to contact a sports equipment manufacturer or distributor for product assistance. Choosing the appropriate equipment to match your team’s play level will ensure that your player needs are met and that you aren’t wasting money on unnecessary or “extra” equipment.
Choose Versatile Equipment
Research multi-sport products, portable equipment, and electrically-operated systems available in the marketplace before making purchases. Versatile equipment will allow you to configure your facility space to accommodate the most activities with the least amount of equipment and will go a long way in maximizing your school’s budget.
Inspect all of your sports equipment on a regular basis to assess its condition, and repair promptly if needed. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding operation, maintenance, and referrals for certified repair individuals. Proper maintenance of your equipment will save you money by preventing costly repairs or replacements down the line and will extend the lifespan of your equipment.
Replacing damaged or worn component pieces (such as nets, padding, backboards, and rims) will require less money, time, and hassle than installing brand-new complete systems. This is also a great way for facilities to give their courts or fields an inexpensive “makeover” prior to the start of a season.
Product warranties are offered by manufacturers as a reassurance to buyers that they will replace products in case of a manufacturing defect. Keep copies of your product warranties on file in the event that a piece of equipment breaks or stops working. If the product is covered under the warranty terms, the manufacturer will replace the product free of charge, saving you the cost of replacement equipment.
Training of Personnel
All facility personnel should be well trained on how to operate all sports equipment in your facility to prevent damage to the equipment. Athletes and other users should also be educated on proper use to prevent tampering or abuse. Stress that the equipment is valuable, and the whole team (and playing season) is affected if things need to be replaced mid-season due to misuse.
Generating Extra Income
If your school is upgrading equipment, consider selling your existing equipment to other schools or recreation centers in your area. Smaller schools with tight budgets will appreciate receiving gently used sports equipment at a fraction of the cost of new equipment. In addition, renting out your field or gym to other local schools or organizations is a great option to generate additional funds for your school.