Supervisors Introduce Funds for Sports, Camps

The County of San Diego has launched a reimbursement program to make youth sports and camp programs more affordable, and to provide financial assistance in the communities that need it most.

The Youth Sports and Camps Waiver Program provides youth with the opportunity to participate in recreational sports or camps for free or at a reduced cost. The program was approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 5, is federally funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, and was designed to reduce financial barriers that could otherwise limit or prevent kids and teens from participating in these activities.

Managed by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, this waiver program directly benefits participants in youth sports and camps that take place in San Diego’s unincorporated areas and at County-managed facilities

There are two reimbursement levels, and these are based on a community’s score in the California Healthy Places Index (HPI). The HPI is a census tract-based index that evaluates all of the health indicators of a community, including economic standing, education level, housing availability and affordability, health care access, safe neighborhoods, clean environments and transportation/accessibility. 

In an effort to provide more equitable program benefits, communities that have lower HPI scores will qualify for higher paying benefits – but all recreational youth sport and camp providers will qualify for some level of reimbursement. Once approved, the program requires organizers to adjust registration costs accordingly for the kids and teens who wish to participate in their sport and camp activities. 

Funding categories, based on the applicant’s primary facility and/or mailing address:

  • Category 1: Eligible for full waivers and reimbursements of costs associated with registration, up to $100 per participant. 
  • Category 2: Eligible for partial (50%) waivers and reimbursements of costs associated with registration, up to $50 per participant.  

Requests will be processed in the order they are received. Of the available $2M, approximately $1.8M will be used for fee waivers and registration reimbursements for up to 20,000 youth – and the remaining $200,000 is earmarked for administrative costs to run the program.

Applicant Checklist:

  • Are you an operator of recreational youth sports or camps?
  • Do you run activities in an unincorporated part of San Diego County, or at a County-owned property?
  • Do you have a valid Federal and/or State tax ID?

If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, you may qualify for some level of reimbursement. Submit your application today! 


Complete the Application:  

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Frequently Asked Questions




Who is eligible for the program?


All recreational youth sports or camp provider applicants that are located within the unincorporated areas of San Diego County or operate on County owned properties with a valid Federal and/or State Tax ID will be eligible for some level of reimbursement. Priority will be given to communities that have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis. The Healthy Places Index (HPI) was used to identify these communities within the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.


Additionally, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Participants must be age 18 and under. 
  • The league must abide by an “everyone plays” philosophy, meaning there are no tryouts/assessments in which players are cut, and everyone who signs up receives playing time.
  • The league must be volunteer based; all local administrators, board members, and coaches serve in a volunteer capacity.

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What is the healthy places index (HPI)?


The Healthy Places Index (HPI) combines multiple community characteristics, including economic, education, housing, health care access, neighborhood, clean environment, transportation, and social factors into a single indexed score for individual census tracts. The scores from multiple census tracts are then compared across the state to provide an overall report on the health of individual communities and neighborhoods. The HPI was used to identify communities in the County of San Diego by zip code that have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis and identified to be fifty percent or less “less healthy” than other communities. These zip codes were then categorized as being in the third and fourth quartile. A total of 36 zip codes were identified to be in the third and fourth quartile of the unincorporated areas of the County. DPR is using the HPI as the primary tool to prioritize funding for families and communities that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis, and the organizations that serve those communities.

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How will funding be allocated?


DPR will allocate up to $200,000 of the funding to cover administrative costs to operate the program. The remaining $1,800,000 will be used to directly reimburse eligible organizations for registration-related costs. Of the remaining $1,800,000, DPR will allocate 2/3 ($1.2M) to third and fourth quartile organizations and the remaining 1/3 ($600K) to organizations in the first and second quartile. Using the HPI report, participants, facilities, and organizations that fall within the HPI’s third and fourth quartile would be eligible for full waivers and reimbursements of costs associated with registration up to a $100.  Participants, facilities, and organizations that fall outside of those quartiles would also be eligible for partial waivers and reimbursements of 50% of costs associated with registration through the program up to $50.

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How will organizations that operate in multiple zip codes be categorized?


DPR will use the organization’s home field location and/or consider their mailing address to determine which quartile the organization belongs to. In more complex situations, DPR may opt to review the place of residence of the youth participants.

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What is the application process?


Applications are required for all organizations seeking to be part of this program. The format of the application is interactive pdf document. The application will require general information for the organization and additional documentation, including previous years registration costs, participant rosters, tax ID number, etc. to assist with eligibility determinations. Applications will be reviewed and processed in the order received. DPR staff will review the information and confirm eligibility. Once eligibility has been confirmed, the organization will be notified so they can implement the registration cost adjustments for participants.

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If approved, when can organizations expect their reimbursement?


Due to registration periods varying and often occurring months ahead of the actual season, DPR will issue reimbursements to organizations in two batches to ensure that the total reimbursement is reflective of actual participation and not just projected numbers. Reimbursements will be processed by DPR’s fiscal team. Each reimbursement will be submitted as a claim to the Auditor & Controllers Office for processing. This will require additional or backup documentation to ensure funds are properly being reimbursed. 

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What is the maximum reimbursement an organization can receive?


Due to varying participation levels per sport, DPR will prioritize third and fourth quartile organizations by allocating 2/3 of the 1.8M to these groups and the remaining 1/3 to organizations in the first and second quartile. Funding will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Organizations in the third and fourth quartile will be eligible for full reimbursements up to $100. Organizations in the first and second quartile will be eligible for partial reimbursements up to $50.

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How many participants do we expect to benefit from the program?


Approximately 15,000 – 20,000 youth participants are anticipated to benefit from the program.

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