So called "All-American" games have popped up all over the United States. Are the players really a "selected" All-American based on game play?
For the most part, 99% of all the youth "All-American" games out there are basically "money grabs".
Parents want so bad for their child to get "exposure", that they pay fees of $350 - $500 and up per player to take part in what is labeled as "All-American" player status. I have seen players from the same team and age group play in the so called youth "All-American" games. Really? How does one team have 6 players make the selection? Keep reading.
The truth is, your dollars are your vote. Sure they ask for the nomination and a few accolades, but its your "check" that gets the player selected. Mention any of the other "All-American" games that your child has played in and he is a definite pick to make the team. Past participation in any "All-American" game that charges a fee, and they know they have you bagged.
The fee is just the small part of the other expenses, such as airfare, room, meals, and transportation. Not to mention all the t-shirts, hoodies and such that they want you to purchase. If you don't stay at the hotel they have designated, you pay an additional $100. (they get a rebate for each night you stay at the host hotel)
Sure the players get a few items, jersey, pants, socks, backpack, etc., but you are paying for all of it. Most of these items are purchased from Pakistan. Total cost of goods is about $40. Some even give helmets, but you are paying for it in higher fees.
Most of these games are just a "business" for some individual.
Be it a team, an organization, a league, or "All-American" game look for for a few of these signs. No website, run away; email address with gmail, yahoo, etc., run away; no contact information, phone, address, name of person, run away; no insurance, run away; only accept cash, run away; not filed as a profit or non-profit business with your State, run away. If the nomination is done strictly by email submission, forget about it.
If any tell you that you will get "exposure", they really mean you will be "exploited". Most will tell you that you need to play in their next "All-American" game which is only weeks away. You got suckered once, no problem suckering you twice.
Playing time, well toss that out. The coaches will play the better players because they want a win, although they are suppose to give all players playing time. Kind of hard when you have 40 players and 4 are quarterbacks.
Bottom line, if it is not free, or under $75, just stay away. And make sure they have a true selection board to review nominations and game video.