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Classroom Recipes: Team Sports Ideas for Under $1,000 (and a match!)

HS Runners Line up before a track race

Whether you’re a seasoned coach or a teacher looking to start a new athletics program, your sports team could probably use some fresh equipment. And we know funding can be tough: $2.5 billion was cut from school sports budgets in 2009-2011 alone. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation! While funding lasts, they’ll double every single donation to qualifying team sports projects. Even better: All day on 10/23/18, they'll triple donations to eligible projects!Playing sports has a big impact on students. According to the US Department of Education, student-athletes are four times more likely to attend college. Other studies have shown they have lower rates of absenteeism and higher graduation rates than non-athletes.If you know exactly what your team needs, check out our help center to see if your team qualifies. If you’re still looking for inspiration, we’ve put together a collection of classroom “recipes” based on some of our favorite team sports projects.

Recipe #1: Kicking off a Soccer League

To help his kids “fight like champions,” Mr. Jarboe created teams for four to seven-year old students who had never played in an organized sports league before. This recipe is based off of his project, “Kick Off Soccer League.”


  • Lil’ Shooter 2 Soccer Goal Set
  • Youth Shin Guards (x20 pairs)
  • Kids-size Soccer Balls (x10)

Results:"Getting the equipment let the girls know that we were really serious about starting a team for them and we were surprised that we got so many girls to sign up for basketball. I was proud of the students as we completed the season. They are more confident, motivated and highly engaged in school. All of the young ladies are also doing well academically."Total: $920

Recipe #2: A Slam-Dunk Basketball Team

This recipe is based off of Ms. Shaw’s project, helping her middle-school “Lady Eagles Soar.” While you’re shopping, make sure to find the right size basketballs for your students.


  • Backboard & Rim Kits (2)
  • Backboard Mounting Kits (2)
  • Practice Basketballs (3)
  • Game Ball
  • Scoreboard
  • Iron-on Athletic Numbers

Results:"I have to say that this league far exceeded my expectations. Kids had a wonderful time, parents were allowed to be involved without any pressures of coaching and many new friendships and bonds were formed with families that would have never associated with each other had it not been for this league."Total: $510

Recipe #3: Bringing Back Baseball and Softball

After their community banded together to renovate an overgrown baseball field, Mr. Shoobridge needed equipment to outfit his new team. This recipe is based off of his project, “Reviving Baseball in Our Community.”


  • Baseballs (120)
  • Ball Bag (2)
  • Baseball or Softball Bat
  • First Base Mitt
  • Gloves (10)
  • Batting Helmets (2)

Results:"What a difference a year makes! What changed? The attitude of the players and the program as a whole! Why? DonorsChoose and those that supported our message. Our program is revived and looking forward to more and more young players joining our baseball family!"Total: $880

A Few Other Ideas...

Here are a few of the other items you can request for your team-sports project that might be eligible for The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation match offer:

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