Originally Posted by TCav
You want to photograph action in the dark. For that, you need fast shutter speeds, which cuts down on the amount of light, so you need to let more light in by using a larger aperture, and you need to increase the camera's sensitivity to light by using a higher ISO setting. Only dSLRs can do that well, and even at $500 you won't get very good results.
You can pick up a Canon T2i for around $400 here and there, I think Canon's trade in program will get you one for $450. A canon 50mm F1.8 is about $100. Right there is about $550 for a camera that is good in low light.
Of course you have to be close to use the 50mm.