I was joking in my response to Garrett regarding letting the sports hernia become an inguinal. That said, to answer your question I would say it depends who you ask.
As I've said, Dr. M told me "the difference is the tear." If you look here - http://www.leistenbruch.de/fileadmin/docs/UEFA_engl.pdf
- they define the sportsman's groin as the initial form of an inguinal hernia. Everything else going on is a result of nerve contact and muscles being put in tension by the widening groin canal. Other docs appear to have a wider spectrum of conditions that they label as the sports hernia or whatever they like to call it.
They didn't mention payment plans to me. They said they want 4600 or 8800 euro up front (this is a fairly accurate estimate of final costs). A final invoice will arrive 2 weeks post op.
You really don't know what you have yet though do you? Sounds like you haven't even been to a doctor. Go see a general surgeon first before making plans to go to Germany.