So somebody just asked you to billet a hockey player. Your outside smiled. Your inside said, Huh?
What is hockey billeting? And should you be talking to that stranger who’s suggesting it? Here’s a short explanation, and assurance there’s a long list of people who LOVE being in your place.
Billeting Makes the Hockey World Work

Many sports (like American football or basketball) have a path from club and high school teams to college and pro leagues. Ice hockey works a little differently.

Around age 14, but especially ages 16-21, players who want to pursue the sport seriously will sign a contract to play on a minor or junior league hockey team. More often than not, this team will be in another city or state than the player’s hometown. So, the team will arrange for each player to live, or “billet,” with a local family.

Billeting: Like Exchange Students, But For Hockey

“Family” is a key word in billeting. The player eats, sleeps, works, and plays with his billet hosts for the duration of the hockey season (6-7 months) or school year. The player or his parents pay a monthly billet fee determined by the team. The billet family in return provides room, board—and a memorable experience for everybody involved. It’s the equivalent of an exchange student in the hockey world.

Billet Families Are the Best Families

People who love hockey. People who have never seen a hockey game. Families with young kids. Empty nesters. Single people. Young married couples… You get the picture.

We’ll call them billet families just to make this conversation quicker. Anybody can offer to billet a player, but smart teams (and parents) do background checks and survey the accommodations. Another reason to get ready-to-go documentation from Billet Better.

Learn About Billeting Before You Host

As you might imagine, transitions for both player and billet hosts can be tricky. Billet Better helps set the rules and expectations up front. By using our tools to gather the right information, teams can find the best fit for players and families. Parents of players can feel more confident when sending their player to an unknown place and potential guardians. And billet hosts can create a positive environment, make a new player feel welcome, and reduce their liabilities.

7 Comments

  • We have been a billeting family for 5 seasons now. We have had the pleasure of meeting boys from all over this country. They become your kids. We have learned from them as they have learned from us. Great kids too.

    • Thanks, Donna, I agree! Being “Mama C” to all my hockey boys is the best. Are you billeting again this year?

  • YOUR TURN: Hey billet families! Hockey season is upon us. How many years have you been billeting? Where have your players come from?

    • I have been billeting for ten years. I have had players from Alaska, The Midwest, the East Coast and some short term players from Europe. It is a great experience and it provides the billet family with a chance to be a positive role model for a young man living away from home giving him support and encouragement while he develops his skills to move on in the world of hockey

      • Hi Sandy, thanks for posting! The “role model” piece of billeting doesn’t get the attention it deserves. There are a lot of great families out there making a positive impact on these hockey players…and the students, professionals, husbands, neighbors they become. Great comment.

    • Starting our 5th year in 2 weeks! We’ve had boys from ND, MN, WI, AK, PA, IL, MI, and Slovakia. Also had a Canadian for Main camp one year.

      • Hey Garrett – Nice diversity! I just met a player here locally from Croatia — awesome to hear his thoughts about hockey, home, and billeting life in the U.S. Cheers to families making these boys feel welcome, wherever they’re from.

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