A billet family? You want us to do what?
If you live in a hockey town, you might hear this question yourself -- if you haven't already. But even regular hockey fans might not know what it means to billet a hockey player.
Billeting is a fancy way of saying “an out-of-town player who lives with a local family for the hockey season.” Why consider being a billet host?
A Billet Family Offers Opportunity
These hockey players have goals and want to build their skills to get there. They often don’t have a hockey team or league near home at the level they need to develop. Or, a coach across the country has seen their skills and has recruited them for the season. Yes, these players are in demand!
Players serious about their hockey future may start playing away from home around age 14. Most players who billet are between 16 and 20 years old. They move in with a billet family and become part of everyday life. They share meals and chores. Go to school or work. And play lots and lots of hockey.
A Billet Family Makes Hockey Careers More Affordable
Hockey is expensive. Really, really expensive. The gear is among the most expensive of any sport, ice time is not cheap, and travel is plentiful. Families who play hockey have already sacrificed a lot to let players pursue their passion.
Sending their kid to play away from home is one of the biggest sacrifices of all. Adding a short-term apartment lease and all that goes with it (if the player is even old enough to live there) is usually out of the questions. So lessening the cost of living expenses away from home helps a player pursue their hockey goals.
You won't get rich being a billet family. But you will get a monthly stipend to cover food and basic accommodations for a player. Most teams set forth a standard billet fee (from $300-$500, depending on the town and team). This money should cover first and foremost the food for three meals a day. Hopefully, it will set off some utilities.
The truth is, you won't come out financially ahead. It's the relationship that really pays off.
Billet Families Are Their Own Community
Love hockey? Or just love the enthusiasm of young athletes? Volunteering as a billet family greatly supports your local hockey organization. You'll become part of a new circle of great people.
Billet Families Make Lifelong Friendships
This is by far and away the first and best reason people give for billeting. Players and hosts often become part of each other’s extended families and stay in touch for years to come. Feel the love these players have for their billet families >
Take the Stress Out of Billeting
Billet Better comes from experienced billeters who have seen the good and the bad -- and figured out a way to put everyone's minds at ease. By making introductions sooner, explaining expectations up front, and putting tricky questions on the table without making anyone feel awkward, Billet Better helps players, their parents, and billet hosts get off to a great start. Read more about our products using the top navigation of this site, or click here for an overview of Player/Parent, Billet Host, and Team packages.