This strange, two-syllable word is vital for junior hockey players.
A long-standing tradition in hockey culture, billeting is a crucial part of a team’s success (both on and off the ice).
So, you’re thinking about becoming a billet family…
Or, you’re a hockey player looking for a billet family…
How exactly does it work? What is billeting? Do billet families get paid?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming a billet or finding a billet family.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s How Hockey Billeting Works:
Junior hockey players travel far from home to play for their team. Since they’re teenagers, they need a place to stay—so families will take them in as part of their family during the hockey season. Billet families provide housing and support to young players in pursuit of their hockey career.
What Is Billeting in Hockey?
Billeting is when a teenage (or young adult) hockey player lives with a family away from home during the hockey season.
When a junior hockey player gets selected for a team outside of his hometown, he’ll have to pack up and move to the new city to play for his team.
Junior hockey players are typically 16-21 years of age, which means they’ll need a place to stay during the hockey season (and typically are unable to rent their own place).
So, families will take junior players into their homes to become part of their family throughout the hockey season.
Billet families are host families who provide a home and support to young men as they pursue their hockey career.
Do Billet Families Get Paid?
Yes, billet families get paid.
They typically receive a pre-established fee of about $400 per month. The fee is paid directly to the billet family.
This payment isn’t necessarily seen as a way to earn a substantial income, but as a way to help with additional household expenses from the player—like food.
Billets are typically required to provide three meals per day to their players (and snacks).
How Much Do Billet Families Get Paid?
Billet families are usually paid about $400 per month, or about $100 per week per player.
Since billet families can host more than one player, they could receive $800 per month if they have two hockey players they’re hosting.
Who Pays Billet Families?
Billet families are paid by the team. The hockey player who they’re hosting will have their team management pay the billeting family directly.
They usually receive about $400 per month per player.
How Much Do OHL Billets Get Paid?
OHL billets are typically paid about $400 per month per player.
For instance, Owen Sound Attack pays $95 per week per player.
In some cases, there are other perks for becoming a billet family like season tickets.
How Do You Become a Hockey Billet Family?
Becoming a billet family is as simple as reaching out to a junior hockey club and applying to become a billet.
Potential billet families will have to fill out an application and usually have a background check before being accepted.
What Is a Billet Family?
A billet family is a family who hosts a junior hockey player from out of town throughout the hockey season.
Junior hockey players typically have to leave home to play for their hockey teams, so they need a place to stay.
Hockey teams will reach out to families who can take in a player throughout the hockey season to provide housing and care for a young player for a few months of the year.
Can a Billet Family Host More Than One Player?
Yes, billet families can host more than one player.
While most billet families will take in one hockey player, teams typically allow up to two players per family.
This helps players share transportation and food expenses. Plus, it’s a great way for players to provide company for one another.
The main requirement is that each player has enough space in their living arrangements at the billet’s home.
Each player should have their own bed, dresser or closet, and easy access to a restroom.
How Long Do Players Stay With Billet Families?
Junior hockey players usually arrive with their billet families in mid-August.
Host families are required to commit to the entire season, from August to the end of the hockey season.
In most cases, an arrangement is typically made for a host family to take on the player until the end of the school year in June.
Do Billet Families Have to Pass a Background Check?
Yes, billet families are usually required to pass a background check or screening.
Billet families are also required to complete their certification with the national SafeSport program.
What Does a Billet Family Provide?
Billet families are required to provide a few different things for their hockey player:
A billet family is required to provide a private bedroom for their player.
Players shouldn’t be placed in a room with younger members of the billet family. The home must be clean and organized.
Typically, you’re required to provide a bed, closet or dresser, and easy access to a restroom.
Along with a room to stay in, billet families are also required to provide food for the hockey player.
Billets are required to provide a minimum of 3 basic meals per day to the hockey player. Snacks are usually also expected, though in some cases may not be required.
Billet families are also required to monitor the behavior of the hockey player.
This is the “family” part of being a billet family. The billets are expected to act as parents or guardians of the hockey player. They may create a set of additional rules to fit their lifestyle that the hockey player must follow in good faith.
Players are typically expected to provide their own transportation within reason.
However, if a billet host family wants to provide their own transportation, it’s recommended that the player isn’t allowed to drive the billet family’s vehicle.
If a player is allowed to drive the billet family’s vehicle, the family should verify insurance coverage for the player with their insurance company.
Billet host families are also required to provide access to the internet for the player.
When Do Billet Players Arrive?
Each year, billet players will usually arrive in the middle of August.
This date is dependent on the hockey preseason practice schedule.
Arriving mid-August also allows a reasonable amount of time for the hockey player to enroll in high school or college in the city they’re staying in.
Do Billet Players Stay for the Holidays?
You may be wondering… What about the holidays?
Holiday breaks like Christmas and Spring break are usually dependent on the team’s schedule.
Teams usually only allow players to return to their parent’s home maximum twice per season. Players almost always have time off during Christmas.
What Do Billet Families NOT Provide?
While there are many things billet families are expected to provide, there are some things billet families do not have to provide:
Junior hockey players can eat a lot of food.
However, billet families aren’t required to provide more than 3 meals per day.
They don’t have to supply unlimited food or snacks, or provide meals on erratic schedules. Players have to eat what’s reasonable and adjust their schedule to the billet family’s eating schedule.
If they want to eat beyond their 3 billet meals per day, they’re expected to pay for it themselves.
While billet families are required to provide billet players with internet access, they aren’t required to provide a computer.
Billet players should provide their own phones and computers if they want to use the internet.
The same goes for any other electronics like a television or video games.
While most families will have these electronics available for the billet player’s use, they are not required to allow a billet to use them in their own room.
There are a few other non-essential personal items that billet families are not required to provide such as:
Of course, if a billet family notices the player doesn’t have sufficient clothing (such as a winter jacket in a cold city), they can reach out to the billet coordinator for support.
What Kind of Support Are Billet Families Provided?
Beyond financial support of about $400 per month, billet families are given a contact person from the hockey club.
Billet coordinators are available for ongoing support to billet families throughout the player’s stay.
Billet coordinators will usually provide regular check-ins with billet families and players throughout the year by phone and in-person.
Looking for more answers to the most common hockey questions? Be sure to check out our other popular blog posts: Is There a Size Limit for Hockey Goalies, Why Is Icing in Hockey Bad, Should Hockey Players Bench Press, and What’s the Best Height for Ice Hockey!