Player Housing / Becoming a Billet
Becoming a host family (also called a billet) is something of a tradition in the sport of hockey and a great way to get involved in the community, as well as develop some very special bonds with the players and their families.
Q: What is a host family?
A: A family that opens their home to out-of-state and out-of-country players. For many of them, this will be their first time away from home and they will need a stable living environment for their move to Arizona while they pursue the next step in their developing hockey career.
Q: How old are the players?
A: Players are between the ages of 16 and 20 with the majority of them being 18 and 19 years old.
Q: Will the players be going to school?
A: Some players may need to complete high school educations, others may be taking college preparatory classes, and many may hold part-time employment.
Q: How long does the player live with the host family?
A: Players arrive in mid-to-late August to begin the season and remain until the end of the hockey season in early March or until the end of the school year in May or June, depending on the player’s school situation. At Christmas, they usually have 7-10 days off to go home and spend time with their families.
Q: What are the responsibilities of the host family?
A: When a family volunteers to house a player, they are required to provide room and board for him. Billet families must be able to provide the player with his own bedroom which should include a bed, dresser and closet space. A desk with chair is helpful, but not mandatory. The family also agrees to provide nutritious meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for either the player to prepare himself or eat with the billet family. Billet families are expected to treat the players as “one of the family” and not just a “renter.”
Q: What are the responsibilities of the player?
A: Players will provide their own bed and bath linens, personal care items, cell phones, TV, and computer. They must clean up after themselves, keep their room tidy, do their own laundry, and follow all team and house rules, showing respect for every family member. Players are also responsible for their own transportation to and from school, work, and all hockey activities.
Q: Can a family host more than one player?
A: Yes! It’s often easier to host more than one player. Two (or more) players can share transportation expenses, and often provide company for each other. If hosting more than one player, families do not need to provide separate rooms for each.
Q: Does the host family receive compensation?
A: Yes! Each billet family receives a monthly stipend for each player living with them. In addition, the family receives season passes to all Arizona Redhawks’ home games. Besides offsetting the expenses a family incurs when hosting a player, this allows our organization to acknowledge the invaluable service families provide to the individual players and the team.
Q: What happens if the host family needs to go away for a period of time?
A: Arrangements will be made, through the Billet Coordinator, for the player(s) to stay with another host family, a teammate, or a friend from school/work.
Q: What happens if the billet situation isn’t working?
A: Generally, billet families and players get along very well. We strongly recommend that all billet house rules be communicated to a player when he arrives. It is best if these can be in writing with a copy provided to our Billet Coordinator. If any situations arise, they should be handled immediately – first within the family, and then with the Billet Coordinator. If problems still persist and cannot be resolved, the Billet Coordinator will make other arrangements for the player.
Q: What happens after the season ends?
A: Most of the time, billet families, players, and the players family develop very special bonds and remain close long after the player has left the Arizona Redhawks hockey club. We do our very best to ensure that this experience is rewarding for both the player and the billet family members.
Contact: Greg Schursky – General Manager (602) 579-0311 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact the Billet Coordinator to fill out the short ‘Host Family Questionnaire’ used for matching up players and families.