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The Cost Of Playing Hockey

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

The cost of kids’ hockey is of growing national concern, from the outdoor community rink to the offices of Hockey Canada. Registration has slipped in recent years and one estimate claims barely 10 per cent of Canadian youngsters aged 5-19 are playing organized hockey.

Canada still has more registered players (approximately 550,000) than any other country, but the United States is fast catching up, having reached the half-million mark recently. Sustaining enrolment remains a challenge in Canada, where demographic shifts and various parental concerns have kept registration numbers flat, at best.

While concern over injury understandably gets most of the attention, cost is actually a much greater worry to parents, according to a survey conducted last year by RBC. It found that the average hockey family spends $1,500 a year to be in the game. Nearly 40 per cent of those asked identified “cost” as the No.1 reason for the static state of enrolment.

“Our concern is increasingly that we are an elite sport,” says Costello, who himself came from a poor background in the Northern Ontario mining community of South Porcupine to play in the NHL.

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Hank1974's avatar

Cost is the main reason why we don’t really care if my two sons quit hockey.
My youngest is a pretty good player and has a chance of playing travel in 2 years when he’s eligible. But my wife and I won’t let that happen. It’s way too expensive.

Registration is one thing ($1500), but it’s the ‘extras’ that are another.
For one, every team in our area is forced to buy anywhere between $500 and $700 for hockey ‘swag’; team jacket, team warm-up suits, toques, turtlenecks, personalized hockey bags, home and away jerseys and socks, hats, stickers and even ties.

Once you add up equipment and tournament costs which include registration fees, hotel and meals, you’re looking at about $5000 for a year for one travel kid.
Ridiculous.

That’s why house-league is just fine for me. And if my kid quits to play basketball which costs $90, shoes $40 and shorts $15, this dad won’t be crying. wink

P.S. Costs are certainly a reason why fewer and fewer kids are registering for hockey, but the main problems are the physical and downright violent nature of the game as well as stuck-up attitudes and back-door politics.
You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced douche-bag attitude from a 7-year-old who’s decked-out from head to toe in hockey swag and believes he farts rainbows and sunshine and that as long as he’s on a travel hockey team, there isn’t another human being on this planet that’s better than them.

 

 

Posted by Hank1974 on 12/01/12 at 12:25 PM ET

Avatar

The nuts have a stranglehold on the game as well as their enablers.  High School hockey was once big in New England, it was supplanted by more expensive Junior Leagues.  7 year olds are travelling hundreds of miles every weekend to play 7 or 8 shifts a game in a tournament.  I’m not even counting the hotel.

Mites squirts are using composite sticks, 400 dollar skates etc.  If the sane people were to regain control the costs would be much cheaper.  Unfortunately the nuts rule and the various organizations do nothing to reign them in.

Get as much ice as close to home and you can and your child will become a decent player.  Once they hit 15-17 thats when the ones that are really serious should get involved in all the extra curriculars.

Migget hockey doesn’t exist anymore either.  The kid whos playing for fun can’t find a team.

Posted by 13 user names on 12/01/12 at 06:31 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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