The Budget for Youth Hockey (Part III)

Pelvic protectors: $100 for four

Pants: $240 for five pairs

Shells: $40 for four

Undersocks: $100 for 10 pairs

Practice socks: $50 for five pairs

Bags: $200 for four bags

Oh, and the tape. How could we forget tape? Black (or white) for the stick blade, white (or black) for the stick handle, clear to wrap around the socks and keep the shin guards intact.

Black tape: $300

White tape: $50

Clear tape: $200

But each time you see your child dexterously and meticulously wrap the tape around his or her stick, you realize you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s close to passion.

Stick wax: $50

Then there are the big-ticket items: travel costs, including tournament fees, team dues, which include uniforms, coaching and the expensive ice time, summer camp tuitions, and a lesson or clinic fees. These cost changes from year to year, based on the number of tournaments and camps. Below is a rough, cringe-worthy estimate from the past few years.

Travel (transportation, lodging, meals): $10,500

Along with all the hockey gear, you have to factor in the travel expenses.

Club dues: $20,000

Camps, clinics, and lessons: $10,000

Overlooked here are the price attached to your vehicle, as well as things such as gas, repairs, and mileage. You might have to go through a few vehicles since you not only have to deal with mileage but also the wear and tear of those hockey bags. True fact: I racked up over 165, 000 miles in less than four years. My suggestion is to get a vehicle that can handle the hockey gear and traveling before your child starts his or her hockey career.

I’m leaving the car costs out since it’s quality bonding time with your young hockey player. You can talk about hockey, homework, music, the moon, friends, and the game, regardless if it was a victory or not.


The Budget for Youth Hockey (Part II)

Skates: $2,700

Hockey skates can be a little pricey but seeing their enjoyment on the ice is priceless.

Truthfully, most parents try not to think of the expense. When you look at the skates, and it’s not dollar signs you see, but the first time your youth hockey player tied them. As she waited to get on the ice before her 1st game, the best player on the team tapped your child on the helmet to get their attention, then smiled to let them know they were one of them.

Helmets: $1,250

Helmets? Players go through them not as often as other equipment. Sometimes they will keep wearing a helmet because it reminds them of a special occurrence.

Gloves: $400.

The nastiest aspect of hockey is the smelly gloves, which is why there is a cottage industry and most likely a branch of science dedicated to getting rid of the odor. You might not mind driving hours to games and practices through weather that would make “Ice Road Truckers” think twice.

The drive back while attempting not to breathe through your nose, though, is difficult. My child, the hockey player, informed me that she loved it. It reminded her of all the hard work and sweat she puts into stick-handling.

Sticks: $1,750.

Once a player moves from wood to hi-tech composite, sticks can be a big hockey expense, particularly if you get the latest $250 Zetterberg or Crosby from a retailer. There are places that sell customized sticks for around $150. The broken hockey sticks can be used to make sure any raccoons don’t pry the lids off your garbage cans.

Hockey parents frequently trade tips on where to purchase wholesale to try and reduce costs. But the truth be told, it still adds up:

Neck guards: $70 each

Shoulder pads: $270 each

Undershirts: $150 each

Practice jerseys: $100 each