The Budget for Youth Hockey (Part I)

They come in all shapes and sizes, from Washington state to Maine, Florida to Alaska. Yet, every youngster at the USA Hockey’s 2013 National Championships had one thing in common. Slung over every player’s shoulder was a big, bulky, and about to burst at the seams duffel bag.

That’s all in being a hockey player. You have to be carrying a 40-pound behemoth into and out of rinks while having two sticks in one hand and a drink in the other. The goalies have it worse. They have bigger pads and gloves, paddles, yet, nobody ever complains. Hockey teaches you to carry your load early on.

What is All That?

For the benefit of the uninitiated, every bag holds a helmet, skates, shin guards,

A child’s hockey experience can cost you a good chunk of change so make sure you’re saving up.

shoulder pads, a neck guard, elbow pads, protective pants or girdles, shells, home and away jerseys, home and away socks, (smelly) gloves, various undergarments, hosiery and plenty of tape, as well as sundry items including a blade sharpener, a rag, first aid kit, scissors, wax, talcum powder, and an iPod. Tack on another $170 for Apple AirPods.

Most youth hockey players have at least five pairs of Bauer skates priced at around $200 per pair. Just a bit of info: adult topline pairs go for over $500. If your child plays for both school and travel teams, she/he goes through two sets of blades a year, so additional steel can cost around $300.

Sharpening: $5 once a week for 25 weeks, times 10 years, costs $1,250. Include $50 for broken laces and lost blade covers. Then there’s $45 for any shoe repairs. This is a good time for you to learn by word of mouth for anyone who does shoe repairs. This stops your child from having to break in a new pair.