Ice hockey is a sport that requires more than just a love for the game – it requires a significant financial commitment. From equipment to league fees, there are many costs associated with playing hockey at any level. Whether you’re an adult looking to join a recreational league or you’re interested in enrolling your child in youth hockey, it’s important to understand how much it will cost to play before making a decision.
This article provides insight into the various expenses you may encounter when playing hockey, as well as tips on how to save money without sacrificing safety or quality of play. By understanding the cost of playing hockey, you can make an informed decision about whether this thrilling and dynamic sport is right for you or your child.
“The cost of playing hockey depends on several factors, including location, age, skill level, and the type of league you participate in.”
Whether you’re new to the sport or have been playing for years, it’s essential to stay up-to-date on current costs and trends surrounding ice hockey. Our article aims to provide valuable information and guidance to help you navigate the often confusing world of hockey expenses. So, if you want to learn more about what it takes to become a successful hockey player and how much it will cost along the way, keep reading!
Ice Time Costs
If you’re interested in playing hockey, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is how much it will cost. One major expense associated with this sport is ice time costs. Here’s what you can expect:
The cost of renting ice for an hour-long session varies depending on several factors. First and foremost is your location. Rink rental prices can be more expensive in urban centers compared to small towns.
Another factor is the day and time when you want to rent the ice. Prime time slots, such as weekday evenings and weekends, are often pricier than early morning or late-night sessions.
Additionally, rates may differ between indoor rinks and outdoor ones. Outdoor rinks usually charge less, but keep in mind that they only operate during the winter months in most cases.
To give you a rough idea, here are some average hourly rink rental prices across the United States:
- Midwestern states: $150 – $250 per hour
- Northeastern states: $200 – $300 per hour
- Southern states: $100 – $225 per hour
- Western states: $150 – $275 per hour
Keep in mind that these numbers are just averages, so prices might vary widely based on your location.
If you play hockey regularly, you might consider investing in season packages instead of paying for individual ice times. Season packages provide skaters with access to the same time slot (often once or twice per week) for an extended period, whether it be three months or an entire season. In many cases, these packages offer discounts or other perks.
While the cost of season packages can be significant upfront, they are often a more affordable alternative to paying for individual sessions over time. Furthermore, having guaranteed ice time every week makes it easier to plan your schedule and ensures that you have a consistent opportunity to practice your skills.
If you’re considering purchasing a season package, check with the rink or hockey program where you plan to play for information about availability and pricing.
“Hockey players are unique creatures in the sense that they will sacrifice everything, including their own personal health and safety, to win a game.” -Neil Kilkenny
The Bottom Line
Now that you have a better understanding of how much ice time costs, consider this expense as part of your budget if you plan on participating in regular games and practices. By being informed and exploring ways to save money (such as investing in a season package), you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy everything that ice hockey has to offer without breaking the bank.
Hockey is a sport that requires quite a bit of protective gear, as well as specific equipment, such as skates and sticks. This can make the cost of getting started with hockey quite high compared to other sports, but it’s important not to compromise when it comes to safety.
If you’re just starting out in hockey, you might be able to get away with buying good quality used skates for around $100 or less. However, if you want brand new skates, prices can range from $50 up to around $700 for top-of-the-line models. Keep in mind that higher-priced skates usually offer better fit, comfort, and durability, so consider your budget along with how often you plan on playing when making this decision.
In general, youth sizes are cheaper than adult sizes, so that may also factor into your choice if you’re purchasing for children. If you end up needing custom-molded skates due to foot shape or size quirks, expect to pay upwards of $800 – $900.
While the player has primary control over how they skate and play, injuries can happen at any time during games or practice. That’s why protecting your body is especially important here. Here area few things you’ll need to keep yourself safe:
- Helmets- Prices for helmets vary depending on what level of protection you seek, typically you could expect something at the low-end costing you around $24-$35, while more expensive options (with required full face shields) creeping closer toward $200.
- Shoulder Pads – A decent set of shoulder pads will run between $60-$150.
- Elbow Pads – From $30 up to around $100 for high-performance options
- Gloves- There really isn’t a cheap option that is sufficient here, so expect to set aside at least $100. Lower-end gloves can deteriorate quickly.
- Athletic Supporter and Cup- A basic cup or jockstrap will cost between $10-$30.
- Pants- If you don’t want your clothing getting caught in the ice while skating, pants are important. They usually range from $50 to $150.
- Shin Guards – Shin guards are an essential part of hockey gear, which means they’re often on the more expensive side. You’ll have to budget anywhere from $40 to over $180 for new ones.
- Socks – You’ll need special hosiery specifically designed for use with skates called “hockey socks.” Expect them to fall within the price range of $12 all the way up to close to $45.
- Mouthguard – Mouthguards help cushion any impact to the teeth area during physical contact games like hockey and could run you only about $2 if bought off-the-rack, but dental professionals recommend custom-fitted mouthguards for the highest level of protection and comfort.
Sticks and Pucks
If you’re just starting out, consider purchasing a cheaper stick that costs anywhere from $20-60. But if you play frequently, aim for sticks costing upwards of $100 for better handling and response. Stick lengths vary by player height as well as preferred position, so be sure to do some research before purchasing one.
Hockey pucks typically cost less than $5 each, so buying multiples won’t hurt your budget drastically. It can be a good idea to purchase extras because pucks can get lost or damaged during gameplay.
“Playing hockey is an expensive sport, but it’s also one of the most rewarding! Invest in quality gear that will protect you and improve your performance.” – Stanley Cup champion Matt Cullen
Training and Coaching Fees
Hockey is a sport that demands players to be both mentally and physically tough. To develop these attributes, training under the guidance of an experienced coach is necessary.
If you’re serious about playing hockey, private lessons are highly recommended. With personalized attention, individual skill development can be prioritized at each session. The cost of private coaching varies depending on the coach’s level of experience and expertise but generally ranges from $50-$150 per hour.
“Hiring a private coach can take your game to another level by helping you hone specific skills that may need improvement.” – Alyssa Longmuir, Founder of HockeyPursuits.com
Joining a team and practicing together is one of the most common ways for individuals to develop their hockey skills. Most youth leagues offer team practices twice a week, with additional games on weekends during the season. The costs for joining a league vary widely. You can expect to pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars per season (depending on age and league).
“Being part of a team teaches important life skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance,” – Peter Twist, Head Strength Coach for the Vancouver Canucks 1999-2014
In addition to regular practices, most teams also require some form of off-ice conditioning. This could include activities such as strength training, cardio, or flexibility exercises. Some organizations provide in-house conditioning programs with certified trainers, while others will direct families to outside fitness centers. These additional programs usually range from $50-$200 per month.
“The game has become faster, stronger, quick bursts. It requires higher levels of complete physical conditioning and training so you don’t break.” – Dany Heatley, Former NHL Player
Specialized clinics can offer additional training opportunities for developing specific skills. These may include specialized goal-scoring clinics or goalie-specific training sessions. The cost of these programs varies widely from $50-$500 per session depending on the level of instruction offered.
“Specialized camps are an excellent opportunity to focus on individual needs like shooting mechanics, speed work, power skating, and developing effective conflict resolution-like communication.” – Jeff Serowik, coach, and founder that specializes in hockey defenseman development.
We have outlined several costs associated with hockey training: private lessons, team practices, off-ice conditioning, and specialized clinics. While each option will vary in price, investing in proper training under a qualified instructor can help elevate your game and ultimately lead to success in the sport. With hard work and dedication, playing hockey can be a financially rewarding venture worth pursuing.
Tournament and League Fees
In order to participate in a hockey league or tournament, there are registration costs that must be paid. These vary depending on the level of competition and the organization running the event.
The average cost for youth hockey leagues is around $1,000 per season, while adult leagues can range from $200 to $500 per season. For tournaments, fees typically range from $300 to $700 per team.
“Playing competitive hockey has never been cheap.” – Hannah Stuart, The Hockey Writers
If participating in out-of-town tournaments or games, travel expenses can add up quickly. This includes gas, lodging, food, and other miscellaneous expenses.
The amount spent on travel will depend on the distance traveled and the length of time away from home. Families should budget for at least $1,000 for each out-of-town tournament.
“It’s amazing how many people have garage sale equipment and expect their kids to play AAA hockey.” – Mike Walton, former NHL player
In addition to registration costs, some teams require additional fees to cover expenses such as ice time, jerseys, and equipment. These fees vary depending on the level of competition and the organization running the team.
On average, youth hockey teams charge an additional $500 to $1,000 per player for these extra fees. Adult recreational leagues may charge significantly less.
“The toughest part about playing club hockey was paying for it.” – Unknown hockey player
Referee and Scorekeeper Fees
Finally, every game requires referees and scorekeepers who expect to be compensated for their time. The amount charged per game varies depending on location, level of competition and the number of officials required.
On average, each game will cost $100 to $300 in referee and scorekeeper fees combined. This can add up quickly over the course of a season.
“When you’re paying out money for every practice, it motivates you to play harder during games.” – Unknown hockey player
Playing hockey can be an expensive hobby, especially when it comes to travel expenses. Travel costs can vary depending on the level of play and the location of tournaments.
The cost of transportation is one of the largest expenses when traveling for hockey. Depending on where you live, driving may be the most practical option for getting to games or tournaments. However, if you have to fly, plane tickets can add up quickly.
Average round-trip domestic airfare was $363 in October 2021 according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Prices rise during peak travel season or holidays so booking early can help you save money.
If you’re driving, consider carpooling with other families to split gas expenses. You could also save money by packing food instead of eating out at restaurants.
Lodging and Accommodations
When playing away from home, players and their families need a place to stay overnight. Depending on the city, hotel prices may range from affordable to luxurious. One way to cut lodging costs is to look for discounts such as AAA rates or group sports rates offered by hotels.
Another option would be to use vacation rental websites like Airbnb. These sites allow you to rent someone’s home or part of their home for significantly cheaper than staying in a hotel. Additionally, some tournament organizers work with local schools to offer discounted rates for team stays.
Meals and Incidentals
While traveling, meals become an additional expense. Many tournaments provide catered meals at a predetermined price per person, but these costs can still add up over time. If catering services are not available, then dining costs can escalate quickly. It’s important to plan ahead and pack snacks and avoid excessive eating out to save money.
In addition, there are incidentals like parking fees at hotels or arenas. It’s important to take note of these expenses and include them in the budget for any upcoming trips.
Equipment Shipping Costs
If you’re traveling by air, then bringing all of your child’s hockey equipment is a necessity. But did you know that airlines charge extra fees for sporting equipment? These fees can add up quickly if not properly accounted for in the budget.
Airline baggage policies change frequently but the average fee for checked baggage ranges from $30 – $60 per bag and some airlines require an additional fee for sports equipment. If shipping your equipment ahead is more cost-effective, consider using postal services such as USPS, UPS, or FedEx.
“Traveling can seem like a hassle, but making sure parents have a plan in place for both finances and logistics will make things run much smoother.”-Steve Walden, Founder & CEO of Complete Athlete®360
When it comes to playing hockey, one cannot underestimate the importance of staying within a budget. Travel costs associated with tournaments can mount up quickly and unmonitored travel spending can wreak havoc on personal finances.
Additional Costs to Consider
Hockey is an expensive sport, and the costs don’t just stop with purchasing gear. There are several additional expenses that come along with playing hockey that might not be apparent at first glance. Here are some extra costs you should consider when calculating how much it costs to play hockey.
Uniforms and Apparel
Every team has its own set of uniforms, which can vary in cost depending on what’s needed. For example, youth hockey teams may only require basic jerseys, whereas travel or competitive teams may have more elaborate uniform requirements. According to a report by USA Hockey, players can expect to pay anywhere from $50 – $300 for uniforms and apparel, depending on their level of competition.
In addition to uniforms, there’s also the cost of personal equipment such as helmets, gloves, skates, and sticks, which can quickly add up. The same USA Hockey report found that parents could spend upwards of $2000 on new equipment every season (especially if they have multiple children playing).
Medical and Insurance Expenses
Hockey is a physical sport, and injuries can happen frequently. While minor bruises and cuts are all a part of the game, serious injuries like concussions and broken bones can result in high medical bills and lost playing time. Parents often need to purchase supplemental health insurance policies to ensure their child is covered for any potential injuries incurred while playing hockey.
According to a study published in Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, the average hospital charges for a concussion treatment in adolescent patients was over $7000. That’s why financial experts suggest buying accident-specific coverage rather than relying only on general plans to cover sports-related injuries.
Equipment Maintenance and Repair Costs
Hockey equipment requires regular maintenance and repairs to keep it in good condition. Skate sharpening, stick taping, pad cleaning, and repairing damaged gear are all part of the routine maintenance required for hockey equipment. These costs can add up over time, especially if multiple players in a family require regular maintenance.
According to an article in Forbes Magazine, one way to cut down on equipment expenses is to opt for used gear or take advantage of end-of-season sales at sporting goods stores (where you could save 20-50% off retail prices). Additionally, comparing repair rates from several shops ahead of time could help avoid any hidden fees and get the best deal possible.
“Hockey has always been known for its high costs,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada. “While there’s not much we can do about ice rental or travel cost, finding ways to make equipment more affordable will help grow our sport.”
Understanding these additional expenses associated with playing hockey can be crucial when budgeting for this popular sport. Despite the expenses, however, many families agree that the physical fitness, community spirit, and lifelong bonds forged through hockey culture make it worthwhile investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to join a youth hockey league?
The cost to join a youth hockey league can vary depending on the location and the level of the league. On average, registration fees range from $200 to $500 per season. In addition to registration fees, players will need to purchase their own equipment and pay for any travel expenses if required. Some leagues may offer financial assistance programs to help offset the cost for families in need.
What is the average cost of hockey equipment for a beginner player?
The cost of hockey equipment for a beginner player can vary based on the quality and brand of the equipment. On average, expect to spend around $300 to $500 for a complete set of equipment including skates, helmet, gloves, pads, and stick. It is important to invest in high-quality equipment to ensure safety and comfort while playing. Some stores may offer rental options for equipment or discounts for purchasing multiple items at once.
How much do ice time rentals cost for hockey games or practices?
The cost of ice time rentals for hockey games or practices can vary depending on the location and time of day. On average, expect to pay around $150 to $300 per hour for ice time rentals. Many rinks offer discounted rates for bulk purchases or off-peak times. Some leagues may also include ice time rentals in their registration fees.
What is the cost of private lessons with a hockey coach?
The cost of private lessons with a hockey coach can vary depending on the experience and qualifications of the coach. On average, expect to pay around $50 to $100 per hour for private lessons. Some coaches may offer discounted rates for multiple sessions or group lessons. It is important to research and choose a coach who has experience working with players at your skill level and can provide personalized instruction to help improve your game.
How much does it cost to attend a hockey camp or clinic?
The cost to attend a hockey camp or clinic can vary depending on the length and location of the program. On average, expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1000 for a week-long program. Some camps may offer day or half-day options for a lower cost. It is important to research and choose a camp or clinic that aligns with your goals and skill level. Some programs may offer financial assistance or scholarships for players in need.