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11-09-2009, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
I have been on both ends and I am about to be done pretty soon. My brother and I both played when we were growing up. He is 5 years younger than I am so we were never on the same team. Our league spanned about 600 miles and we were right in the middle. Our away games were anywhere from a half hour to 4 hours away. Pretty much every weekend one of us had an away game so one parent would go on the road and the other would stay for the home game. Unless we were both away and then we were never away at the same place. Our Sat. morning practice times were 5:15 and 6:30 am but we didn't always have those. The week nights were 6:00 or 7:30 and after I was in high school we would practice Thurs. night at 10:30 to midnight. And then have to go to school Fri. morning. Our season ran from late Sept. to early late April or early May. Throw in holiday and state tournaments and it seems crazy to me now. The time and money my parents put in was more than generous.
As a parent now I have more of an idea just how much my parents gave to both my brother and I. My son started out playing house league when he was young. Cost was about $450 a season plus equipt. And when they are young they grow out of everything every year so you have to buy it all over again each year. My son has never had a pair of skates 2 seasons in a row. In house league we didn't have to worry about travel so that has been nice. Practices were weeknights during the week and the games were all on Sat. mornings. They could start as early as 5:15 and as late as 11:00. It seemed like a big time investment until I thought about when I was a kid and now I realize that it isn't really that bad. My son is playing high school hockey now and we only have one rink (2 sheets of ice) so all the games are in the same place. Now it's even easier than house league. They practice at the arena downtown that the ECHL team plays in which is close and practice is one day a week at 4:45. Games are between 7:00 and 9:00 on Fri. nights or 3:30 and 8:00pm on Sat. He'll be able to drive in Jan. so then it will be even easier. He plays baseball too and it is actually more time consuming because it's everyday.
If you end up with a kid just playing house league then other than the cost and a couple of early mornings it really isn't too bad. Travel hockey is a whole different game depending on where you live. The travel teams here pretty much just play tournaments in other states. They have airfare and hotel and food costs to deal with.
If house leagues are available where you live I wouldn't be too scared, it's manageable. It's just like anything else in life.......Someone else will always have it worse than you do.
Another awesome reply, especially considering the fact you've been on both sides of hockey parentdom.

I'm just trying to soak in everything I can at this point, but I can't help but wonder how having your kids in hockey, from an economic and time standpoint, compares to having them play any other team sport.

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