Anyone else feel equipment costs hinder the growth of the sport in NA?
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06-09-2010, 09:00 PM
Nothing As It Seems
I only own my mind..
Join Date: Jan 2007
That's the long and short answer.
Ice time is expensive. Often, to offset that cost your kid will have to play very early in the morning.
Equipment is expensive. Even if you're buying lower end and looking for deals, a growing child will need new equipment every couple of years at least.
Basketball requires shoes, team fees and maybe a uniform fee.
Baseball requires cleats, a glove and a bat (doesn't even require a bat, really, my little league team shared about 5-6 for the whole lineup), league fee and maybe a uniform fee.
Football requires cleats and usually the shoulders and helmet are provided, but even if they're not, that's an additional two pieces, league fee and maybe uniform fee.
Soccer requires cleats, maybe a ball, league fee and uniform fee.
Even Lacrosse requires only gloves, a stick, cleats, many times the team provides the helmet and shoulders, a league fee and a uniform fee.
Hockey requires skates (probably more expensive than any one piece of equipment mentioned so far), gloves, stick(s), helmet, shoulders, shins, pants, elbows, a league fee (definitely more expensive than for any other team) and a uniform fee. Teams don't provide any of it unless it's an elite/sponsored team, so to get a start in the sport you have to buy it all yourself.
Very simply, the cost to play hockey is prohibitive when trying to grow the game in many areas. Where there is natural ice most of the year you only need skates and gloves and are likely to find hand-me-down skates because of where you live and previous generations having played. Once your hooked, you'll spend the money or nag your parents until they do, even if it's all bargain gear. Where there isn't ice year round and you don't get the chance to experience the game before you buy all the gear, it's tough to get parents to commit to the expenses associated with playing. No question about it.
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