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Host Stars Players as they Build Their Hockey Careers

For those who have never heard the term “billet,” it has been around for decades and describes the family that houses a junior hockey player locally and basically steps in as his parental influence while the player is in town. The billet family provides a home for the player, meals, a place to do laundry, study and relax, etc. It is a place to build deep connections with a player who in many cases is living away from home for the first time. Players aged 16-20 need homes from September to mid-April with the potential to extend into early May due to playoffs. Families who host Stars players will be provided a $200 monthly stipend.  

The players are in need of more than just a roof over their head and a refrigerator to pillage, junior hockey players, are at a critical juncture as they transition into young adults and professionals. Safe, loving and supportive homes are essential in enabling our players to achieve their goals in hockey, but also as members of the Lincoln community. Families who host players will house an individual who will help serve as a role model to the family's children and be an active member in the home. These families form a family bond that lasts long after their players have moved on from Lincoln. For 25 years, Lincoln has opened its doors to our players and our organization, showcasing the community's generosity and kindness. We thank all our billets, past, present, and future, without whom the Stars would not be able to exist. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BILLETING A HOCKEY PLAYER 

What is a billet family?

A billet family home is where a player lives during the season. This is a player’s home-away-from-home. 

 

Are billet families paid? 

A fee of $200 per player per month is paid by ACH to the billet family.  It is important to note, billeting is not meant to be paid employment but rather a service and opportunity for deep connection.  The money is provided to help offset expenses, not eliminate them.  Families know there will be costs associated with billeting, but 99% of them feel the benefit far outweighs the cost. Billet families are asked to provide three meals per day and snacks for their players.  

 

Is there a “typical” billet family?

Billet families may be two-parent families, single-parent families, and occasionally an “empty nester.” The common denominator is a desire by the family to make a difference in a player’s life. 

 

Can a family billet more than one player? 

Yes. Two (or more) players can share transportation expenses, and often provide company for one another. The only requirement is that each player has adequate space/living arrangements. Each player is expected to have his own bed, closet or dresser, and acceptable access to a restroom. 

 

How long does a player stay? 

Players arrive in mid/late August and stay through season’s end (usually May). 

 

Who pays if a player is injured or needs medical attention during his stay? 

Our athletic trainer, Corey Courtney handles all medical issues with the players so everything would go through him thus having no stress on the billet family. In addition, players must have medical insurance from their own families.  Most importantly, billet parents are never responsible for medical payments.  

 

Will players join our family for personal events? 

We stress to our players that they are a part of the family and encourage them to take part in as many family activities - it’s part of the experience.  Families are welcome to invite players to join in family celebrations or activities; however, it is not mandatory for you to do so. All players will have time off at the holidays. 

 

Will I have to pass a background check? 

Yes, USA Hockey requires background screenings for all billet families.

 

WHAT MAKES A GREAT BILLET FAMILY?

--Establish a set of guidelines early on so the player knows what is expected of them.

--Find out what types of foods the player likes to eat and understand the nutritional requirements of an elite athlete. The Stars can provide more detailed information if needed.

--Understand a player’s practice and game schedule to plan mealtime. The player is responsible to communicate with plenty of notice if he will not be making a meal due to team conflict. 

--Respect a player’s privacy and need for independence.

--Create an open line of communication with the player’s parents.

--Make the player feel comfortable, not only in your home but in your community.

--Be a good listener if a player is stressed about school, family, girlfriend, homesickness, etc. However, it is not a good idea to partake in discussions about playing time and team-related issues. The best advice here is to suggest the player arrange a meeting with the coaching staff. 

--Take an interest in the player's season and go to games whenever possible.

The Stars strive to be at the forefront of the sports industry in all aspects, promising to provide fun and affordable family entertainment unmatched in the Lincoln area. The Stars organization expects a high level of excellence from the players, not just at the rink, but with their billet families and also the community. The players are aware that respect for the household and host family members is mandatory. General responsibility and consideration from both parties make the housing experience successful, rewarding and build the relationship that lasts for many years after the player has moved on to college. 

Careful selection of billets helps to ensure the best match for the player and host family. Extensive questionnaires for the families and players assure an ideal fit for everyone involved. The forms included below must be read, filled out and submitted in order to be accepted as a billet.

To apply to be a billet for the Lincoln Stars, submit all the forms below to Michael Sdao. All applications can be sent to him at msdao@lincolnstars.com. If you have questions regarding the process, please feel free to contact Michael.

W-9

Michael Sdao

Billet Family Coordinator, Stars Assistant Coach

Patti Johnson

Billet Coordinator