“Billeting” is a hockey tradition and is especially important at the elite level of hockey. The billeting tradition has helped many young athletes get acclimated to their new cities, schools and teams. Host families from the local community, by opening up their homes to young athletes, provide these players the opportunity to pursue their dreams in a supportive and nurturing environment.

It takes special people to open their homes and hearts to our players and we take the utmost care to ensure our players are placed in environments that are conducive to care, understanding and safety. For many hockey parents, when their son joins a junior team, it marks the first time that he has left home. The Atlanta Madhatters make every effort to ensure our players are in a suitable housing environment.


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  • Provide a furnished room for the player or a furnished room to share with another billet player.

  • Provide nutritious meals for the player or have food on hand that the player can prepare on his own.

  • Allow the player to use amenities in the home such as Internet, TV, washer, dryer, etc…

  • Players are considered “one of the family”, not just a boarder. So, we ask that the host family provide structure for the player by creating “home rules” and helping enforce team rules relating to curfew, visitors and standards of behavior.

  • Comply with USA Hockey/USPHL screening requirements.


  • Follow all host family and team rules and show respect and consideration towards all family members. If any house rules are broken, the player may be released from the Madhatters

  • Provide their own bed and bath linens, personal care items, cell phones and computers. Provide for their own transportation unless other arrangements have been made with the billet family.

  • Take care of their room, including keeping it clean and doing their own laundry. Notify the host family of their whereabouts and stay in the billet home each night unless traveling with the Madhatters

  • When traveling to away games, players are responsible for their own meals.

  • Seek part-time employment or take high school or college courses in their free time. Make monthly stipend payments to the host family on the first of each month as negotiated between the player and a Madhatters



There is no typical host family. A host family comes in many variations of families, including two-parent families, single-parent families and older couples with no children at home, All meet the minimum standard requirements, and must be able to provide a warm home and meals. Athletes are interested in a wide range of hosting situations. For example, some who come from large families would like to experience being the only child in a family.
Host families receive a monthly stipend of $400 per player. Families will have the expense of food and housing, just as they would with any of their own teenager or young adult. Families are not responsible for the athlete’s medical, education, or other incidental expenses.
Host families live all over the Atlanta area. Counties include: Bartow, Cobb, Cherokee, Dekalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Paulding. Your player will have to provide his own transportation.
Many athletes indicate an interest in being placed in families with small children. The influence of an athlete’s dedication and training will have a positive impact on younger children. Their interest, curiosity and acceptance of people different from themselves is strongest at a young age. They will look up to the athlete and that bond ultimately forms a lifelong relationship.
The athlete expects to be welcomed into a warm home. Flexibility, a sense of humor and the ability to help a young athlete adapt to a new family and lifestyle are also important qualities that athletes hope their host family will have. For many of these players this is their first time away from home. They come as faraway places like Canada, Denmark, Russia, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida etc. They need a “family situation” You become the surrogate parent they need.
Yes. This is an ideal situation for both families and empty-nesters, again, the experience will establish a lifetime of memories and friendships. 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, a closet or dresser and acceptable access to a restroom. (If you have more than one player, it is ok to have them share a room with his teammate)
The team’s coaches and billet coordinator are always prepared to assist with any problems that might arise. In the event of a serious problem or conflict of personalities, the team removes the athlete for evaluation to determine if the athlete should be replaced or even removed from the team. Communication is so important and usually helps deal with a situation before it’s too late.
Yes! If you have hosted a previous player or know a player made the roster you may request that player. I do my best to pair up players with host families taking into consideration life style, personalities, allergies etc. I have a player and a host questionnaire that helps guide me with the placements.
Each player will arrive early to mid-August, a date dependent upon the preseason practice schedule. Players in high school may arrive at the start of school to register and may want to stay with the billet family until school ends in late May. Some decide to finish school back home. Players who are not in school will usually leave within a few days after the season ends. Our season ends early March, however playoffs continue for a month and they will need to stay till late March depending on our season record.
You are welcome to invite players to join you for family celebrations or activities; however, it is not mandatory for you to do so. All players will have time off at the holidays in December to go home.
Players will not be left alone without adult supervision overnight. If a Billet family has vacation plans that will result in an overnight absence, the Billet family will need to make alternate arrangements with another approved billet family until their return. Please inform the head coach and the Billet Coordinator of the temporary changes.
Yes, the Atlanta Madhatters/USPHL is required to conduct background checks on all adults living in a Billet family home. The adults will be asked to fill out a Screening Release Form. The information is then compared with a government database to ensure that the players are placed in a safe environment. All information obtained during this process will remain strictly confidential between management and the adults within the Billet family home. No additional information or effort beyond completion of the Screening Release Form is required on the part of the Billet family to finalize the background check