QUESTION: Why does AHAI not allow team sponsorships? We see teams from out of state all the time with sponsor names and/or logos on their uniforms, and I know they have considerably lower fees- I check!
ANSWER: AHAI does not prohibit team sponsorships. A club (or team with their club’s consent) can obtain whatever sponsors it wishes. AHAI would encourage sponsorships for all clubs to offset the costs of playing our sport. But all sponsorships must be to the club or the team itself and not directly to the player. The latter would have a negative affect on the corporate status of the club (501.c.3 Not for Profit) and the player’s amateur status.
As to the difference in costs of hockey in different states, that is primarily dependent on subsidized ice costs in the state. Here in Illinois most of our rinks are privately owned and the cost of ice is about 80% of a club’s total budget; however, sponsorships, especially large ones, could be an avenue to reduce a club’s or a team’s costs, thus reducing player fees.