Advice: Paying the team bills and Parent deciding not to pay

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by BigCoach, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. BigCoach Registered User

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    Hello, looking for advice on how to handle a situation in which a Parent is not paying their fair share towards the end of the season:
    • Travel Team Hockey (AA Level Bantam)
    • Budget was detailed at the beginning of the year and costs and expectations were laid out up front
    • Will likely not play in the minor hockey association next year as they will play High School
    • Owes $1200 to the team and has decided they will not pay the final amount owed now or in the future.
    • Has received some financial assistance for some fees, but not enough to come close to paying for travel hockey
    • Multiple requests were sent to get payment over the year but the parents were non-responsive. Prior to this there was no expectation that they would not pay their share.
    • Regular Season is complete, playoffs are starting.
    • Unknown on whether the parents have a means to pay but they have decided now that they will not pay.
    What is your opinion on how this situation be handled?

    • Should the kids be restricted from playing in the playoffs immediately pending payment?
    • Should the other parents be responsible for the payments required? Should they be told the reason they have to pay more? Should the parents vote on whether the should pay and if the player should continue to play?
    • Should the manager (volunteer parent) have to pay for it because they can't get the money, but the bills need to still be paid?
    • Should the association pay for it? Should the association enforce as to whether they can play or not? The parent probably cares little about future repercussions as there can't be any.
    • Should all future fundraising go towards that parents bills?
    I feel terrible about this, but looking for opinions on what to do. While there are programs I donate to personally for basic hockey so kids can play without paying - this is not that and there are significant costs.
     
  2. Slats432 Registered User

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    In my opinion if you have a player on your team and the parent hasn't paid fees, then suspend the kid pending payment. The other parents shouldn't be on the hook and it would be considered a loss of the association which would have to eat the cost.

    In our association, if a parent doesn't pay, the kid doesn't start the season and the spot would go to someone else.
     
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  3. BigCoach Registered User

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    For our area for travel teams, there is a base cost, there is a REP fee cost and then there are extra fees (tournaments, extra practice ice or team related tings). Costs are then spread out across the season and people pay throughout the season.
     
  4. UatuTheWatcher Registered User

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    It was terrible advice anyway. The situations are not the same and the kid is currently playing. That approach would only serve to hurt the kid who had no fault in this situation.

    I know this wasn’t one of your options, but you could consider sending a demand letter seeking to recoup costs. If they don’t pay by the stated date, you can then take them to small claims court seeking the stated amount plus other costs (e.g., legal fees, travel). If you have forms, agreements, and/or financial records, the process should look pretty good for you. Plus, this way you also get to set a precedent about not paying, while not pushing a child.
     
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  5. jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    sadly growing up I dealt with an issue like this. We had a good on our team but the parents did not pay and about half way through the season they were asked to pony up and said they couldn't. his parents were a lot better off then many of the kids on the team (including me) and the coach and manager sat the parents down the parents down and said if they did not pay, their child would be dropped from the team and would not be able to enrol on the team on the fall.

    They refused to pay and moved districts. They got a shock when they tried to enrol their kid on a new team and were asked for the yearly fee up front as they new district knew about what happened in his old district. They threatened to sue and the district said go for it. The kid was good and ended up getting drafted (never played beyond the ECHL) but the rules were the rules

    sadly they are putting you in a tight spot and someone else who could have paid should have played in his spot. whether we like it or not--it is a business at all levels
     
  6. lidstromiscool Registered User

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    Is the kid a key player? Are there special circumstances (health of family member, laid off from work etc)? If so, then you could talk to other parents and get a feel for what they think. If not, suspend them, especially if they won't be part of the organization next year.
     
  7. shoeshine boy Registered User

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    IMO this is a learning opportunity for the kid. either the parents pay their fair share or the kid doesn't play. it couldn't hurt to have a private meeting with the parents to discuss why they haven't paid. if nothing else the kid learns that there are consequences (that sometimes affect innocent people) to not living up to your responsibilities.
     
  8. cowboy82nd Registered User

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    I'm sorry. If I don't pay, my kids don't do the activities that they want to do. If the parent doesn't pay, yes the child should not play. Maybe this will teach the parent and child that there are repercussions to EVERY situation. I could see if the parents responded to the letters and stated that they are having money problems and that they are willing to pay in installments. But that's not the case. Bench the child (sorry to be harsh) until payment is received.
     
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  9. BigCoach Registered User

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    Thanks for the advice. I think whatever we do - it should not matter if the kid is the top or bottom kid. The kid is neither of those in fact, however everyone I think would want the kid to play. They should be treated the same despite I think. I think the majority of people - would not try to play if they could not play... These are not normal people.
     
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  10. Slats432 Registered User

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    Nope. If I was president of any association, I would not allow any kid to play if the parent refused to pay monies due and they were NON RESPONSIVE. I would eat the money as an association if they were in financial hardship. Sad for the kid but if the parents are douches that isn't the fault of my association.
     
  11. Yukon Joe Registered User

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    Talk to your minor hockey association! You can't possibly be the first people to have gone through this. See what advice they have.

    My gut reaction is A: the kid should be benched immediately. Yes, it's not the fault of the kid, but if the parent's have flat out said they won't pay, how can they expect their kid to keep playing?

    The association may be able to cover the $1200, but I have my doubts about that too. I suspect you may just have to pass the hat around in order to cover the fees. There is no way the poor team manager should have to eat that cost - the only thing that'll happen there is you won't have anyone volunteer to be team manager.

    And if all else fails, do look at small claims court. It's designed for disputes just like this.
     
  12. BigCoach Registered User

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    With this advice I think the following would be the "right" course of action:
    1. Association/President suspends the kid and parent immediately.
    2. Parent can then address the issue or come up with a defined payment plan to recoup the money through the Association (as opposed to the team manager). Association needs to ensure this is followed through.
    3. If they do not address this the association should be responsible for the team fees that were already paid on behalf of the team member to date of suspension. Other parents are on the hook for additional costs after this point as expected.
    4. Association can pursue legal means to recoup the cost if they deem it appropriate - ie. small claims court.

    Next step will be to see how the association handles this "executive" level decision.
     
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  13. ChuckLefley Registered User

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    Suspend the kid and, if the parents continue to refuse to pay, contact a lawyer. They agreed to the fees at the start of the season and by refusing to pay, they are stealing ice time for their son. They probably had to sign a contract as well, which they broke.
     
  14. Yukon Joe Registered User

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    Don't hire a lawyer. Lawyer will want more than $1200 just to open a file.

    Do, however, look at small claims court. Small claims court does not require a lawyer (though one can be helpful).
     
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  15. ChuckLefley Registered User

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    You’re bound to
     
  16. ChuckLefley Registered User

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    Sorry, hit the reply button accidentally.

    you’re bound to have a lawyer in the club who will be willing to scare them a bit. Then you go from there.
     
  17. tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Another option to consider -- rather than holding firm on getting the full amount back, directly ask the parents how much they CAN afford to pay. Their answer will be telling as to why they're behaving this way.

    If they absolutely refuse to pay anything at all, then there's nothing left but to cut the kid from the team. I wouldn't go after them for restitution. We don't know their financial situation, and obviously they're not going to end their kid's season without having some sort of reason for doing so.

    Bottom line, recoup as much as you can and ask the association to write off the rest as "financial aid". At the end of the day, your goal here is to minimize losses including the loss of time and resources involved in legal action. Volunteers are already asked to do a lot without having to play lawyer, and you certainly don't want to pay a lawyer.

    Sucks for the team to lose a player going into the playoffs, but it's no more unlucky than an injury. Take it in stride and move on.
     
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  18. Andrei79 Registered User

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    Unfortunately, if you sign up your child in any activity, he won't be able to engage if you don't pay.

    This isn't any different. And I feel you would be sending the proper message to everyone, not only the parents, but the child in terms of consequences of your actions and even other parents that might try the same.
     

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