Whitecaps FC Billet Program - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the level of compensation that a Host Family receives for hosting a Whitecaps FC Player?
A: Host Families receive $1200.00/month for each player that they billet. Payments are made on, or near, the first of each month by the Whitecaps
Q: How does the season ticket deal work for Host Families?
A: Host Families receive a pair (2) of MLS, MLS NEXT pro and League 1 BC season tickets for each player that they host to a maximum of four (4) tickets per host family (1 player = 2 tickets; 2 players = 4 tickets; 3-4 players = 4 tickets)
Q: What age are the players in the program?
A: The Whitecaps billet male and female players ages 15 (grade 10) to 19 (first year university/college)
Q: What programs are part of the Billet Program?
A: The Billet Program is for players in the MLS Academy (based at UBC) and the Girls Elite Academy (based in Burnaby).
Q: Is there a minimum/maximum number of players that we can host?
A: No. The Whitecaps typically prefer two (2) players in a home, but some players prefer not to live with other teammates. The Whitecaps are open to the total number of players that an individual family can host so long as all standards and expectations set by the Whitecaps are met and that the appropriate level of support and supervision are provided.
Q: How do the Whitecaps decide which player(s) to match with a Host Family?
A: The Whitecaps do their very best to match a player with a Host Family that has similar backgrounds, interests and life style. In addition, if a Host Family would prefer a certain age of player in their home, or any other specific requests, the Whitecaps can work with the Host Family to accommodate as best as possible. This match is made by surveying and interviewing both the Host Family and the player’s family.
Q: What happens if the player is not a good match for a family?
A: It is always a big adjustment for both the Host Family and the player. The Whitecaps will always do their best to work through any situations that may arise and reach an amicable solution that allows all partiesto move forward in a positive manner. If a player is simply not going to work in a particular home, the Whitecaps will make arrangements to transition the player to another home that is more suitable.
Q: Where do the players come from?
A: All players are Canadian and come from across Canada, predominantly British Columbia and Alberta.
Q: When do the players arrive and when do they leave for their summer break?
A: Players arrive in Vancouver in mid-August and will conclude their season mid to late July, depending on the progress of the individual teams in their league playoffs.
Q: Do the players go home at any point during the season?
A: Yes. All billeted players will go home for the Christmas break following the exact timing of the school break. Some players will also look to go home on long weekends and Spring Break depending on the individual family, however, it is not mandatory that they do.
Q: Can a Host Family to go on holiday during the season while hosting an Academy player?
A: We strongly prefer that this does not occur. However, if a Host Family plans to go on holiday during the season the Whitecaps would require advanced written notice and the Host Family would not be compensated for the time that they are away. Additionally, it is preferred that the Host Family finds a solution to provide appropriate adult supervision in their home (family friend/relative). A detailed program schedule will be provided prior to the start of the season. This schedule will highlight periods of time that the players will be away to allow the Host Family to plan holidays.
Q: Is there a contract or agreement that the Host Family is required to sign?
A: Yes. Each Host Family and player/parent are required to sign an agreement on an annual basis that clearly outlines the expectations of all parties involved in Host Family-Club-Player relationship.
Q: Are criminal records checks required and who covers that cost?
A: Yes. Anyone residing in the Host Family home that is 18 years of age, or older, is required to complete a criminal record check as well as a vulnerable sector check. The primary criminal record check is completed online and billed to the Whitecaps. Any associated fees will be reimbursed by the Whitecaps.
Q: Will the Host Family be notified about team and player schedules throughout the season?
A: Yes, the Whitecaps include all Host Families on all club general communications, schedules, etc.
Q: What living space is required for an Academy player?
A: Each player requires their own private bedroom that is appropriately furnished as well as access to common living areas in the home. Details are available in the Billet Program Handbook.
Q: What are the requirements for feeding an Academy player?
A: Proper nutrition is critical for high performance athletes. Host Families are expected to provide 3 meals a day plus access to snacks. Players are to be provided with a bag lunch on school days and are expected to eat with the Host Family for any meals at home. The Whitecaps will provide education and suggestions for feeding athletes and have support available any time. Players are required to purchase their own supplements and any specialty food items.
Q: What is the expectation if the Host Family eats out at a restaurant?
A: If the Host Family invites the player to a meal at a restaurant it is expected that the Host Family pays for the meal. If the Host Family is out for a meal without the player it is expected that a prepared meal, or components for a meal, are available at your home.
Q: What is the expected level of engagement between the player and the Host Family?
A: The Whitecaps strongly encourage the Host Family to integrate the player(s) into their family/life as much as possible. This may include the player partaking in family day trips, activities, parties, meals, etc.
Q: What is the expected level of “parenting” that a Host Family should provide?
A: It is expected that the Host Family treat the player as part of their family and in the same manner as they would treat their own children/family members. Players are expected to strictly abide by all rules set by the Whitecaps and any household rules that are set by the Host Family.
Q: What level of involvement is expected from the player’s parents/guardians?
A: The player’s parents/guardians are expected to stay active and engaged in all aspects of their son’s life in Vancouver. The Whitecaps strongly encourage frequent communication between the Host Family and the player’s parents/guardians to ensure that the player is appropriately supported and cared for.
Q: What school do the players go to?
A: All school-age players in the academy attend school together. Male players in the MLS Academy will attend University Hill Secondary School, and all female players in the Girls Elite Academy will attend Burnaby Central Secondary School.
Q: How do the players get to and from training and school each day?
A: The Whitecaps provide transit passes and transportation for all billeted players to and from school, training and any team activity.
Q: Is the Host Family expected to provide transportation to/from social events and personal appointments?
A: No. The player is responsible for getting to and from any social activities, or personal appointments. The Host Family is certainly free to provide rides to places for the player(s) anytime they choose to do so
Q: What support do the Whitecaps offer to Host Families?
A: The Whitecaps offer 24/7 support to all Host Families with dedicated club staff members and provide educational meetings and material to assist the Host Family with the various aspects of hosting a player.