Youth hockey dispute resolve: Hogs to stay home in Hillsborough

Youth hockey, adult recreational leagues, and college programs have boomed in the area so demand for ice time is heavy at the one rink in Orange County, the Sportsplex in Hillsborough. Credit: April Walker on Unsplash..


by Gregory DL Morris

The Hillsborough Hogs youth hockey teams will play again this fall at the Orange County Sportsplex in Hillsborough, according to a statement released by the teams’ and the sportsplex’s representatives.

“The Hogs are playing next season, and we want the community to know that both the Hogs and RFP intend to work together to grow youth house hockey, develop players, maintain affordability, and respect the long legacy of those who came before us to build the Hillsborough Hogs program and all of youth hockey at the Sportsplex,” the statement added.

Originally, the house league was where all the teams within the program played each other at the same rink, a bit like intramurals in high school or college. In contrast to travel, where they play against teams in other cities and states. Travel programs are significantly more expensive and often exclusive. In this area, most of the “house” programs actually play against teams around the Triangle, but still within an hour or so drive. Area travel teams go as far as New England, the Midwest, or Florida.

Triangle Youth Hockey of North Carolina, whose teams play as The Hillsborough Hogs and Recreation Factory Partners (RFP), the company that manages the sportsplex in Hillsborough, issued a joint statement on April 23 confirming they had worked out their differences.

Recreational and intercollegiate hockey have boomed in recent years, and the sportsplex is the only rink in the county. The UNC Hockey Boosters Club is planning to build a new facility on the north side of Chapel Hill that could be in operation in two or three years.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that we have found a resolution for the Fall 2024/25 youth house hockey season and are fully committed to standing together to advance youth hockey at the Orange County Sportsplex,” said a statement issued over the signatures of John Stock, chief executive officer of RFP; Andrew Stock, general manager of the sportsplex; as well as Tom Deis and Mark Bedell, Triangle Youth Hockey president and vice president, respectively.

The Hogs and RFP reached the agreement with the help of a mediator and the Orange County manager’s office. The on-ice program remains the same, but some administrative changes will occur.(Can we be more specific?)

For details of the Fall 2024/25 house league hockey season plan, interested parties can visit either the Sportsplex Youth Hockey page or the Hillsborough Hogs websites or call the Sportsplex or the hockey team group.

Gregory DL Morris is a business journalist and historian who reports regularly for TLR.

This reporter can be reached at

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