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Frequently Asked Questions...

General FAQs

Q.  What is the Bearcats address?
P.O. Box 691 Granby, Ct 06035
 
Q.  Are the Bearcats a town-sponsored league?
No.  The Bearcats are youth sports volunteer organization that provide area youth access to football and cheerleading.
 
Q.  What towns participate in the Bearcats program?
Granby, East Granby, Hartland, Suffield, and Windsor Locks   
 
Q.  What towns/teams do the Bearcats compete against?
The Bearcats compete against other teams within the Nutmeg League, please see the link on our home page.
 
Q.  When does the season begin and end?
The season begins the first week of August and regular season play ends the last week of October.  Playoffs begin the first week of November and the Championship Game takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day.
 
Q.  Is there a tryout?
No. However there is a maximum of 35 football players are accepted on each team on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to returning players and siblings. 
 
Q.  Are athletes accepted with no experience?
The Bearcats welcome ALL interested children Grades 3-8 for Tackle Football and Grades 2-8 for Cheer regardless of experience or ability.  As a contact sport, football inherently brings risk of injury.  Special consideration is always given to safety – not only of the player at hand, but of teammates who rely on one another for their own safety as well.  Football players typically develop within two year cycles to become able players.
 
Q.  When are games played?
Games are played on Sundays. Times my vary
C Team at 10 AM,
B Team at 12PM
A Team at 2PM 
 
Q.  Where are home games played?
The Bearcats call Granby Memorial High School home!
 
Q.  How many games do the Bearcats play within a season?
A total of 8 regular season games are scheduled followed by 2 playoff games and 1 championship game. 
 
Q.  Are Bearcats coaches certified?
Yes.  All Bearcats Head Coaches are certified by the N.Y.S.C.A. (National Youth Sports Coaches Association).

Q.  Do Bearcats coaches have concussion training?
Yes.  All of our coaches have had concussion training and adhere to “Heads Up” concussion protocol.  An outline of concussion symptoms and signs are included under the "Concussion Info" tab.
 
Q.  Do you perform background checks on all of your coaches and board members?
Yes.  We use Verify and National Center for Safety Initiatives, LLC. (NCSI) and Southeastern Security Consultants, Inc. (SSCI).  highly reputable national company to run background checks annually on all of our coaches and board members.  The background checks include access to the Sex Offender Registry Records.

 

 

Football FAQs

Q.  How is playing time allocated?
The Bearcats are one of only a handful of teams within the NUTMEG LEAGUE which adhere to a Play Time Policy which ensures a standard number of plays per participant based on team size and age level.  Beyond that, additional playing time is allocated based on player skill, practice, enthusiasm as well as the ability level of the opposing team.
 
 
Q.  How are football players assigned to a team?
There are 3 tackle football teams within the Bearcats organization.  Team assignments are based on Player Eligibility guidelines set forth by the NUTMEG LEAGUE.  Guidelines are based on the players School Grade they will be entering in September of the football season with  maximum weights for each division.  The divisions are as follows:
            A 7th and 8th Grade
            B 5th and 6th Grade
            C 3rd and 4th Grade       

Q.  What is the practice schedule?
Conditioning starts in August, with a 4-day schedule. Practice schedules will be made and distributed to the families via Sports Engine. The practice schedule is abbreviated to a 3-day schedule for all squads once school starts.  Practice days and times may vary from season to season. As this may change on a weekly basis once we move to the Suffield High School turf field.  Every attempt is made to give as much advance notice of practice schedules as possible.  Occasional weekend practices are held at the coach’s discretion.    
 
Q.  Where do the Bearcats practice?
August practices are held at Ahrens park in Granby.  Practices are moved to Suffield High School once it starts to get darker earlier.   

Q.  Is it necessary to attend all summer practices?
Summer practices are designed to condition as well as to teach plays, positions and skills not only in preparation for the upcoming season, but more importantly for improved player safety.  Players who have not attended summer practices risk injury not only to themselves but to their teammates as well.  Specific family issues should be discussed with the head coach at the start of the season. 
 
Q.  What equipment is provided for each football player?  
Each football player will be issued game pants, game jerseys, full pads, shoulder pads, rib pads and helmet (with chin strap).
 
Q.  What does each football player need to buy in order to participate?
Each player should purchase cleats, girdle, mouthpiece (don't forget to mold these, follow package directions), and an athletic supporter.  Additionally, many players have found it helpful to purchase additional practice pants (easier with pads included) and their own chinstrap.   Please note that game jerseys/uniforms may not be worn for practice. 
 
 Q.  What does each football player need to bring the first day of practice?
Football players will need to bring only sneakers/cleats, shorts, t-shirt and plenty of water for the first week as they acclimate to the heat and conditioning. During week two, practice pants, pads and helmets will be handed out. Game day uniforms will be handed out prior to the first game.
 
Q.  What are “weigh-ins”?
Weigh-ins are a mandatory requirement for all football players in order to participate in games. The Saturday one week prior to the first game of the season, players are sent to designated locations (by division) and weighed in observance of each town’s head coach.  Each player must not exceed maximum weights set by the NUTMEG LEAGUE Eligibility  While cumbersome, weigh-ins are a proven necessary "evil" for holding each team accountable to the weight requirements and ensuring the safety of players.  Players missing weigh-ins will be ineligible to participate in the first two games of the season and must be weighed at both of those games before being permitted to play.

CHEER FAQS

Q.  What grades do athletes need to be in to participate in cheer? 
Athletes must be going into grades 2-8 to participate in the that year's squad.
 
Q. Are cheer athletes accepted and put onto squads depending on experience?
Bearcats welcome ALL athletes, regardless of experience or ability, going into grades 2-8. There may be 1-3 squads created. Squads will be based on the athlete’s grade levels.  The number of squads vary from season to season depending on registration numbers.
 
Q. When does the cheer season begin and end?
Regular cheer season begins the second week of August and ends the last week of October.  Football playoffs begin the first week of November and the Championship Game takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day. Cheer participation in these games will be determined as they are scheduled.
 
Q. What activities does cheer participate in during the season?
Cheer will participate in practices and sideline cheering during football games weekly. There will most likely be a cheer fundraising event as well as a league cheer showcase.
 
Q. When and where does cheer practice?
Practices start in August, with a 3-day schedule prior to the first day of school at Ahren’s Park in Granby, CT. Practice schedules will be made and distributed to the families via Sports Engine. The practice schedule is reduced to a 2-day schedule once school starts. Practice days and times may vary from season to season. As this may change on a weekly basis once practice is moved to Suffield High School. Practices are moved to Suffield High School once it starts to get darker earlier. Practices will be held outside. Every attempt is made to give as much advance notice of practice schedules and locations as possible
.
 
Q. What equipment is provided to each cheerleader?
Each cheerleader will be provided two bows and a uniform. Other items may also be provided depending on availability.
 
Q. What additional items will each cheerleader need in order to participate?
Each cheerleader will also need to have a water bottle, white socks, white sneakers, black bloomers or boy shorts, black leggings, body liner, and required warm-ups.  Specific information will be provided once the cheer season starts in August.
 
Q. What are the Practice/Game Rules for cheer?
The following rules must be adhered to at all cheer practices, games, and events:
  • Be Kind
  • Be Respectful
  • Have Fun!
  • Warming Up is a Must for Everyone
  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
  • Participation
  • Put Away Cell Phones
 
Q. What does each cheerleader need to bring to games?
Cheer athletes should wear or bring the following to every game:
  • Water
  • Required uniform and accessories
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Hair must be worn up and away from the face
  • All jewelry must be removed
 
Q. What happens if an athlete cannot attend a practice or game?
Please give as much notice as possible to the cheer coordinator so that they can adjust dances and stunts as necessary. During the first week of practice, the cheer coordinator will communicate the best way to contact them.
 
Q. What happens if there is inclement weather during a practice or game?
Depending on the weather, practices and games may still be held during inclement weather. Cheer follows the same cancelations as football.  If football is practicing or has a game, cheer will also. Every attempt is made to give as much advance notice of practice and game schedule changes as possible.

What is needed for Practice?

For the upcoming Football season your athlete will need the below items:

  • The 4 signed waivers available below
  • Medical Release form **Must be signed by your athlete’s physician**
  • NYFL Code of Conduct (signed by your athlete and their guardian)
  • COVID Release form
  • Image Release form
  • If your athlete has not played with Bearcats before, we will need a copy of their Birth Certificate
  • Cleats – Molded athletic cleats (metal spikes are not allowed)
  • A large water bottle and plenty of water! We recommend at least 64 fl oz of water per practice.
  • Protective athletic supporter (AKA a Cup)
  • Mouth guard - as with the athletic cup we want the kids to get used to wearing a mouth guard during practice.

For the upcoming Cheer season your athlete will need the below items:

  • The 4 signed waivers available below
  • Medical Release form **Must be signed by your athlete’s physician**
  • NYFL Code of Conduct (signed by your athlete and their guardian)
  • COVID Release form
  • Image Release form
  • If your athlete has not played with Bearcats before, we will need a copy of their Birth Certificate
  • Water
  • Sneakers with socks
  • Non-restrictive, athletic clothing (no jeans)
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Hair must be worn up and away from the face
  • All jewelry must be removed

USA Football

Nutmeg League's Parent Organization