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Football FAQs

USA Football

Nutmeg League's Parent Organization

Football FAQs

FOOTBALL

Q.  Is there a tryout?
No.  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 football players accepted with no experience?
The Bearcats welcome ALL interested children ages 6 to 14 regardless of experience or ability (Flag Football is for ages 5 - 7 yrs old, some exceptions with board approval).  Historically, first year football players have enjoyed less (game) playing time as they grasp the many concepts necessary for football (positions, plays, techniques), we also offer flag as a great way to learn the fundamentals.   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.  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 and a flag football team 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 4th and Under

            Flag Football

 
Q.  What is the practice schedule?
Beginning in August, practice runs Monday thru Thursday, 6:00 – 7:30 PM. 
   The practice schedule is abbreviated to a 3-day schedule for all squads once school starts.  Practice days are typically on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 6:00 – 7:30 PM but 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 the turf field at Suffield High School once it starts to get darker earlier.   
 
Q.  Do parents need to attend practices?
Parents need to attend practices in the event of an injury. While this request necessitates a huge commitment on the part of parents, it is important given the nature of football (contact sport). Some parents have found it helpful to set up schedules whereby each parent attends one night of practice and is responsible for any needs that may arise for the children within that group. If this option works for your family we encourage its use but ask that your child be aware of who is responsible for them on each given practice day.
 
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, home and away game jerseys, game day socks, 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. (ALL NECESSARY GEAR IS PROVIDED FOR FLAG FOOTBALL).

 
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.

 

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