Is football safe for my child?
Very few sports can guarantee an injury-free environment. Due to football being a contact sport, every precaution is taken to minimize injuries. Primarily this is accomplished by the use of protective gear, and grouping children are into similar age/weight classes. Additionally, stretching and conditioning, teaching proper technique and position placement are utilized in this safety-first environment.

What equipment is provided?
All participants are provided a helmet w/chin strap, shoulder pads, girdle with tailbone and hip pads, practice pants with thigh and knee pads, mouth guard, practice jersey, home and away game jerseys, and game pants. The only required item not provided is an athletic supporter and cup. Some players choose optional equipment such as football shoes (plastic/rubber cleats), forearm pads, rib protector pads, etc. All provided equipment is returned (clean) except for the girdle, mouth guard, and the home and away jerseys. The player keeps these for their participation

What’s expected of my child?
Show up to games and practices – fundamentals, skills, and plays are stressed during practices and utilized during games, the more your child misses the less development they will experience. Listen to coaches – football not only teaches skills but discipline. Your coach will encourage your child to develop both. Try their hardest and never give up – this teaches pride in accomplishment and a sense of sportsmanship.

How old do you have to be to play?
All children ages 5-14. Teams are based on ages as of August 1 (except 14 year olds as of Dec 31, who are not going into high school.)

Will my child play against similar sized children?
Yes. For safety reasons, all teams are based on age and weight. For instance, a Cadet level team is only for ages 8-9 with weights not to exceed 109 pounds.  Click Here For Weights/Ages

Can my child play on the same team with a friend?
Yes, as long as the friend meets the same age/weight requirements for that team.

What position will my child play?
The position your child plays can vary throughout the season and is based on their skill level, team needs, player safety and complexity of the position. This is primarily determined by the coaching staff. Coaches do make an effort to try players in new positions when possible. Usually, the player must be familiar with that position from attending practice before they play that position in a game.

Will my child get a lot of play time or just sit on the bench?
Our league requires all teams to play all players for at least 8 plays per game (not including kick-offs and returns). If this is not done, the team forfeits the game. Coaches should strive for much more, but this can also depend on the child’s desire to play and safety issues. If you have any concern over playing time please discuss this with your coach or the coach coordinator.

Is there any reason that would cause my child to sit out a game or limit their play?
There are legitimate reasons that can exempt the player from the 8 plays rule. Some of the reasons may include: a player missing practices that week, is ill, or the parent request that their play is limited (due to academics or other issues). The coach fills out a form with the reason and provides it to the opposing team advising that the player is exempt for that week (parent must sign to verify legitimacy).

When do practices start?
Mini-camp/conditioning camp (not mandatory, but highly encouraged) starts mid-July. Team practices start one week later. No child is allowed to participate in contact drills until they have completed 5 days of practice. This reduces the risk of injuries.

Where are practices held?
All practices are held at Elmwood Park High School (south practice field). Occasionally, a coach may schedule a practice to review game films at another location.

What is the practice frequency?
Generally, practices are 5 days per week for the first couple of weeks and then practices will reduce to 3 or 4 days for a maximum of 6 hours per week when Elmwood Park School District starts the school year to avoid conflict with school work.

Do we play in all weather conditions?
The only weather that will cause cancellation of practice or games is lightening and occasionally excessive heat. Therefore, it is important to ensure you have valid contact information with the coach and remain accessible should practice or a game be cancelled so you can pick your child up.

How long is the season?
The season, from mini-camp to playoffs, generally runs from mid July to early November.

When are the games played?
Although there can be exceptions, games are usually played on Saturdays or Sundays from early morning to mid afternoon (Saturdays can have starts as late as 8:00 PM.)

Where are games played?
All games are in the Chicagoland area and can vary based on the age level and league make-up. However, all home games are played on the Varsity Football Field at the Elmwood Park High School located at 8301 Fullerton Avenue.

Who will be my child’s coach?
This is generally determined by the availability of volunteer coaches at that level of participation. Generally, this is a coach with a child on the team, but there may be some experienced coaches used that do not have a player at that level.

Do you need volunteers or coaches?
We can also use volunteers and coaches. Depending on the age group we may already have enough coaches, but will always consider more. All coaches must provide personal information to allow a background check to be preformed. We always need volunteers to work the ‘chains’ at home games, assist coaches with ‘spotting’ (ensuring opposing team players have played the minimum plays), and working the concession stand.

What documentation is needed to sign up?
Birth certificate, Medical release, and insurance information (for emergencies). All forms are provided at sign-up.

Does my child need a physical? The medical release includes this.

Are there other expenses?
A team may require a snack schedule that has each parent provide a snack after the game, but this may vary by team.

Will my contact information be shared with team members?
A coach may choose to provide a contact list to all players, but should gather consent before allowing your information to be included.

How does my child get to the games?
You are responsible for getting your child to all games. However, you may be able to coordinate this with other parents if needed.