GYFA Parent Handbook 2016
Franklin County Youth Football Association

Welcome to Franklin County Youth Football (FCYF). This handbook was developed to help our adult and youth members understand how our organization operates and what is expected of all players, parents, and volunteers. While we can’t cover every contingency in this handbook, you are asked to follow the spirit of what is outlined here, and allow common sense to prevail. FCYF is organized by and operated entirely by volunteer members - you’re input is always welcome.

Our mission is to teach football to youths between the ages of 8 and 15, in order to help them meet their individual goals. The training will take place in an environment based on the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, courage, loyalty and respect for oneself and others.

FCYF, also known as Franklin County Youth Football Association, is a non-profit Massachusetts Corporation, governed by By-Laws. We are affiliated with the Suburban Amateur Football League (SAFL). The teams are divided up into 3-5 teams, based on first grade and then age.
policies are established by the SAFL.

Every parent and participant is required to read this handbook and abide by the policies outlined herein. All parents and participants are required to return a Parent/Participant Contract signed by both parents and participant certifying that they have read and understand this document.

FCYF is operated entirely by VOLUNTEERS. Every activity that is part of our program occurs through the efforts of volunteers. Board members and coaches donate approximately 200 hours or more each season to assure that we offer the highest quality program to our children. It is critical that every volunteer be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. There are a variety of levels of involvement within our program that are outlined as follows:

Board of Directors - Volunteers are elected to a one-year term by the previous Board of Directors, with the exception of the President which holds a two-year term. They are responsible for the management of all operations within the program. This includes oversight of all volunteer networks, fundraising, insuring the integrity of the program, and upholding its by-laws. Other board members are appointed as needed for a one-year term per the by-laws.

Football Coaches - Volunteers manage all practices and games for FCYF. There is one head coach and at least one assistant coach per team. Football coaches are the primary instructors for the players. They are responsible for supervision, teaching plays, running drills, and discipline on the field. All issues should be directed to the Football Director who will in turn inform the Head Coach. Complaints will be handled In Accordance With (IAW) the COMMUNICATIONS section of this handbook (page 4).

Parent Volunteers - At least 30 volunteers are needed for each home game to staff the concession stand, chain gang, and field crew. Every parent is required to volunteer (2) slots for each child that you have in the program. Documentation of volunteer hours will be kept to assure compliance.

Football players - Every child is expected to put forth their best effort, both on the field and off, and to abide by rules and regulations in this handbook and the required youth conduct discussed on page 3.

FCYF is known for its pride and respect for others, for other SAFL programs and their leadership, for coaches, parents, teachers and fellow participants. Any derogatory comments, i.e., mocking of others, gossip, or negative criticism will be considered grounds for termination of membership.

The support of parents is essential to the success of any youth program. This support should, however, be of the off-field variety in such activities as fundraising, promotion, equipment maintenance, team sponsorship, and other volunteer activities. (On occasion, well-meaning parents have become overzealous and caused unwarranted problems). For the safety and well being of everyone involved, FCYF provides these rules concerning parent conduct. Failure to comply with these rules constitutes grounds for membership termination IAW this handbook and FCYF By-Laws.

(a) Parents should clearly understand that the purpose of this program is to teach children teamwork, good sportsmanship, fair play, and the love of the game. All parents will place the emotional and physical well being of their child/children over their personal desire to win. All parents will assist in teaching their child that rules are important and must be followed.

(b) Alcohol, use of any tobacco products, drugs or pets All will not be permitted at the practices or games, or any other FCYF activity. FCYF will enforce the safety of players at all times. Any adult under the influence will not be permitted to leave the field with any child. Exceptions to be approved by the executive board only.

(c) Parent must stay in the areas designated by the local programs during all practices and games at all times. Unless an adult 18+ is responsible for your child in your absence but the head coach will be notified of the responsible adult. Otherwise your child will sit on the sideline till an adult responsible for the Childs welfare is present. Parents are never to approach the coaches or officials during a game.

(d) Parents are expected to cheer loudly for their team, but always in good taste and never in a way that is disparaging to the opposing team. Un-sportsmanlike conduct is prohibited at all times, and can result in penalties to the team on the field.

(e) Derogatory statements toward game officials or the opposing team are prohibited and can result in a forfeiture of the game.

(f) A positive mental attitude, free from parent pressures, is an important ingredient for the success of any youth program. Adults will refrain from executing libel or slanderous comments, rumors or threats, especially in the presence of children of the program, coaches, or any personnel connected with the program. Verbal and physical abuse will not be tolerated against anyone within the FCYF organization. Racial epithets or negative innuendos related to a person/players race, religion, or ethnicity will not be tolerated.

(g) Parents will not dictate any children’s playing position or the amount of time they hold, run with, throw, or catch the football. Parents also will not dictate which players start each game. The Head Coach is solely responsible for dictating all team positions. Any issues with the Childs behavior or ability will be addressed with the parents by the head coach and a board member. 

(h) Parents must encourage attendance at all practice sessions. Absences impede progress for the rest of the team as well as for the child who is absent. Missing practice will lead to limited playing time during the game at the discretion of the Head Coach. Missing practice should be limited to illness or serious injury: Children with minor injuries or mild sickness can still benefit from observing at practice session. You must notify your coach if an absence occurs.**If the player misses 2 or more practice per week, the player will not play in the 1st half of the game.**

(i) Parents are responsible for transporting all players to and from all games and practice, on time. Please have players on the field 15 min prior to practice and 60 min prior to games. Parents and or a supervising adult are required to be at the field for both practices and games.

(j) FCYF cannot be held responsible for the health and welfare of unattended siblings of players.

(k) Parents are reminded they too reflect the FCYF program. The focus of the FCYF program is to foster good sportsmanship, honesty, courage, loyalty, and respect for oneself as well as others.


Hard work and dedication will be required before you can wear the uniform of the team. Being a member of the team requires much more than just learning about playing the game of football.

(a) All players participating in FCYF are encouraged to make school a priority. We strongly support strong academic achievement amongst our players, and academics are always to come before athletics. FCYF encourages academic excellence, and strongly support those within the school system assisting our players.
(b) Vulgarity, temper tantrums, lying, taunting, threatening, demeaning comments about other players, and fighting are absolutely prohibited. Any player observed displaying improper conduct below the acceptable standards of FCYF will result in disciplinary action or termination of membership.

(c) If you are going to miss a practice or game, you must notify your Head Coach. You are expected to arrive at games and practices on time, or to alert your Head Coach if you are going to be late.
**2 missed practices in a week requires that the player will not play in the 1st half of the game.**

(d) Report all problems to your coaches immediately. It is your responsibility - not your parents - to keep your uniform and equipment clean and in good repair. Football uniforms must be clean before every game.


(1) First Offense: Head Coach will take the player aside and speak with them privately about their behavior and consequences. At the end of practice, the Head Coach and the Assistant Coach will verbally notify the parents of the player involved in the offense. The offense will be documented by the Head Coach. 
(2) Second Offense: Head Coach and Vice President will meet with the parents and the player privately, documenting the incident in writing. The offense will be reported to the FCYF Board of Directors in writing. The player will be suspended for one game.
(3) Third Offense: Head Coach and Vice President will meet with the parents and the player privately, documenting the offense. The offense will be brought before the Executive Board of Directors. The player and parents will be invited to attend the meeting to discuss the offense(s). The Executive Board of Directors will decide if the player is dropped from the roster, attendance 
of the player and parents is not required to render this decision.

(1) First Offense: Suspension of 1 game and the rest of that practice week.
(2) Second Offense: Termination from the League

Franklin County youth football Executive Board has established a NO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR IMPROPER ADULT BEHAVIOR. Each adult will be required to sign a Parent/Participant Contract. Violation of the Parent/Participant contract will result in the following:
(1) First Offense: A verbal warning will be given to the parent(s) from the FCYF President or Vice President.
(2) Second Offense: A written warning will be given to the parent(s) from the FCYF Executive Board of Directors.
(3) Third Offense: Written notification from the FCYF Board of Directors will direct the parent that he/she will not be permitted to attend practices, games or any function of FCYF for the remainder of the current season.

If you have a question or an insight to share, you should begin with the Head coach. The parent will keep the Head Coach informed of any player’s medical issues. All complaints require written documentation which will include: details of the complaint, at least one proposed solution to the complaint, the complainant’s role in complaint resolution, and contact information of the complainant. Complaints may be addressed verbally at the discretion of the President.

Please remember if you have a complaint, you must be part of the solution.

Practice begins on a date established by the SAFL, generally the first week of August, and continues until end of October. Practice time run between 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM Monday thru Friday for approximately 2 week, then practice schedule changes to Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Times will change once it is too dark to practice. Times will be 5:00 PM to 7:00 pm or as directed by the Head Coach. FCYF will practice in the rain. If there is a sign of lightning practice will be cancelled and/or dismissed. 

Attendance at all practices and games is mandatory. The only excused absences are:

(1) Medical/Injury (with doctors note excused absences can be extended)
(2) Players ineligible for practices, due to injury, will not be allowed to participate in any manner within FCYF until a doctor's note is presented to Head Coach giving that individual clearance to return at full capacity.
(3) Academic (with proof of field trip or other school activity)
(4) Religious (worship or education)
(5) Family emergency (with note excused absences can be extended)
(6) Another activity in which he/she has been involved for several weeks and in playoff/championship (such as baseball All-Star)
(7) Planned family vacation (please schedule time around the players football obligation).

If you cannot attend practice or a game, you must notify the Head Coach directly, in advance. If you do not show up and do not notify your coach, it will be counted as an unexcused absence.

**Remember – miss 2 practices and the player will not be able to play in the first half of the game**
**Unexcused practices will result in loss of game time**


Seniors: IAW SAFL By-Laws: For 7th and 8th graders, these teams play in the Senior Division. The player may not turn 15 years of age on or before Aug 1st of the current football season.

Juniors: IAW SAFL By-Laws: For 5th and 6th graders, these teams play in the Junior Division. The player must be 10 years of age, or turn 10 years of age, during the player registration period, and cannot turn 13 years of age on or before December 31st of
the current football season.

PeeWee: IAW SAFL By-Laws: For 3rd and 4th graders, these teams play in the Peewee Division. The player must be 8 years of age, or turn 8 years of age, by September 1st and cannot turn 11 years of age on or before December 31st of the current football season.

SAFL Eligibility:
Must be a resident of the town, city or territory on whose team they play:

Weight limit for skilled positions:

PeeWee: Any player weighing more than 80.0 pounds at the SAFL official weigh-in (player may have in-season weight of 82 pounds) shall be deemed an overweight player. This means that the player must play on the interior line from tackle to tackle.

Juniors: Any player weighing more than 115.0 pounds at the SAFL official weigh-in (player may have in-season weight of 120 pounds) shall be deemed an overweight player. This means that the player must play on the interior line from tackle to tackle.

Seniors: Any player weighing more than 135.0 pounds at the SAFL official weigh-in (player may have in-season weight of 140pounds) shall be deemed an overweight player. This means that the player must play on the interior line from tackle to tackle. All players will be weighed at an official SAFL weigh in prior to the first game. Players are to be weighed only once, at the official weigh in. All players are to be weighed in a t-shirt, shorts, socks and sneakers, IAW SAFL By-Laws. Any player exceeding the skilled
position weight will be deemed an “overweight player” and be limited to playing positions of down linemen on either offense or defense. The official weigh in will be in August. The date, time and place will be announced.

Playing time:
Each player should receive a fair and equal amount of playing time IAW SAFL By-Laws. Unequal playing time may occur when a player chooses not to participate when asked by the coaching staff or when safety dictates.
FCYF endorses the concept of maximum athlete participation at all levels of play in the league. Each player should receive a fair and equal amount of playing time. The player participation practices of each team will be monitored by the league. 
All PeeWee Players shall play at least one quarter per game. 
All teams in the Senior and Junior division will be allowed to play only four (4) 2-way players at any time during the game. Teams less than 21 players on their roster must start 80% of their roster.
The following shall be the Minimum Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) for all Senior and Junior divisions: 16-25 Players (12 Plays), 26-30 Players (10 Plays) and 31-35 Players (8 Plays). 
1. The plays must be from the line of scrimmage.
2. Kickoffs, extra points, QB intentionally spiking the ball, QB taking a knee to run the clock down and free kicks shall not be used in fulfilling the MPR requirement.
3. A play shall not count toward fulfillment of the MPR if the play results in a penalty which causes the down to be replayed.
4. All players shall be provided their mandatory plays by participation in “active” plays, without the intent to minimize the action or integrity of the plays. Plays such as, but not limited to, having the center snap the ball to the quarterback, and then the quarterback fall to the ground, while substitutes are playing the other positions, shall NOT be considered as active plays.
5. All players shall receive 25% of their mandatory plays each quarter. 

**Appropriate action will be taken if the MPR is not followed**

**If a player misses 2 practices in a week, they will not be permitted to play in the first half of the game.**
**Team Captains: Cannot be a first year player (no 1st year Juniors or 1st year Seniors). Team Captions cannot be a multi-team player, due to they cannot do a full practice.**

As a player, you are sometimes given hand outs at practice. It is your responsibility to bring them home to your parents, and make sure your parents read them. If there is an announcement at practice, make sure your parents get the information.

Your child’s safety is our highest priority. The following measures will be followed at all times:
Food and Water: Players are responsible for bringing adequate-size water jugs to each practice and game. Coaches will supply water for on-field use only on game days. Coaches, board members, parents will make sure that trash is not left behind. Water breaks will be taken as needed.

Conditioning: Conditioning exercises will be a part of each practice to ensure the player is able to keep up with the rigors of this sport.

Equipment: Helmets are evaluated by an outside vendor to ensure quality and safety. The Equipment Manager prior to the start of the season inspects all other equipment.

Certifications: All coaches are certified as with USA Football as well as Cori checked.

Injuries: Medical personnel will manage all injuries during games. The coach will manage injuries during practice. Players with injuries to the head neck or back will not be moved and an ambulance will be summoned to the field. Players with injuries who state they are unable to continue to practice will be taken to the sidelines and parents will be summoned. A first aid/CPR certified individual will available during all practices and games.

You are to wear a complete league approved uniform for games. Current year game jersey or game pants are not to be worn during practices. One mouth guard will be provided by FCYF. If the player needs additional mouth guards during the course of the season, it is the parent’s responsibility to provide them. A protective cup is required for all practices and games. If the player does not have a cup he/she will not be able to participate. Players are responsible for their personal equipment. Keep track of it. Do not sit on the helmet at any time. The coaches are not there to pick up after you and your parents. The cost of
maintaining and replacing worn football equipment is the largest expenses for FCYF. The player is responsible for the equipment issued to him/her. All FCYF equipment must be returned promptly at the end of the season,(generally the following Saturday between 9:00 am and noon after the last game). Treat the equipment in a responsible manner. Equipment maintained properly and in good condition is critical for your safety. 
**We request that all equipment is returned CLEAN**

Equipment list supplied by FCYF:
(a) Helmet and chinstrap supplied by FCYF to be returned at the end of the season.(If player prefers a hard chin strap then it is the parents responsibility to buy)
(b) Shoulder pads and hip, thigh, knee and tailbone pads supplied by FCYF to be returned at the end of the season.
(c) Game and Practice pants supplied by FCYF to be returned at the end of the season.
(d) Game Jersey supplied by FCYF to be returned at the end of the season.
(e) Game socks supplied by FCYF - player keeps at the end of the season.
(f) One Mouth guard supplied by FCYF - player keeps at the end of the season

Player’s responsibility:
(a) Football shoes, molded, non-metal and non removable cleats not to exceed ¾ inch
(b) Athletic supporter and cup
(c) Arm and hand pads (optional)
(d) Rib pads (optional).
(e) Water for practice-a one gallon jug with spigot on lid is recommended
(f) Practice jersey (NO big oversized T-shirts. Any questions please ask your coach)
A parent signature is required for all players to receive his/her equipment at the designated equipment handout event.

It is the player’s responsibility to maintain the equipment in good condition throughout the season; any problems see his/her equipment coach. At the end of the season, or if a player separates from the team, it is the player and his/her parent’s responsibility to return the equipment: helmet and chin strap, shoulder pads, clean game jersey, practice & game pants. 

Parents meeting:
Prior to the start of each season, a MANDATORY parents meeting will be held. All players’ parent(s) of new and returning players are required to attend. It will be held at the Beacon field. It is imperative that all parents attend. The meeting is your chance to hear from the Head Coach and get vital information concerning conduct, the FCYF program, and schedule.

A player will not be permitted to play or attend practice without written permission and a waiver of injury signed by the parent(s) and/or legal guardian.
The following is required for all players:
(a) Birth certificate: a copy will be required for all new players at registration; this will be retained by the SAFL. Bring a copy to registration. 

(b) FCYF Registration Form and FCYF Parent/Participant Contract completed at registration.

(c) SAFL registration form: to be completed at registration.

(d) Waiver form: must be completed at registration; this is required for 2nd graders (who must turn 8 years old by Aug 31st of the current year) and any player that does not reside in our area. (Waivers have to be filled out yearly)

(e) Fee: Set yearly by the FCYF Board of Directors. Check (made out to FCYF)

As with all volunteer organization, there is always much work to be done. A parent will be required to volunteer 2 hrs during the course of the season.

(a) Chain Gang: each game requires 3 volunteers to operate the chain gang; the chain gang works with the referees to keep the down marker and ten-yard chains on the side line. This is honestly the best seat in the house. If FCYF has no volunteers for the chain gang, the game will be forfeited.
(b) Concession Stand: each game requires a set up crew and break down crew, plus 5 volunteers
for each game to work the concession stand.

(c) Announcing Booth: each home game requires a volunteer to play a recording of the National Anthem, and announce the teams. The volunteer would also help track the game scores.

(d) Raffle Calendar: Players are expected to sell as many raffle calendars as possible. Calendars are distributed in early August and money and stubs are due back prior to the first game.

(e) FCYF Fundraising Events: Throughout the year FCYF will host fundraising events to keep improving our program.

2016 Executive Board and Board of Directors 
President-* Debbie Urgiel
Vice-President-* Jennifer Coffin
Secretary- *Jess White
Registrar-* Becky Guyer
Football Director –  Keith Guyer
Cheer Director-Kelly Burgh
Fundraiser Coordinator- Jess White
Volunteer Coordinator- Jonnie Arabia 
CMT Coordinator – Cassie Damkoehler
Player Safety Coach (non-voting)- Jon Coffin
Member at Large (non-voting) – Katie Kelly
Member at Large (non-voting) – Cassie Arsenault

Head Coaches:
PeeWee Head Coach – Matt Russell
Junior Head Coach – Carlos Anadon
Senior Head Coach – Rich Burgh

( * denotes Executive Board Members)

Thank you for taking the time to inform yourself about Franklin County Youth football, FCYF Board of Directors