August Practice RuleUpdated Thursday March 10, 2016 by Erica Kaswell.
FOOTBALL PRACTICE IN AUGUST
We are very excited that your son/daughter is interested in our Natick Youth Football program. Unlike many other sporting activities, our youth football program follows a very specific schedule to comply with the Baystate Conference and American Youth Football rules and regulations. All players are required to fulfill 10 hours of practice before they are issued equipment and pads. This is for safety reasons. Once equipment and pads have been issued, an additional 5 hours of practice is required before a player may play in a game. It is for these reasons that the month of August is so critical for practice hours in order to enable all players to be ready when games begin the first week in September (occasionally, last weekend in August). Safety is our primary concern but additionally, the league requires that each player and team be certified. This process is done through paperwork that all players (parents) are required to submit. Team books are assembled and submitted to the league during the month of August. The date is TBD and changes from year to year. A picture of the player in their issued football jersey is also required for player certification. We have an outside company come to the field to take these pictures, usually in the second week of practice as that is when players have completed their required 10 hours and have been issued their equipment and uniform. Unfortunately, if all paperwork has not been received along with the photo of the child, that player cannot be added to a team roster. Without being on a team roster, the player does not get certified and cannot participate in the program.
Natick Youth Football does its best to accommodate if we know that a specific player is going to be absent due to camp or vacation. With that said, we only have some flexibility and highly encourage that players are able to participate as much as possible during the month of August. If your child misses the first 10 hours of practice and does not receive equipment when most other players do, they will be restricted as to what they are able to do once they do start. They will not be able to participate in any contact so will be playing catch-up while putting in their hours.
When making your decision, please take into consideration the challenges mentioned. However, it is not our intent to discourage your child from participating. Kindly let us know if your child will be absent at any time during the month of August and what the dates would be. Parents will need to make arrangements with their child's potential coach to work around this. Please keep in mind, we would still need all paperwork, payment and would need to arrange for a photo to be taken of your child, prior to his/her absence. If your child will be starting the program by the second week of August, we will be able to get their photo at the regular scheduled time. If your child will be attending the first week but missing a different week (especially the 2nd week), we would need to make special arrangements for equipment and photo.
Please remember, once our books are submitted for certification, without all required paperwork and photo, your child cannot be certified and therefore cannot participate.
Thank you for your interest in Natick Youth Football and we hope to see your son/daughter out on the football field!
NYFC Board of Directors