Frequently Asked Questions...
1. Is RYFC part of another League or does it operate on its own?
RYFC is part of the Northern Connecticut Football League (NCFL). In addition to RYFC, towns such as the Colchester Cougars, the Tolland Eagles, the Ellington Roadrunners, the Stafford Bulldogs, and the Coventry Panthers are also in the NCFL. New to NCFL this year is the Wethersfield Eagles who will replace the departing Tri-Town Lions. There is also a Southern Conference division of the NCFL. The final championship game of the season pits the Northern Conference playoff winner against the Southern Conference playoff winner.
The NCFL operates in accordance with a set of bylaws under which RYFC also operates. In addition to NCFL bylaws, RYFC employs and operates under its own set of bylaws. The NCFL Bylaws govern all towns in the NCFL, although individual towns will impose their own bylaws which are necessary for running the particulars of their own organization within the NCFL. Most Registration Forms and Coaching Application Forms are all NCFL-required forms and come from the NCFL, although there are a few RYFC-specific forms involving family participation in the program and the operation of our Cheerleading Program. RYFC (as well as all other NCFL-member towns) has two members of its Board of Directors who are representatives to the NCFL Board of Directors. All towns who participate in the NCFL league have two representatives to the NCFL Board of Directors.
For the NCFL Home Page & Bylaws (click on the NCFL Tab above).
2. Where must I live to be able to participate on RHAM Youth Football and Cheerleading?
You must live in either Hebron, Andover, Marlborough, Columbia, Coventry, Lebanon, Bolton or Glastonbury.
3. What level of parental participation is expected of RYFC Parents?
RYFC parents are expected to participate in fund raising and committees that help fund and maintain the operation of the RHAM Youth Football and Cheerleading program. At registration parents must sign up for TWO parent duties and one committee. Board members and head coaches are exempt. Assistant Coaches is two game day duties. While parents do have an option to buy out of their obligations, RYFC encourages parents to strongly consider participating as all moneys RYFC receives, helps to pay for equipment and other league needs.
4. What other types of events does RYFC sponsor?
RYFC sponsors several enjoyable events in which parents, players and cheerleaders can participate. The Friday before the first home game, RYFC sponsors a Pep Rally for all squads and families. In addition, RYFC also offers discounted tickets to certain UCONN football games. Finally, at the end of the season, the RYFC Board hosts an Awards Ceremony where all players are recognized for all their hard work over the season. Please check RYFC's Events Calendar for the most up-to-date information.
1. What equipment is provided?
RYFC provides almost everything to play or cheer. For football players the league provides mesh practice jerseys, pads, helmets, guardians, and game jersies. For cheerleaders, a unifit, shell, skirt, coordinated ribbons, and socks will be provided.
2. What equipment do I have to provide?
All football players must provide a mouth guard (the tether variety is suggested), cleats, black integrated pants (integrated pants can be purchased at any sporting goods store - Dick's Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, etc.).and an athletic cup and supporter. With regards to mouthguards, if you find a brand you like it is often wise to purchase several mouthguards because players tend to go through quite a few of these in a season. In addition, if you wear braces, please check with your orthodontist for his/her recommendations-- although please choose an option with a tether strap! Cheerleaders must purchase white cheer sneakers (either split-soled or regular), and black briefs for under the skirt.
3. When will we get equipment?
Equipment is typically distributed in mid-late July, just before the start of practice. Please check our Events Page for the exact date and location (usually GHS Practice Field).
4. My helmet hurts-- can I get a different one?
Let's face it-- helmets can sometimes be uncomfortable, especially if you have never worn one before. This is especially true the first week you wear it. Helmets must fit tight enough to ensure a snug and correct fit. In fact, the first week of practice all players will wear NO pads, but they WILL wear their helmet, just to break it in and to get used to it. Just as a reminder, when you put it on, be sure to pull it all the way down hard. If, after a good try with it you are still uncomfortable, please see your coach for further adjustments.
5. What kind of cleat do I need?
No metal cleats are allowed. It is suggested players purchase football molded cleats that are designed for football.
6. How do I take care of my equipment?
Practice Jerseys and pants: Wash in warm water unless exceptionally dirty. In this case use hot water and spot clean soiled areas before laundering. Do not bleach. Air dry or use low heat in the dryer.
Game Jersey and pants: Wash in cool water with like colors. Pre-treat stains if necessary. Do not bleach. Air Dry. It is suggested jerseys be washed inside out unless exceptionally dirty. Do not wear game jerseys to practice or to play in. Game jerseys may, however, be worn on Fridays to promote Sunday games.
Shoulder pads: Wipe off with a clean, damp cloth. Allow to air-dry.
Helmet: Hand wash off dirt and clean interior with a clean, damp cloth. Allow to air-dry.
7. What happens if I forget some part of my equipment?
RYFC does not lend out equipment if it is forgotten for either games or practice sessions. A parent must either borrow missing equipment from a friend who is not using it or must go home to retrieve the missing item. On most occassions (but not all, depending on availability) a parent can purchase a mouth guard from the GHS Snack Shack. At home games mouthguards are sometimes available at the Apparel Table. Mouthguards may not be available for purchase at away games. Unfortunately, in a game or practice situation, if any equipment is missing and cannot be retrieved in time, the child will not be able to participate.
1. Do I have to try out for football or cheer?
No. As long as your registration is complete and paid and you are not on a waiting list, you will be placed on a team.
2. Can I request to be placed on a team with a friend?
Boys and girls are placed on cheer or football teams based on age--and with football, weight. If your friend meets the same age (and weight) criteria you do, you will probably be on the same team; provided, of course, that your friend has completed his/her registration and is not on a waiting list.
3. How old do I have to be to be on a certain squad?
Your league age is determined by how old you are on July 1 of the current season.
4. Can I request a specific Coach?
5. How are the coaches picked?
Applicants for head coaching positions are solicited by the Cheer and Football Coach Coordinators and, once all applicants complete a written application, applicants are recommended to the RYFC Board of Directors. Assistant Coaches are also solicited by the Cheer and Football Coach Coordinators and, once they complete the assistant coach application, they are recommended to the RYFC Board of Directors. At separate board meetings, the RYFC Board of Directors vote on applicants for Head Coach positions and for Assistant Coach positions. All Board Meetings are open to to attendance by RYFC Parents, although the actual voting on head and assistant coaching positions fall to RYFC Board Members alone. According to NCFL Rules, only seven football coaches (head coach plus assistants) are allowed on the sidelines during games. At the head coach's option, however, additional assistant coaches may help on a team but they will not be allowed on the sidelines. All coaches and assistants must submit to a background check and other requirements stated on the RYFC Head Coach and Assistant Coach application.
If anyone is interested in applying for an open head or assistant coach position, please contact the RYFC President. (Board of Directors)
Head and Assistant Coach Applications can be found under the "Coaches" menu tab
6. What are the maximum number of players on a team?
In Football, the maximum number of players is 35 unless the number of returning players exceeds 35. If, with returning players, the team is over 35 players, the total number of returning players on the team shall not exceed 40 players. Once a football team reaches 35 participants and once the teams enter the second week of practice, no further players will be taken from the waiting list. In Cheerleading, the maximum number of cheerleaders on a cheer squad is 30.
1. When is the first day of practice?
The first day of practice is the first week in August. The actual date changes from year to year, so please check our Events Calendar.
2. How many practices are there per week?
During the month of August, Football players practice every day from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. During August, Cheerleaders practice three days per week from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Once school starts, Football Practices drop back to three days per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and Cheer Practices range from two to three days per week depending on the squad. Practice times for both squads also changes to 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
3. How long are practices?
Practices for all squads are two hours long.
4. Where are practices held?
Before school starts all practices for all squads are held at the GHS Practice Field. Once the season starts, some football teams may have Friday practice at Burnt Hill Park. Your coach will notify you if this is the case. Once the weather gets colder, cheerleaders begin practice at indoor venues. Your cheer coach will notify you when these will begin and where they will be.
5. Do parents have to stay for practice?
No. Parents must have their child at practice at least 5 minutes before their scheduled practice time. In addition, please arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the end of practice to pick up your child in the event the coach has any information to give to parents. It is unfair to the coaching staff if they must wait with a child when a parent does not arrive on time to pick up their child(ren). Do not leave siblings at the field unattended. Coaches are responsible for the supervision of the players and cheerleaders ONLY. You are welcome to stay to watch practice but at certain times during the season (cheer competitions), this policy is changed for Cheerleading Squads. If you stay to watch practice, please supervise siblings and monitor conversations and children playing soas not to interrupt or get in the way of players and cheerleaders.
1. What is the Game Schedule?
The RYFC Game Schedule (home and away) is on our Events Calendar. One-time (for most players) weigh-ins occur on the Saturday before the first game. Players who are at the weight limit at this time, however, will be asked at the opposing coach's discretion, to weigh in prior to the start of every game thereafter until the end of the season. Please check the Events Calendar for full League Weigh-in and its location and times.
Directions to away game fields can be found here (Fields>Directions):
Coaching staff will inform players how early prior to the game players must arrive in order to warm up.
2. How long are games?
NCFL Games are 1 hour and forty-five minutes long (approximately).
3. How many games are there?
All teams will be scheduled for 8 regular season games. A, B and C squad football players and cheerleaders will make the playoffs. D team players do not have a playoff but instead have a one-day Jamboree. Playoffs are single-elimination tournaments. If a team makes it to the championships, the season can last as many as 11 weeks.
4. Is there equal playing time?
Depending on the size of the team, each team has a certain number of minimum plays each player must have. These are carefully monitored by both head and assistant coaches. Not all teams (in fact very few teams) in the NCFL league have minimum plays. For more information on minimum plays based on the team's size, please review RYFC's Bylaws.