2020 Football Committee: The Chatham Football Club is dedicated to serving the youth of Chatham in the sport of football. The members of this committee have volunteered to improve our program and enhance your child’s football experience. Their many years with the Chatham Youth Football Program are an asset to you, your children. Members include the Head Coach for each grade level, former head and assistant coaches, the head of the Cheerleading program, reps from the Recreation Advisory Committee, the Suburban Football League Rep for Chatham Football, the Recreation & Deputy Rec. Directors and a Flag Football coordinator (TBA).
Committee Members: Tom Aloia, Henry Ashton, John Agnew, Steve Coffey, Brian Cook, Gino Pascarella, Scott Tornberg, Megan Lamm, Teresa Sachs, Lou Astolfi and High School Coach Dan Czepiga
Safely teach the fundamentals of tackle football in an atmosphere that promotes the concepts of teamwork, dedication, commitment, and fair play. The goal at each level is to have 100% of the boys continue to play at the next level.
Grade Level Objectives:
Teach the basic football fundamentals of stance, blocking, tackling, running, throwing, and catching. Formations and plays should be simple and limited as the majority of the practice time should be allocated to learning proper technique, not more plays and formations. Mismatches are to be avoided during all contact drills. Playing time on Sunday should be as equal as possible based on practice attendance.
6th: (introduce punting and extra point kicking)
Majority of practice time should still be focused on fundamentals avoiding mismatches during all contact drills. Formations and plays should remain simple and limited as it is much better to run 4 or 5 plays to each side well than 20 plays poorly. Playing time will be fair but not necessarily equal and will based on preparedness (practice attendance, effort, and knowing assignments).
7th: (Teams get bigger, faster, and more aggressive with live punting and PAT’s)
More advanced techniques, formations, and plays are introduced. Imperative to avoid mismatches during contact drills and have “quick whistles” when scrimmaging.
All boys who attend practice will get into Sunday’s game. Playing time will be based on preparedness and the ability to safely execute the assignments. As the opponents get bigger and more aggressive, the risk of injury increases and players who cannot safely execute pose an injury risk to themselves and their teammates on the field who are dependent upon them. We can avoid mismatches in practice but not in games.
8th: It is imperative to avoid mismatches (no waivers at this level) and high speed collisions during contact drills and use “quick whistles” during scrimmaging. To keep practice injuries to a minimum and the boys ready for Sunday’s game; overall weekly amount of contact should be monitored closely. Since the boys are bigger, faster, and more aggressive, the impact force when blocking and tackling is much greater than it was in 7th grade. Practice drills need to focus more on technique.
All boys who practice will get into Sunday’s game and the playing time will be based on the ability to safely execute the assignments. The ability to execute assignments is directly related to the relative size, speed, and aggressiveness of the opponents. In general, game playing time increases for our smaller, less aggressive players when playing smaller, less aggressive teams.
New Jersey Suburban Youth Football League:
Our Chatham Youth Football teams participate in the Suburban Youth Football League playing against surrounding communities. Travel to away games is required.
For (NJSYFL) information please go to the League website at: www.njsyfl.com. You can view information about:
Schedules (these are subject to change with the final coming from Chatham Recreation.
Coaches are approved by the football committee with input from the recreation department.
Previous playing and coaching experience are necessary.
Coaches must attend 5 hours of approved coaching clinics per year in order to be eligible to coach.
Coaches must be Rutgers’s certified and in good standing with Chatham Recreation.
Coaches will be fingerprint background checked and CPR/Defib trained along.
Anyone not designated a coach (by the Rec. Dept.) will not be permitted on the field during practice or at games. No exceptions!!!
Volunteer coaches are dedicated to our mission statement and the goals and objectives for their grade level.
Each coach has your son(s) best interest and safety in mind.
All participants must register through the Chatham Football Club website, if they are not registered they are not permitted on the field or sideline.
Code of Conduct: As per our registration requirement, parents & coaches are required to adhere to such policy - this policy is part of your registration. Please review it - see the back of this handbook.
Practice starts the week of August 18th.
Commitment by all players and parents is required.
Players who miss these beginning sessions will have to catch up. Depending on how much they have missed will determine their ability to play in the first game(s) regardless if they played before or their skill level.
Tackle football is a unique sport - we want the players to enjoy what they are learning. They then have to execute that knowledge on the field, against other teams, which is why practice is critical. While we don't mean for this to sound harsh, safety is our ultimate concern. The players need to be prepared both for themselves and also for their teammates they are playing with or protecting on the field. See Grade Level Objectives!!!
Football is a TEAM sport - each player is needed to do their share together both at practice and at the games. This is not an individual activity!
First league game is Sunday, September 9th There will be a league scrimmage prior to.
Practice schedule (once school begins) will be: Tues/Thurs at 6pm and Saturday morning.
When the full schedule is developed, some of the days could be subject to change based on a school conflict, a field situation or the weather. Players need to be flexible.
Before first game – as per the league a team can only practice 36 hours.
After first game – as per the league only a maximum 6 hours per week.
League games are normally on Sundays. With larger teams we will do some Saturdays later in day. There are some teams that may have lights and will want to do a game on a Saturday night.
Players must drink water before practice and make sure they bring it to practice. Put their name on the container.
If your son is not at a Saturday practice – please contact the coach to find out last minute info or directions to away games.
Families need to arrange your own transportation and car pools. Coaches will be asked not to take other players to games, home, etc.
Players & coaches are responsible to clean up the field after each practice and game. Parents are asked to please clean up the bleachers/sitting area.
General questions or concerns should be directed to the head coaches. Consult with the head coach ONLY!
If unresolved or of a serious nature refer to policy below.
An individual who has a serious or unresolved complaint or concern regarding a volunteer or aspect of the program must notify the grievance committee. See contact info on website.
All questions or concerns should be directed to only the head coach.
24 Hour Rule: If you have a concern please speak to the head coach directly. Contact the coach 24 hours after incident/concern.
Do not approach any coach on the field during or directly after a practice or game.
A phone call is the best procedure 24 hrs later – cooler heads do prevail.
If of a serious nature, please contact grievance committee (see website for contact info).
Coaches should report prior to their start time. Do not drop a child off if the coach is not present.
If for some reason a coach is late or doesn’t show up, another father, brother, etc. cannot step in to run the practice. Only the coaches assigned by the Recreation Dept. will be permitted to take the field and coach a practice.
Don’t send players too early.
Park in designated parking spots.
There will be an area by the Lum gate with bleachers where we ask parents/siblings to stay and watch all practices and games held at Lum.
Only players and coaches are to be on the turf field. Spectators should all remain between the fence bordering the turf and the fence/bleacher area bordering the parking lot. Spectators should also not be on the sides or far end of the field.
Pick up on time. Weeknight lights go off at 8pm sharp.
LIGHTS at Lum field – leave them be – don’t adjust them, move them, etc.
There will be up to eight league games. There will be league playoffs for Grade 5 and above.
Home league games are normally at Cougar Field.
Other games may be held at Lum.
League schedules are determined by NJSYFL. HOME GAMES on Sunday start at 10:30am. Any potential Saturday games are normally later in the day.
Code of Conduct: The Chatham Recreation Code of Conduct is on Community Pass as well as the Chatham Recreation website and at the back of this book. We also abide by our Suburban Youth Football Rules.
On game days and for practice parents, siblings, etc will not be permitted on the game field or sidelines.
The Chatham Recreation Code of Conduct can be found on the website and is part of the registration process.
CHATHAM RECREATION CODE OF CONDUCT - Interscholastic and youth sports programs play an important role in promoting the physical, social and emotional development of children. It is therefore essential for parents, coaches and officials to encourage youth athletes to embrace the values of good sportsmanship. Moreover, adults involved in youth sports events should be models of good sportsmanship and should lead by example by demonstrating fairness, respect and self-control.
I (as the registrant for my family) therefore pledge that my family and I are responsible for our words and actions while attending, coaching, officiating or participating in a youth sports event and shall conform our behavior to the following code of conduct:
1. We will not engage in unsportsmanlike conduct with any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
2. We will not encourage any other person to engage in unsportsmanlike conduct with any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
3. We will not engage in any behavior which would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
4. We will not encourage any other person to engage in any behavior which would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
5. We will not use drugs or alcohol while at a sports event and will not attend, coach, officiate or participate in a youth sports event while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
6. We will not encourage any other person to use drugs or alcohol at a youth sports event and will not encourage any other person to attend, coach, officiate or participate in a youth sports event while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
7. We will not engage in the use of profanity.
8. We will not encourage any other person to engage in the use of profanity.
9. We will treat any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee with respect regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or ability.
10. We will encourage others to treat any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee with respect regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or ability.
11. We will not engage in verbal or physical threats or abuse aimed at any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
12. We will not encourage any other person to engage in verbal or physical threats or abuse aimed at any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
13. We will not initiate a fight or scuffle with any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
14. We will not encourage any other person to initiate a fight or scuffle with any coach, parent, player, participant, official or any other attendee.
I hereby agree that if I am volunteering as a COACH or ASSISTANT COACH,
1. I will avoid situations where I am alone with a child.
2. I will strive to use positive reinforcement rather than criticism.
3. I will not smoke or use tobacco products in the presence of children.
4. I will cooperate fully in any investigation of abuse of children.
5. I will not strike, spank, or slap any children.
6. I will not touch a child in a sexual or otherwise inappropriate manner.
I hereby agree that if my family or I fail(s) to conform our conduct to the foregoing while attending, coaching, officiating or participating in a youth sports event we will be subject to disciplinary action issued by The Baseball Club of Chatham, N.J., Inc., including but not limited to the following in any order or combination:
1. Verbal warning.
2. Written warning.
3. Suspension or immediate ejection from a youth sports event.
4. Suspension from multiple youth sports events.
5. Season suspension or multiple season suspension.
NO REGISTRATION WILL BE PROCESSED WITHOUT THIS FORM BEING CHECKED OFF BY THE PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN OF A PARTICIPANT
Weight Limits and Waivers:
2014 - Players can not be a running back or handle the ball if they are over 100 pounds on the 5th grade “D” team, 115 pounds in the 6th grade “C” Team, 130 pounds on the 7th grade “B” Team and 160 pounds on the 8th grade “A” Team.
Weight limits and waivers are determined by league vote. Coaches will place a stripe on a waivers helmet for identification.
If your child is hurt or becomes sick at practice or a game, please have them inform a coach immediately. A parent will be contacted.
If there is any concern about the injury or illness, the emergency squad will be called.
If you will not be home and you have someone else taking responsibility for your child – make sure you let the coach know.
We ask parents not to call other parents regarding injuries or illnesses – let the coach handle it for the correct info and to the correct responsible party
Coaches will not take the player home nor will they allow another parent to take them home. That will be your responsibility if you are called. If it’s warranted, the squad will be called.
If your child is hurt at practice or a game – an injury report MUST be completed by the coach within 24hrs of the incident or injury. Severity of injury does not matter. Injury/incident reports are required.
If he has a cast, he will not play until it is removed and a doctor’s note determines the player is well enough to resume practice. Dr. notes are to go directly to Chatham Recreation and not the coach. Injured players can not practice.
If your son is injured or not feeling well but it’s anticipated that he will return to the team, if he is ok we would like him to attend practice to watch & listen.
If after a game there is some medical issue with your son, please contact the team’s Head Coach and Chatham Recreation immediately at: chathamrecreation.org
Injuries & Return to Play:
If your child is hurt at practice or a game a doctor’s note is required for him to return. The note is to be submitted directly to Chatham Recreation PRIOR to a practice or game. Chatham Recreation will then notify the coach of potential return to play. Notes will NOT be accepted at the field or by the coach.
Phone calls to the coach or Recreation for return permission will not be accepted.
If he has a cast, he will not play until it is removed and a doctor’s note determines the player is well enough to resume practice. Injured players can not practice.
In order to help protect the student athletes of New Jersey, the NJSIAA has mandated that all athletes, parents/guardians and coaches follow the NJSIAA Concussion Policy.
A concussion is a brain injury and all brain injuries are serious. They are caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or by a blow to another part of the body with the force transmitted to the head. They can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. Even though most concussions are mild, all concussions are potentially serious and may result in complications including prolonged brain damage and death if not recognized and managed properly. In other words, even a "ding" or a bump on the head can be serious. You can't see a concussion and most sports concussions occur without loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of concussion may show up right after the injury or can take hours or days to fully appear.
If your child/player reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms or signs of concussion yourself, seek medical attention right away. Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
3. Balance problems or dizziness.
4. Double vision or changes in vision.
5. Sensitivity to light or sound/noise.
6. Feeling of sluggishness or fogginess.
7. Difficulty with concentration, short-term memory, and/or confusion.
8. Irritability or agitation.
9. Depression or anxiety.
10. Sleep disturbance.
Signs observed by teammates, parents and coaches include:
1. Appears dazed, stunned, or disoriented.
2. Forgets plays or demonstrates short-term memory difficulties (e.g. is unsure of the game, score, or opponent)
3. Exhibits difficulties with balance or coordination.
4. Answers questions slowly or inaccurately.
5. Loses consciousness.
6. Demonstrates behavior or personality changes.
7. Is unable to recall events prior to or after the hit.
What can happen if my child/player keeps on playing with a concussion or returns too soon?
Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a
period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even to severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is
well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often under report symptoms of injuries. And concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students
is the key for student-athlete's safety.
If you think your child/player has suffered a concussion........
Any athlete even suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from the game or practice immediately. No athlete may return to activity after an apparent head injury or concussion, regardless of how mild it seems or how quickly symptoms clear. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours.
An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time and may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a medical doctor or doctor of Osteopathy, trained in the evaluation and management of concussion and
received written clearance to return to play from that health care provider.
You should also inform you child's Coach, Athletic Trainer (ATC), and/or Athletic Director, if you think that your child/player may have a concussion. And when it doubt, the athlete sits out.
If a player has concussion type symptoms he is to be removed immediately from practice or game. The player is then NOT permitted to return to participate or play for that day. No exceptions!!!!
Coaches must complete an incident report regarding the injury to keep on file. The report is to be submitted to the Recreation Office within 24hrs.
The player MUST then be examined by family physician or neurologist prior to the next practice or game.
A doctor’s note is required for him to return. The note is to be submitted directly to Chatham Recreation PRIOR to a practice or game. NO Note = NO Play!!!
*Note should include type of injury, length of time away from field, date of return to participation and how much & type of participation. Limited contact, no contact etc.
Chatham Recreation will then notify the coach of the potential return to play. Notes will NOT be accepted at the field or by the coach.
Phone calls to the coach or Recreation for return permission will not be accepted.
Baseline Testing – Annual Testing and REQUEST
Chatham Recreation and the Chatham Youth Football program encourages all participants to have a baseline head testing completed. Please refer to our website chathamrecreation.org - go to the sidebar for Training/Certification for the ImPACT Test information and link. This annual test is in the best interest of your child and is free!! Information is also inserted at the end of this handbook.
All players should be tested prior to the first practice.
At Lum Turf and Cougar Field.
Coaches will be CPR/Defib trained.
Uniforms and Equipment:
Game Jersey: Navy and White
Practice Jersey: White
Players that played last year have the option of ordering a new jersey if theirs does not fit.
If you will be using a shirt from last year - TAKE IT OUT NOW AND MAKE SURE IT FITS.
If you played last year and ordered a new shirt – you will get the number from last year.
Parents are to supply white practice pants, navy game pants (for games), a girdle to hold his pads and a mouthpiece. Coaches will discuss the mouthpiece with the families.
Chatham Football Club will supply your son with a helmet, shoulder pads, a navy belt, hip, thigh, knee pads and tail piece, You MUST buy your own mouthpiece. ALL players are required to wear a protective cup in their girdle for practices & games.
Only equipment issued by Chatham Football Club can be used for practices and games.
HAIRCUTS are suggested prior to helmet fitting.
Your son’s are responsible for making sure they have all their items for their practices and games. Get them a bag to keep their things together.
Parents & players are responsible for all equipment. Any item lost, damaged and/or not returned will require a monetary replacement fee to be charged.
Helmets and Shoulder Pads:
On the helmets – Inform your son he is not to put stickers, names, etc. on his helmet and he is not to trade helmets or facemasks with another player.
Only football fitters should be adjusting helmet inflation and fit - proper fit is important along with not rupturing the helmet bladder with incorrect inflation tools.
The only one that will be permitted to change a facemask will be a coach. Players need to understand helmets are fit to their head and another child’s may not be safe for them to play.
Put a piece of tape with their name inside the helmet and the shoulder pads.
After equipment is issued, new parents will be required to come to a practice so parents can see how they go on.
Players should practice putting their items on.
Coaches will tell them to tape on the hooks for the shoulder pads so they stay.
Don’t unsnap the helmet ear pads or they will be lost.
If the boys aren’t equipped with their full uniform, mouthpiece, etc. at practices or games they are not permitted to participate.
Schedule for Equipment Handout at Lum Storage Room:
Sunday, Aug 17th - Grades 5-8.
Players will be assigned a time slot to come in for equipment.
Requests for earlier times will not be honored.
Players that are away will get their equipment a night when they return after practice.
Communication with the youth football program are done via-email.
Football emails are not to be used for any purposes other than the Chatham Football Club communications.
If the weather turns bad after practice begins, head back to field to see if they will cancel early. Emails will be used and we will also try to get it on website depending on timing.
Rain on the artificial turf does not cause an issue – thunder and lightening does!
Volunteers are critical for field/chain markers at home games, running the clock for home games, field set-up and take-down, publicity, fundraising, water, laminating the player cards, team dinners, etc.
Field chain markers - Handle the chain/yardage markers for your grade level home game.
Clock - Run the clock for your grade level home game.
Field setup/Takedown - First grade level home game sets up side markers and gets chains set for the game. The last grade level game puts away the chains and field markers.
Publicity - Takes game photos to submit to paper with a brief write-up. A limited number of parent photographers are issued a league photo pass.
Fundraising - Assist committee with any ordering and/or distribution of items.
Water - Fill and bring to each game a water jug (supplied) and a rack of filled water bottles for the players.
Laminating cards - Get team rosters with player names and numbers from recreation and have them laminated by grade. These are distributed to families for the games.
Team Dinner Chairman - Organize your grade level end of season dinner at the High School. All grade level chairmen work together on this so all follow the same pattern. Gr 8 takes the lead.
Team dinners are held at the HS.
Awards are given only at the 8th grade.
Trophies/plaques for the B-D teams are only given if a team won division/league championship.
Certificates/pictures are distributed to the younger grade levels.
Key to it all is communication.
Best wishes for a safe & successful football season!!!!