Clarkston Football Association
2018 PARENT HANDBOOK
Clarkston Football Association
2018 PARENT HANDBOOK
Traditions Are Built Here!
Clarkston Football Association
PO Box 367
Clarkston, MI 48347
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Northern Youth Football League
PLAYER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Football Age Restrictions
Football Weight Restrictions
Cheerleading Age Restrictions
REGISTRATION, FEES & OTHER COSTS
Pre-Registration (returning players only!)
Open / New Player Registration
Bounced Check Fee
CHIEFS PROVIDED EQUIPMENT
Equipment Loss/Damage Replacement Fee
Care of Uniforms
Football Equipment Pickup
PLAYER PROVIDED ITEMS
Football Player Provided Items List
Cheerleading Provided Items List
PRACTICES & SCHEDULE
Early Summer Skill-Camps
Summer Practice Schedule
Regular Season Practice Schedule
CODE OF CONDUCT
Parent Code of Conduct
Parental Concerns & Problem-Solving Protocol
Player Code of Conduct
Football Individual Awards
Cheer Individual Awards
IRON-MAN & IRON-CHIC AWARD
SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD
SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS
Basic Outdoor Safety Rules for Severe Weather
Appendix A - Contact Information
Clarkston Chiefs Official Website
NYFL Official Website
NOTICE: INFORMATION SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Although we strive to provide the best and most up-to-date information in this handbook, the information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
Development of our youth sport activities of football, cheerleading and mascots to help improve the physical, mental, and moral well being of our youth participants while developing a sense of fair play and good sportsmanship, while never compromising the welfare and safety of our athletes.
Put Kids First!
Place the emotional and physical well being of players above any personal desire to win.
Treat each player as an individual and provide a safe playing environment.
Lead by example in demonstrating fair play and good sportsmanship.
Use coaching techniques that are appropriate for the player’s age and skills being taught.
A SUCCESSFUL SEASON
A successful Clarkston Chiefs season
is one where our kids have fun,
improve their skills,
become better people, and
want to play again next year.
Welcome to the Clarkston Football Association, also known as the Clarkston Chiefs. The association was formed in 1970 by local youth football enthusiasts. Our primary focus is on developing a competitive spirit to succeed with fun for all participants, while never compromising the welfare and safety of our children. We have been serving the youth of our community for 46 years and are a not-for-profit organization. We hope your family finds participation in the Clarkston Chiefs to be enjoyable, rewarding and exciting.
As with any organization, there are rules and policies that must be adhered to in order to maintain a safe environment for all participants and ensure efficient functioning of our activities. This handbook provides information about our mission, requirements, rules and policies that govern participation in the Clarkston Football Association. Please read this handbook carefully and feel free to contact any Board Officer (see Appendix ‘A’) or your child’s team Head Coach or team Directors with any questions. Throughout this handbook, the word “player” is used to represent a football, cheerleader or Mascots participant. Remember that we are a youth sports organization and the games are for the kids, not the adults.
The Northern Youth Football League (“NYFL”) began in 2005 and was formed for “The Kids” to promote youth football, cheerleading and mascots. The NYFL currently has 7 independent franchises of which the Clarkston Chiefs is on of those franchises. The other NYFL franchises are: Brandon Junior Blackhawks, Lake Orion Dragons, Lapeer Steelers, Oxford Jr. Wildcats, Rochester Ravens and Waterford Corsairs. The NYFL is a not-for-profit organization and is managed by the NYFL franchises. Additional NYFL information is available on their website at www.nyfl.net.
The Clarkston Football Association is certified by the Michigan Corporation and Securities Commission as a Not-for-Profit Corporation, governed by our Bylaws, and managed by the volunteer CFA Board Members and Executive Board Members that oversee the operations of the organization. This dedicated group of volunteers helps ensure the success of the organization and a great experience for the players. Please see Appendix ‘A’ for a listing of Board positions and contact information. Our Bylaws are available on our website.
The Clarkston Football Association Board meetings are typically held on the third Tuesday of every month (except December). The Board meetings are open to everyone and parents are encouraged to attend. The Board meetings are usually held at Clintonwood Park in the Carriage House building at 7:00pm. Changes to the Board meeting schedule are posted on our website.
We are a totally volunteer organization with dedicated people working hard to ensure all participants have a fun and fulfilling experience. Most of our volunteers work full-time and have many commitments, but they recognize the benefit of helping to ensure the Clarkston Chiefs continue to support and teach our youths. Your involvement will help your child gain a sense of community, good sportsmanship and satisfaction of accomplishments as a team. Since your child is a participant in the Clarkston Chiefs organization, so are you. Your involvement is very important and enhances your child’s experience. Volunteering is a requirement and is what makes our organization great.
Email is the primary method that we you to communicate information to our participants. If you would like your email addresses added to our distribution list please send your request to Clarkstonchiefs@gmail.com. Also, our website is a great source for the latest information.
The Clarkston Chiefs teams are divided into two divisions, which are Freshman and Junior Varsity. Each division has specific age and weight requirements that are mandated by the NYFL. There are no weight restrictions for the cheerleading divisions.
In order for a player to be eligible to play football in a specific division they must meet the division’s age requirements (See Figure 1). To determine the age eligibility of a player, it is the player’s age as of September 1, 2018. According to NYFL rules, any child that has not had their eighth (8th) birthday on or before September 1, 2018 will not be able to participate in active play without a waiver signed by the child’s parent/legal guardian and such waiver must be approved by the assigned team Head Coach, the CFA and the Northern Youth Football League. A 7 and 12 year old Football Player Waiver is available on our website. Other restriction may apply; see the NYFL football rule book for complete details.
Prior to each game, in order to be eligible to play in the game, football players will be weighed and must not exceed their division’s weight requirements (see Figure 1). Any player who doesn’t make weight may continue to practice and weigh in at each game until they weigh the maximum or less for their division. Once the football player makes weight, the player must not exceed the maximum for the remainder of the season. A player’s weight may be challenged by the opposing team prior to the start of any game during the regular season or playoffs. Weights are actual body weight, without wearing football equipment.
Figure 1 – Football Age & Weight Chart
Weight Variance with Equipment
8 to 9
Up to two X-Men allowed
10 to 11
12 years old
Up to two X-Men allowed
145(12 yr old)
In order for a player to be eligible to participate in cheerleading in a specific division they must meet the division’s age requirements (See Figure 2). To determine the age eligibility of a player, it is the player’s age as of September 1, 2018.
Figure 2 – Cheerleading & Mascot Age Chart
6 to 7
5 year old would need to be evaluated
8 to 9
Junior Varsity Cheerleading
10 to 11
Each eligible player must provide a copy of their original birth certificate during registration. For security, please black out the social security numbers. This copy will be kept on file by the Clarkston Chiefs for future age verification. Birth certificates are provided and inspected by opposing teams prior to each game.
Each player must have proof of a current physical, from a medical doctor, in order to participate. You must obtain a physical from your own physician. The proof of physical form must be submitted at registration day. If we do not have a physical form on file by the start of summer practice your child cannot participate in any Clarkston Chiefs activity. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS! The physical form cannot be returned as the Clarkston Chiefs must maintain it in the team records for the duration of the season.
Sometimes it is necessary for injured players to seek medical assistance. When this happens, the player will be ineligible to practice or participate in any games until they obtain a medial release from a physician. The release must specify the date the player is allowed to return to practice. Players WILL NOT be allowed to practice or participate in any game until the release is provided to the players Head Director so it can be kept on file with the player’s records. Also, if your player is sick, for the protection of the team, please do not send them to practice.
The Clarkston Chiefs has a formal registration process for both returning players as well as for new players desiring to join our premier youth football league.
The Clarkston Chiefs have a simplified registration fee structure (see Figure 3). The registration fee covers equipment, field rental, stadium costs, and other miscellaneous operating expenses (each jersey is customized with the player’s last name). All fees must be paid before any equipment is issued or before a player can participate in any Clarkston Chiefs activity. Registration fees constitute a payment for participation. Participation guidelines are set by the NYFL, the Clarkston Chiefs Organization with special dispensation provided to coaches as communicated prior to the season as approved by the board.
Figure 3 – Registration Fee Chart
First child registration
Each additional sibling playing football/ cheer
*Includes one pair of game socks
A pre-registration package for returning players is available on our website. All pre-registration forms and payment will be done ONLINE!! All returning players that pre-register will guarantee a spot on a team as long as it is done in the time frame provided.
Available openings for new participants will be determined after the number of returning players is determined. All new participants will be given priority on a first-come-first-served basis. New players must submit their registration forms, birth certificate and payment at registration day. If there are more new players than open positions, they will be added to our waiting list on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Registration day for the 2018 Clarkston Chiefs season will be March 21st at Clintonwood Carriage House. Registration for NEW players begins at 5:30 pm and be sure to bring a copy of the players birth certificate and physical examination to registration as we will not be able to make copies at registration see birth certificate and physical examination information above for additional important registration day information. As new player registration will be managed by a lottery system, there is no reason to arrive significantly early to reserve a place in line.
There is a $27 non-sufficient funds fee for all returned checks.
Upon payment of the registration fee $170 is non-refundable for football players and $150 is non-refundable for cheerleaders. The balance of the registration fee is refundable until August 8, 2018 after which time the balance of the registration fee is non-refundable.
All requests for refunds must be made in writing utilizing our Refund Request Form available on our website (see Forms & Documents web page). Verbal and/or email refund requests will not be accepted. The postmark date of the refund request will determine if the refund will be issued. Refunds are typically issued within 30 days after receipt of the Refund Request Form. No refund will be issued until all equipment provided to the player has been returned to the Clarkston Chiefs. The Refund Request Form must be addressed to:
Clarkston Chiefs – Refund
PO Box 367
Clarkston, MI 48347
During the course of the season, there are other additional incidental costs (some optional) to participants for various items. The following are estimated costs with an approximate date when the cost could be incurred.
CHIEFS PROVIDED EQUIPMENT
The Clarkston Chiefs will issue each player their basic equipment (see Figure 4). Player must wear the Chiefs provided game uniform. Each registered player will be notified prior to the start of the practice season of where and when to pick-up their equipment. Each player is responsible for the care and return of all Clarkston Chiefs equipment issued to them. At the end of the season each player will be notified as to when and where to return their equipment.
It is the responsibility of each player to return the Clarkston Chiefs equipment that has been issued to them, in good condition except normal wear and tear. For any equipment that is not returned, is returned in poor condition, or is lost, the player will be assessed an Equipment Loss/Damage Replacement Fee according to the fee schedule below.
Figure 4 – Clarkston Chiefs Provided Equipment and Loss/Damage Fee Chart
Football Player Equipment
Knee Pads (Qty 2)
Thigh Pads (Qty 2)
Hip Pads (Qty 2)
Tail Bone Pad
Unauthorized alterations to any Clarkston Chiefs provided equipment is strictly prohibited and may result in the player not being able to participate.
It is important that all players take good care of their equipment. Football game uniforms MUST be clean for each game. DO NOT USE BLEACH! All possible care should be taken to prevent the colors from bleeding. We suggest soaking for a period before washing in lukewarm water with mild detergent, NOT a strong detergent. Helmet, chin strap, ear pads, shoulder pads and girdle pads should all be wiped down with a mild cleaner. Pads should never be submerged in water. Cheerleader uniforms are to be washed in cold water and hung-up to dry. At the end of the season, all equipment provided to the players must be cleaned and returned in good condition.
Football equipment pickup is typically scheduled in July. Each division (JV, and Freshman) and color will have a scheduled date and location to pickup equipment. It is the player/parents responsibility to pickup their equipment. Information on equipment pickup will be posted on our website and provided at the first skills camp.
There are a few personal items (see lists below) that are the responsibility of each player to provide for themselves. These items are not included in the registration fee and are the responsibility of each player’s parents to purchase. Some items may be purchased from your coaching staff in order to maintain uniformity.
The following is the list of personal items that are the responsibility of each football player to provide for themselves:
The following is a list personal items that are the responsibility of each cheerleader to provide for themselves:
As a franchise of the Northern Youth Football League, the Clarkston Chiefs follows the practice schedule guidelines established by the NYFL. Our coaching staff adheres to the schedule, unless the Head Coach elects to shorten their teams practice. Under no circumstances are teams or Head coaches allowed to lengthen practices beyond the league prescribed practice guidelines. Remember, the blue football pants are for games only and must not be worn to practice.
It is important to realize there is a big difference between backyard football and playing in a competitive tackle football league. In order to assure that your child will be in a position to safely participate, it is imperative that they attend all practices. Please understand the time commitments that are required to be made to this program do not allow your child to also participate in another competitive sport program. Additionally, when planning your vacations, please be aware of practice start dates as it is very difficult for the player to make up what they miss during the practices.
It is very important in any team sports for players to be at all practices for their team to be successful. Players must advise their teams Head Director, prior to practice, of any absences due to illness or other personal activity. Typically, if a player misses two or more practices in one week they will be ineligible to play in that week’s game. Head Coaches have discretion to make exceptions.
The Clarkston Chiefs offer skill-camps in early summer, which is included in your registration fee. Attendance at these skill-camps is very important as it provides an excellent opportunity for new players to begin to learn some of the fundamentals and returning players enhance existing skills and learn new skills. It also allows players to meet their teammates and become acclimated with our practices. We have one skills camp/draft on June 11th and optional camps in July (dates TBD). Each skills camp is approximately 3 hours in Duration. Further details about skill camps dates, location and times will be provided at registration and on our website.
Our summer practice schedule starts the week of July 30, 2018 until our first game in early August. All teams practice every Monday through Friday for (2) hours each day (typical 5:30pm to 7:30pm). After our first game, our practice schedule will change to Tuesday through Friday for three (2) hours each day (typically 5:30pm to 7:30pm).
Note: Parents of new freshman players are required to remain at practice for the first two (2) weeks.
Our regular season practice schedule begins the week school starts. The practices will typically be Tuesday through Friday for two (2) hours each day (typically 5:30pm to 7:30pm). We will never meet more than 5 times a week including game day.
Our summer practices and regular season practice are typically held on the practice fields behind Pine Knob Elementary School on Sashabaw Road north of Maybe Road. It is the parent’s responsibility to get their player(s) to and from practice. Detailed information about the summer practice and regular season practice dates, location and times will be provided at registration. Occasionally it may be necessary for us to change a practice location or possibly a practice date/time. If there is a change to the practice schedule you will be notified by your teams Head Director. We will do our best to provide as much advanced notice of a schedule change. In the event of bad weather, parents must promptly pick-up their player(s). In case of lightening, please pick-up your player(s) immediately. PLEASE BE ON-TIME TO PICK UP YOUR PLAYER FROM PRACTICE.
No player will be allowed to walk/bike ride to and from our practices. If a player lives within walking/bike riding distance from our practice location (typically Pine Knob Elementary School) and desires to walk/bike ride to and from practice, their parent or legal guardian must sign a walking/riding waiver form and return it to the players Head Director. A walking waiver form is available on our website or the teams Head Director.
Returning players that are returning at the same division level (i.e. Freshman or JV) may elect to return to their team or elect to re-enter the draft. New players are assigned a team through a draft process. Team assignments are typically announced after the first skills camp. Siblings are taken into account during team assignment.
Games begin in late August, continue through the end of October and are played on either Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Home games are played at the Clarkston High School football stadium or Clarkston Junior High School football stadium. A complete schedule is posted on our website when it is finalized. There are no practices or games Labor Day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday).
Our football teams are the equivalent of other traveling sport teams in that while there is a minimum play requirement, playing time is earned based on performance. The object is to ensure every player has an opportunity to play and field a winning football team.
The official type of football sanctioned by the NYFL is a Wilson/Baden brand made of either leather or composite leather. See figure 7 for the size of official footballs for each division is:
Figure 5 - Official Football Brand/Size
Wilson/Baden Brand Football
Youth size K-2
The focus of the Clarkston Football Association is to provide a safe, fun, learning environment for the youth of our community. We strive to create an opportunity for kids to work together as a team toward common goals. We emphasize sportsmanship, teamwork and respect. Establishing proper ethics is essential for the success of our program; therefore the Clarkston Football Association has developed code of conduct rules pertaining to all participants.
Parents are vital to the development of young athletes. Whether sitting in the stands or helping out as a volunteer, parents must set a positive example. Parents and adults involved in youth sports should be models of good sportsmanship and lead by example on and off the field. Please remember we are an all volunteer organization. The following is the parent conduct guidelines:
It is the expectation of the CFA that all concerns are handled in a professional, respectful and caring manner on the part of parents. In the event you have questions or concerns regarding playing time or practice issues, it is the requirement of the CFA that the parents address the concerns, after a 24 hour cooling off period, with your child’s head coach and/or head director. This cooling off period will allow for a clearer evaluation and discussion of your questions or concerns. If a parent feels their questions or concerns have not been adequately addressed they may submit the issue/grievance, in writing (dated and signed), to the CFA President for consideration by the CFA Executive Board. Any problems and/or concerns involving the health and/or safety of any athlete should be brought to the attention of the CFA President IMMEDIATELY!
The focus of the Clarkston Football Association (“CFA”) is to provide a safe, fun, learning environment for our athletes. We strive to create an opportunity for athletes to work together towards a common goal. We emphasize sportsmanship, teamwork and respect. Establishing proper ethics is essential for the success of our program; therefore the CFA has developed code of conduct rules pertaining to all participants. The following is the code of conduct and problem-solving protocol that all players must abide by:
Player Problem-Solving Protocol
It is the expectation of the CFA that all concerns are handled in a professional, respectful and caring manner on the part of players. In the event you have questions or concerns regarding playing time or practice issues, we would like players to first discuss them with their head coach or head director. You should discuss all concerns, issues, or problems with your parents who will work with CFA representatives to help you. Any problems and/or concerns involving the health and/or safety of any athlete should be brought to the attention of your parents and the CFA IMMEDIATELY!
It is required that all Chief families write a $150 deposit check the first day of practice. This check is to ensure each family fulfills their volunteer obligations. If these obligations are not met, your $150 check will not be returned and becomes the property of the Clarkston Chiefs. Please see the volunteer form(located in the registration forms) to learn the General and Game Day opportunities that are required to make our program a success. You must fulfill 6 or 8 volunteer obligations per team (will be confirmed after registration) with at least 3 being from Game Day opportunities. Checks will be returned at the end of the season to families who met their volunteer obligations upon return of football and cheer equipment.
A formal ceremony is held at the conclusion of the season to celebrate the achievements of each team and the players. Information about the awards ceremony will be distributed through your teams Head Director. The Iron-Man Award, Iron-Woman Award and Scholar Athlete Award recipients will be recognized as well as the recipients of the following individual awards by team (if the team Head Coach chooses to recognize individual awards).
All players are eligible to earn either the Iron-Man or Iron-Woman Award. Each year we have a significant number of players that earn these awards. This award is to honor those players who have truly attended AND PARTICIPATED at every summer practice, regular season practice, and game. Similar to the ‘perfect attendance’ at school, there will be no exceptions for illness, family emergencies, school activities or any other activity (except sixth grade camp). If your child is too ill to truly participate in practice or a game, please do not bring them to the practice field or game. Just showing up to a practice or game and being too ill to participate does not qualify the player for the Iron-Man or Iron-Woman award. Just showing up to a practice or game and being too ill to participate does not qualify the player for the Iron-Man or Iron-Woman award. Remember, this is a participation award not just an attendance award. Each team’s Directors will maintain the records for this award. The head coach will make the final decision on all awards. The award recipients will be recognized at the end of the season Awards Banquet.
Returning players are eligible to participate in the Clarkston Chiefs Scholar Athlete program. Applications will be available in early October. Scholar Athlete Award recipients will be recognized at the end of the season Awards Banquet. In order to be eligible, players must:
Severe weather can and does strike at a moment’s notice. Tornadoes, high winds, electrical storms and other dangerous weather conditions are fast moving, can be wide-ranging and possibly life threatening. Severe weather conditions must be taken seriously.
The Clarkston Chiefs strongly encourages parents, coaches, and players to familiarize themselves with the following information. Knowing the danger signs of severe weather and knowing how to react to it can and does save lives.
Whenever lightning is sighted, ALL Clarkston Chief activities must be suspended immediately. All participants must take appropriate cover inside a building or vehicle whenever possible. Activities will only resume when lightning has left the area. If lightning has not ceased within fifteen (15) minutes, all games/activities will be called off.
VP of Operations
Clarkston Chiefs have a team web-site that is updated on a regular basis. This site is a great communication tool and source of information. Examples of areas on the site include: practice schedules, game schedules, NYFL updates, team rosters, board updates and other key information. Our team website address is:
The Northern Youth Football League (NYFL) has a very informative website that can be referenced for league rules, league teams, league results, league calendar and other information. The NYFL website address is: