Rocket Youth Football
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Are requests for specific coaches, teams, practice schedules, or game times accepted?
No, sorry...as much as we like to, we are unable to accept or satisfy any special requests. Thanks for your understanding
Q. What will be my child's team game schedule be this year?
The season consists of 7 games each Saturday beginning the first Saturday after Labor Day, and ending 7 weeks after that date. Your team's opponent, game location, and game time, is scheduled by the league (WMYFB) and is a set schedule for the first four games with the remaining three games based on strength of schedule (or in other words, based on each team's win/loss record for the first 4 games). The first four game schedule will be available prior to the start of the season and the last 3 game schedule will be available prior to the start of Game 5.
Game times can be affected for several different reasons, but as a rule there are no games started prior to 8:00 AM and no games started after 8:00 PM.
Games could be played at one of the Rockford locations, or at one of the other WMYFB League locations (Lowell, East Kentwood, Caledonia, East Grand Rapids, Northview).
Q. How many of my child's games will be played at home in Rockford?
This has been become a popular question...particularly with the additional option that we now have to play at the TED High School stadium.
First, Rockford can typically can host up to 12 games weekly at either the Rockford North Middle School, East Rockford Middle School, or the Rockford High School "TED". If your child's team is not playing at home, he/she will be playing away at one of our other WMYFB fields.
Second, we understand the importance that many of you place on getting the chance to play at home or at the TED. And while every effort is made to get at least one home game for each team, we are in no way implying or guaranteeing home games for any team or any coach, or that each team in our program will play exactly the same number of games at home this year. We don't schedule the games (it's done by the league) and factors like field availability and win/loss record will determine your opponent and game location each week.
If your experience in the program is based on the number of home games your team receives, the opportunity for your team to play at the 'TED', or the number of home games your team gets compared to another Rockford team, you will be disappointed.
You will notice that the Field Directors team will play at home every week. Field Directors spend between 9-14 hours at the fields each Saturday. Field Directors also spend significant hours each week preparing schedules, preparing fields/concessions, and reporting previous weeks results to the league. Rockford Youth Football mandates a Field Director is present at every game to handle weigh in, conflicts, and the daily operation of the field.
Q. Is the Rockford Youth Program affiliated with or run by the Rockford school district?
The program is run with the cooperation of the school district but is is no way affiliated with the school district. The program is a part of the WMYFB (West Michigan Youth Football League) and run solely by volunteers
Q. How are Players Assigned to a Team?
Teams are constructed through an WMYFB controlled draft process. Each coach is able to reserve 5 kids. The 5 reserved kids include his son and any assistant coaches sons. If a head coach has three assistant coaches with kids, the coach only has one open at large pick.
The kids that are not drafted are sorted by Grade, DOB, weight, and playing experience, and then evenly distributed to a team in their age group by the WMYFB. Less than 30% of the players are drafted.
Rockford does not honor special requests for any reason.
Q. What is the Practice Schedule Typically Like?
Each team will have 4 non-contact practices the first week, and 2-3 contact practices each week after that and through the season. Each team's practice schedule and practice location is determined by each team's head coach. Practices locations are generally at the Freshmen Center, East Middle School, North Middle School or any of the Rockford Elementary Schools.
Q. Are there Weight Limits?
The weight restrictions listed below are the maximum weight limit for skilled positions for each division.
|Division||Maximum Weight - Ball Carrier|
|3rd/4th Grade (8-10)||125 lbs|
|5th/6th Grade (10-12)||145 lbs|
Players exceeding the Ball Carrier Weight Maximums - Any player exceeding the Ball Carrier Weight Maximums below will not be allowed to carry the ball. These players are restricted to playing on the offensive or defensive lines and may not play special teams. Any player exceeding the weight limits below may petition for right to move up one division to allow for the player to play a skilled position.
Players exceeding the Maximum Weight for their division will be required to complete a Play Up Request in order to play.
Play Up Requests must be approved by the Field Director and the WMYFB. Play Up Requests are only granted for weight issues, not because you think you son is better than everyone at his/her age group.:
Q. What Equipment is Needed?
Each player must provide his/her own helmet, football pants/pads, shoulder pads, football cleats (metal or screw in cleats are not permitted), and mouthguard. Jerseys are provided by the league but must be returned at season end. For the sake of consistency, please make sure the football pants are black and the helmet white.
Q. Are There Any Rules Concerning Playing Time?
League rules concerning playing time are very clear. The WMYFB rule is "All players shall start on either offense, defense or specialty teams; and thereafter play as equally as possible." In Rockford, we insist that our coaches follow the letter and spirit of the rule. Each Rockford coach is asked to start each child on either offense or defense regardless if he/she plays special teams, with the only extenuating circumstances being injury or a child refusing to play. There are no exceptions. Coaches do have some discretion to try different line-ups during the course of a game but this should not impact your child's playing time.
If you any concerns or questions about your child's playing time, please discuss it immediately with your coach. And if your concerns are not addressed, feel free to contact the Field Director.
Q. What are the rules (if any) concerning Position Assignments?
For a coach, assigning positions is one of the hardest things to do. We all know that each child can't all be a running back or a quarterback. The important thing to remember is that there are a variety of positions and each one is just as important as the next.
Each coach is different and their process will vary, but normally most of the 1st week of practice is spent evaluating each child and trying to match each child to the position that the coach feels is best suited to his skill level and how his or her skill level compares to the rest of the team. You should expect an explanation of your coaches evaluation at the initial parents meeting. As a parent/fan, please be open-minded regarding your coaches recommendation and support your child & coach regardless of what position he plays.