League Age & Weight Limits
Junior Varsity 7-9 year old maximum weight is 130 lbs
Players must be 7 years old by 8/25/2018 and can not be 10 years old before July 1, 2018
Varsity 10-12 years old maximum weight is 165 lbs
Players can not be 12 years old before July 1, 2018
 
2018 Parent Handbook

2018 HNMFL

Parents' Handbook

hnmfl.org

HNMFL Parents Handbook - 2018

INTRODUCTION

On behalf of our sponsors, coaches, board members and volunteers, I extend a warm welcome to you and your player for the 2018 Halifax-Northampton Midget Football League (HNMFL) season. We are excited to be celebrating ANOTHER year of serving young football players.

Our mission is to enable participants (ages 7-12) the opportunity to benefit from participation in team sports and activities (football) in a safe and structured environment. We are proud that many alumni of our program continue to play football at the high school and college level as well as our coaches who played in the league.

Our league consists of 15 plus teams of 40 players maximum each for a total of 400 plus participants. The 2018 season will be played over several weeks from September 4 thru October. Teams will play regular season games followed by playoff games. The final games are tentatively scheduled at the highest seed team field. Also we are planning to have an All-star

The league is divided into two divisions Thunder and Lightning. Most games will be played within the division during the six regular season games. After the regular season, playoff positions will be determined by each team's standing within their conference. Our website contains additional schedule information hnmfl.org

As you read through this handbook, we hope that you will find useful information about our program. The handbook provides information on league organization, your options if you encounter any problems, as well as a code of conduct for parents and children. The information presented is strictly a guide and can be changed or discontinued at any time by the Executive board without notice. This handbook is posted on our website.

Finally, please be sure to thank the team sponsors as well as the many volunteers that donate countless hours to ensure your child has a great football experience. Without them, the Halifax-Northampton Midget Football League would not be the highest successful and respected program that it is. We hope that you and your player enjoy this season!

Sincerely,

Darryl Whittle,

President

Halifax-Northampton Midget Football League

HNMFL MISSION STATEMENT

Halifax-Northampton Midget Football League (HNMFL) is an organization operated by dedicated volunteers whose mission is to enable participants (ages 7-12) the opportunity to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment. Through this active participation, HNMFL programs teach fundamental values, skills and knowledge that children will use throughout their lives. We are dedicated to sportsmanship, teamwork and fair play.

WHAT PARENTS/GUARDIANS CAN EXPECT FROM HNMFL

  • Parents can expect the HNMFL to provide opportunities for children to be instructed in football by highly motivated and knowledgeable volunteers.
  • Parents can expect their children to actively participate in all practices.
  • HNMFL teams will provide practice fields. Although our goal is to have your team's practice field as near to your home as possible, teams are limited by available facility locations. Also, please be aware that some teams may have to change practice locations during the course of the season due to scheduling conflicts or field conditions. Often, these changes are beyond the team's control.
  • Regular season games are played at the HOME FIELDS of each team as scheduled.
  • The playoff games of the season will be played at the home of the highest seed team.
  • HNMFL league will provide licensed referees certified in High School football. Please remember that they are human, and therefore occasionally may make an officiating error; it is part of the game. Game results are NEVER reversed because of a perceived officiating error.
  • HNMFL teams are responsible for most of the equipment that each player requires: The team will issue each player a helmet, shoulder pads, practice pants, game pants, pants pads, girdle pads and game jersey. Parents are responsible for practice jerseys, mouth guards, jockey "hard" cups, socks and cleats. At the conclusion of the year, all of the team's equipment items are to be returned in good condition at a time and location announced by the team.
  • Parents or legal guardians have the right to remove their child from participation at any time.
  • Parents should expect the highest standards of conduct from all HNMFL football coaches, league officials and adult volunteers. HNMFL policy forbids ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES OR ILLEGAL DRUG use at all games, scrimmages and practices. No foul or obscene language; physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or bullying by other players will be tolerated.
  • HNMFL coaches will treat each player, parents/guardians and fans with respect at all times. In return, please show consideration for all personnel connected with the league at all times. ANY PHYSICAL, VERBAL OR PERSONAL ABUSE TOWARD AN OFFICIAL OR VOLUNTEER BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER A GAME WILL BRING IMMEDIATE REMOVAL FROM THE LEAGUE OF THE VIOLATING PLAYERS OR PARENT/GUARDIAN. THIS IS A ZERO TOLERANCE RULE.
  • HNMFL does NOT carry medical insurance for players. This is the responsibility of each participant's parent/guardian to include ambulance or emergency medical treatment.
  • The HNMFL COACHES have 1st aid training and will provide limited medical treatment for minor injuries.
  • Refer to the HNMFL's website for updated information:

www.hnmfl.org

WHAT PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD KNOW

  • HNMFL has a "No Refund" policy after the second practice. Refunds will be available before the second practice, less $20 for administrative costs. This means, no refunds for any reason, to include injury, sickness, medical excuse, moving out of town, desire to play a different sport, school issues, fighting, not liking the coach or teammates, practice field is too far away, etc.
  • HNMFL teams expects full payment with registration. The registration and sponsors' monetary support enables the teams to pay for uniforms, equipment, insurance, expenses related to practice and game fields, officiating and other expenses associated with team operation.
  • Parents/Guardians of all football players must complete a HNMFL wavier before participating in HNMFL events.
  • Parents are required to provide a copy of a player's birth certificate. Once this is collected, this information is reviewed by the league for verification of eligibility of the player.
  • HNMFL teams will issue most football equipment and uniforms. Parents are required to return the equipment and uniform at the end of the season on the designated dates announced by the team. Failure to return the borrowed equipment will result in the Team charging the responsible parent/guardian $400 (cost of the equipment) and any collection costs (including attorney fees, if required).
  • HNMFL expects each parent to abide by the same code of conduct required of the volunteers working with your children. This includes NO ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, INCLUDING ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES NOR ILLEGAL DRUG USE at HNMFL games, scrimmages or practices. No obscene language and no physical, emotional or other abuse toward any player, parent/guardian, fan or other league volunteers will be tolerated. Like coaches, parents/guardians should be role models for every child on their football team. Please remember to praise your child and members of all teams for their hard work and accomplishments.
  • HNMFL expects all fans to control their emotions at games. Officials are human and fans may not always agree with their decisions. Keep in mind, that parent's/guardians' behavior sends a message to children. There are lessons to be taught in victories, as well as defeats. At the end of the game, talk to your children. Share your feelings in a positive way.
  • Treat all coaches with respect and dignity. They are unpaid volunteers who contribute their time and talents for the benefit of your children. You may not always agree with a coach's decision, however, he/she has the final say on their football team.
  • The most successful teams are not necessarily determined by their won-loss record or ability, but by the level of support that parents/guardians/family members/friends provide them and their coaches. Please volunteer your time and talents when requested. Coaches unanimously agree that support, encouragement and time are the most valuable commodities that parents and guardians can provide. A unified football team with support, loyalty and encouragement is a winner. This shows children the value of teamwork and good sportsmanship.
  • During games, only players, coaches and league officials may be on teams the sidelines.

WHAT PARENTS/GUARDIANS SHOULD KNOW (continued)

  • Coaches have the right to REMOVE any parent, player, volunteer, fan or spectator from any HNMFL event (including practice), who is creating a disturbance, not abiding by the code of conduct, or creating an unhealthy environment for children, without a refund, pending review by the League's 'Executive Committee'.
  • HNMFL has observed that some parents have a tendency to re-live their youth through their children. Please remember that your children do not think like adults. Football may not be easy for them. Don't expect them to play at the high school level; they must be allowed to learn and develop at their own rate.
  • You are not paying for the right to choose a position for your child; otherwise we would have 40 quarterbacks on a team. The coaches will decide positions.
  • HNMFL does not guarantee equal playing time, the league would like to see all kids play as much as possible but it must be realized that some individuals will play more than others due to individual reasons. Coaches have the final say in playing time matters.
  • If you believe that you are being treated unfairly, please talk to your coach first. If that fails to satisfactorily address your issues, you may contact the league president and/or submit a grievance and the League's 'Executive Committee' will review and follow up with its answer after investigation is complete. Please remember that HNMFL grievance decisions are FINAL. Involving the 'Executive Committee' may cause a coach, parent/guardian and/or the player to be dismissed from the league without refund of deposit. It is always best to try to settle issues with coaches. Any parent/guardian that does not follow this procedure will be in jeopardy of losing their child's privilege to participate in the League.
  • Bottom line. Parents/guardians have the responsibility to inspect their child's equipment for serviceability and safety. Feel free to ask the coaches for assistance if needed.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for inspecting their player's football equipment prior to practices or games. All players must have all their protective equipment in order to practice or play in games. Ensure all equipment is present and serviceable; e.g., helmet screws are present and tight; shoulder pad straps have buckles; all pads are in place in the pants, jockey "hard" cup and mouth piece are present and serviceable. If your child is not properly equipped for football, they will be declared ineligible to participate. Ask coaches for help.
  • It's the team coaches, parent's/guardians' responsibility to inspect practice/game fields and any other HNMFL event for safety. If you feel something is unsafe, remove your child from that event.
  • HNMFL expects parents/guardians to get their child to practice and games on time. A coach may exercise his discretion to not allow a child to play in a game if he misses too much practice. Additionally, the coach may discipline a player by not allowing him to play in the game if the player is not following the team rules or directions of the coach.
  • If a team has ineligible players, or cheating occurs of any kind, the team will be investigated and, if needed, suspended. Ineligible players will be removed from the team and, if necessary, at the discretion of the HNMFL, games may be forfeited and an entire team may be disqualified from postseason play. Reporting ineligible players is everyone's responsibility. Parents and coaches should work together to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times.

QUITTING POLICY

  • Tackle football is not like soccer, basketball, baseball or softball. These sports are contact sports, whereas football is a collision sport. During every play in football, each player has the potential to collide with an opponent. It is part of the game.
  • Full contact football may be a new experience to some kids each year while some may have played for a couple of seasons. Nevertheless, some kids have a tough time dealing with collision sports at this age and we should accept this. Some players that drop out at this age eventually return to football at a later age when they are ready to accept the physical aspects and other demands of the sport.
  • If your child does not want to continue to play football at this age, please accept their decision and allow them to walk away with dignity and an understanding that this type of sport may not be for them at this time.
  • Individuals who DO NOT wish to continue playing football in the HNMFL need to contact their head coach immediately to return their equipment.
  • NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED AFTER THE SECOND PRACTICE.
  • Failure to return all HNMFL Team Equipment will result in a $400 fine plus collection fees.

PLAYER REPLACEMENT POLICY

The HNMFL will allow individuals to play in the first game of the season as long as they have attended and participated in at least two weeks of practice. If a player joins a team a week before the first game, they would not be eligible to play in the first game of the season. NO NEW PLAYERS WILL BE ALLOWED AFTER THE JAMBOREE.

GUIDELINES FOR A SUCCESSFUL SEASON

One of the most important tasks that parents/guardians face is preparing children for life. Sports help children learn to overcome fears and failures, function in a team environment, to try new things and to learn to deal with success, as well as failure. Sometimes, coaches and parents/guardians wrongfully view sports with a "winning at all costs" attitude. Although we should teach and expect children to be competitive and to develop a "play to win" philosophy, we must also teach them appropriate behavior when we lose. Adults teach appropriate behavior by setting a good example through actions and words. Winning a game is not everything; losing can teach children to adapt, modify behavior and to persevere. The challenge of parents and coaches, as role models, is to teach through our own actions, appropriate social skills and behaviors. Working together, we can ensure that each player learns the value of good sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is always a hallmark of our league.

Do...

  • Place an emphasis on participation, effort and good attitude, not winning.
  • Always encourage good sportsmanship.
  • Teach your child that doing their best as a player is as equally as important as winning.
  • Teach children to play by the rules.
  • Support your child with your presence, positive cheering and support at practice and games.
  • Comment on their good effort. Always be encouraging.
  • Show self-control and enjoyment while your child is playing or practicing.
  • Give positive reinforcement to your players and the other team's players.
  • Applaud ALL good plays and efforts for BOTH teams.
  • If your child makes a mistake that you wish to discuss, first point out the good things they have done before discussing mistakes. Consider doing this away from the other players.
  • Treat all players, coaches and officials as you would like to be treated.
  • Cheer along with the cheerleaders.
  • Leave coaching to the coaches.
  • Practice and play with your child. Every child wants their parents to be interested in what they are doing. GET INVOLVED. Ask your coach how you can help your team.

Do Not...

  • Force a child to play football or participate if they don't want to play.
  • Yell at your child for making mistakes on the field, even professionals make mistakes.
  • Criticize a teammate, opposing player, coach or official when discussing a practice or game with your child.
  • Make exaggerated facial expressions or hand signals to your child while they are playing.
  • Yell negative comments at opposing teams.
  • Put all the emphasis on winning.
  • Question, confront or yell at a coach, official or another parent about the game at the game field. Please wait at least 24 hours before visiting with him or her if it's still an issue.

PARENTAL GUIDELINES TO ATHLETIC SUPPORT

  • Academics should always come first. Help your child manage their time so that their grades are acceptable to you.

  • Promote a good lifestyle (work ethic, diet, sleep, no alcohol, drugs or tobacco) for your child.

  • Set the example for good sportsmanship.

  • Encourage all players on both teams; dwell on positive contributions, don't criticize.

  • Support the style of play of your team. You are not going to change it by your comments; you will only leave the players doubting the coaches. Don't try to do the coach's job. If you want to volunteer to coach, please contact HNMFL officials.

  • Do not compare other teammates to your child. This is not fair to anyone involved. Everyone has different talents and abilities and contributes to the team in different ways.

  • Allow your child to make mistakes and learn, find solutions to their problems, and fight their own battles. This is what they will have to do for themselves in life.

  • Encourage your child to talk to the coach privately first; being able to speak for yourself is a very valuable life skill to learn.

  • Do not talk to a coach about a problem until 24 hours after an event, unless it's positive. Please do not discuss playing time; this is the coach's decision.

  • Football is a game. Smile, enjoy the efforts on the field, and have fun. If you do, the chances are much greater that your child will also have fun!

  • TRUST the coaches and the league to do what is right for the athletes and the program. We are all on the same side, creating an atmosphere of fun while learning football, participating in a team sport and improving skills. If you don't have sufficient trust in the League, you should consider involving your child in a situation where trust exists.