Tackle Football FAQ
What is CSA football?
Clarksburg Sports Association’s (CSA) Fall Tackle Football program, run by volunteers, that is designed to enable youngsters to play football in a safe and structured environment while competing in a very competitive league. Emphasis is placed on teaching game fundamentals, safety, teamwork, sportsmanship and having fun.
CSA participates in the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheerleading League (CCYFCL), a highly regarded and well-organized organization (http://www.ccyfcl.org) with play spread over 7 different age groups.
- 5 and 6 year olds (aka 'pitbull')
CSA fields competitive teams in each age group and strives to field multiple teams in each age group, if possible. This allows us to ensure that your child participate at the most appropriate level, based on age, weight and experience/ability as determined by our coaching staff during the initial weeks of practice. CSA anticipates fielding at least 6 to 12 teams total across the age groups and levels of play. We target approximately 20 players per team. It can be a few more or less depending on our registration numbers.
Who can sign up?
Any player, ages 5-14 on or before August 2nd, is eligible to play (14 year olds must meet a league mandated maximum weight requirement).
What does CSA say about concussions?
Many of our coaching volunteers are parents, too. We take this subject seriously because we care about the kids we coach. There has been much said about this topic in the news over the past few years and we agree that many of these stories about past players are sad, to say the least. However, we believe that there is plenty of evidence illustrating that our sport is already doing things to make the game we love a safer one to play for our kids.
As an example, coaches in our league must undergo multiple training classes – INCLUDING concussion training that emphasizes how to recognize the symptoms of this injury AND what protocols to follow if this injury is suspected. In addition, our coaches go through annual NFL ‘HEADS UP’ certification training that teaches a safer and more modern way of taking a ball carrier to the ground that is designed to take the player’s head out of the tackle. In addition, we do our best to limit full contact during practices and we will never risk the overall health of one of our kids if an injury is suspected. We follow a simple rule: “If in doubt, sit them out!”
Lastly, we acknowledge that football is a contact sport. While there are no guarantees against any injury in football, or in other sports like soccer where concussions can occur, we believe that the benefits that a youngster experiences from playing football far outweigh the risks and that TODAY’S youth football is no more dangerous than allowing your child to ride a bike or a skateboard. We are happy to be able to say that we have seen an extremely low number of concussions reported over the past couple of seasons in our league. We encourage you to speak to our commissioner if you have any more questions or concerns.
What is 'pitbull'?
Pitbull is what we call the youngest age group. It is designed for getting the youngest players introduced to the game. Contact is minimal and focus is on instruction of the fundamentals, like taking the proper stance, etc. There is no score kept in the 'games' and the coaching staff remains on the field with the players at all times.
How much does it cost?
The standard registration fee for football varies close to $200 per season. Pitbull is less. However, this fee is subject to change throughout the year, so check our website for further information. Please note that we only accept credit cards for the payment of all registration fees on our website.
A separate $100.00 refundable deposit check may be required on equipment pick-up day for each set of tackle football equipment issued and will be returned at the end of the season when your child’s equipment is returned. This check is not cashed.
What does my registration fee pay for?
The yearly football registration fee goes to providing all of the items needed throughout the season. This includes such items like game uniforms, practice equipment, field rental fees, league administrative fees, referee fees, etc.
What do I have to provide for my child?
Parents will provide their child’s equipment of a more ‘personal’ nature. This includes their helmet, practice pants, cleats, socks, hard cup and mouthpiece.
Additionally, each parent must provide their child’s coach with a valid Maryland Identification Card. This identification card is used to identify each child during season weigh-ins. It is obtained from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and turned in to your coach or team mom by the end of the second week of practice. The card will remain in the coach’s possession until the end of the season. This is a firm requirement for participation and is a rule established by CCYFCL. Your child will not be allowed to participate in league games without it. We highly recommend obtaining this identification card for your child as soon as possible. The instructions on how to obtain a card are located here: (http://www.mva.maryland.gov/drivers/apply/id-card.htm.)
When does practice start? How often will we practice and where?
Practice typically begins the final week of July, in the Clarksburg area. During the summer and until school begins, practices are typically held Monday thru Friday from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. We will also schedule scrimmage games to help prepare for the season and they will be played on Saturdays.
After school begins, practices will be reduced to 3 days per week. Specific practice days will be determined by each team’s coach before the school year begins and may vary depending on field availability.
When is the first game?
CCYFCL releases game schedules in the summer. Regular season games typically begin the weekend prior to the Labor Day holiday and almost always take place on Saturdays. The regular season is typically 10 games long. Playoff and championship games are typically in early November.
Our home fields are located at Ridge Road Recreational Park, just off Rt. 355 about a mile south of Clarksburg High School. Away games will take place in Carroll, Montgomery and Baltimore counties. Directions will be provided for away games.
How can I prepare my child for the first day of practice?
Players should be hydrating their bodies for weeks and spending some time outside in the warmer temperatures leading up to the first practice in July. This helps a child acclimate to seasonal outside temperatures (ie. instead of saying in the air conditioned house all summer) and helps to prevent against cramping or other minor aches and pains caused by the typical exertion and strain that exercise can cause.
CSA does not require any child to “train” prior to the first day of practice. However, any child may implement their own exercise and stretching regimen prior to the season’s start, if they want. We highly recommend physical examinations by a medical doctor prior to start of any exercise regimen.
Additionally, CSA recommends that players attend local football camps sponsored by local high schools during the summer. Such camps include the CSA football camp at Clarksburg High School.
What else can parents do to help to make the season a success?
While the coach’s focus is on the players, we all recognize the importance of parental support to make the season great. Parents can help by:
- Having your son’s MD ID to the head coach or team mom as early as possible.
- Reading the league code of conduct, signing it and returning it to the team mom.
- Make sure your child comes to practice and arrives on time. While up to the coach’s discretion, practice participation is mandatory in order for your child to participate in games.
- Keeping a positive, encouraging attitude for your child. Football is a difficult sport to play. There will be ups and downs that everyone will experience and minor injuries (bruises, scrapes, sprains and other ‘ouches’) WILL happen. A ‘never give up, can-do’ attitude can make all the difference during the ‘tough times’.
- Be sure to volunteer when you can. Non-profit organizations like CSA rely on parent participation as a vital component to its success. There are various areas of volunteering that are always needed; assistant coaching, setting up and breaking down the field (before and after games), holding yard markers and chains during games, working the concession stand etc. are just a few examples. Coaches and team moms will be reaching out to parents during the season to help with important roles such as these.