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Oxford CT Youth Football and Cheer

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ:

Who may participate in Oxford Pop Warner?
Any child between the ages of 5 and 14, who lives in Oxford is eligible to participate. (Scholastic requirements apply) Residents of any town where there is NOT a chartered Pop Warner program are also eligible to participate.

Are there tryouts to make a team?
No, there are no tryouts to make a team. All players who register are placed on teams. Placement is age based. 

Can girls participate in football and boys in cheerleading?
Yes, girls and boys can participate in cheerleading, football or flag football.

How do I register?

Check out our web site for registration dates & times.

When does practice begin?

Practice begins on August 1. A player may start practice as long as all necessary paperwork is turned in. NO participant will be allowed to practice without handing in a signed physical form, and all other required paperwork. 


If all of the paperwork is not turned in by August 1st, can the player still participate?

If all the paperwork is not turned in by August 1, a player won’t be allowed to start practice and receive equipment. The player may sit on the sidelines and watch practice until the required paperwork is turned in.


Is practice mandatory in August?

Yes, practice is mandatory in August. Please notify the coach if you will be away on vacation so they can plan appropriately. Attendance is CRUCIAL to a successful and FUN season.


How are parents notified of schedule or weather related changes? 
A league-wide communication system is used for last minute cancellations. Rained-Out is used for last-minute weather-related changes. Contact the league for instructions on how to configure this for your phone. Be sure that you are receiving texts and e-mails from the league for any schedule changes.  A weekly email is sent out to parents with updates. The league Facebook group is another way we communicate and send our reminders.

What if my child misses practice? 
It is very important that players make each practice, as there are safety policies in place to be sure children meet certain requirements. Any missed practices should be discussed with the team’s head coach.


How can I volunteer?

Oxford Pop Warner is run entirely by volunteers and your help is greatly appreciated. A five hour per season volunteer commitment is required by an adult for each player in the program (maximum 10 hours per family.) A great number of families donate many more than the required hours which has increased the success of our program.


Do I need to participate in fundraising?

Yes, every participant in our tackle football and cheer programs are responsible to do fundraising.


What is the money raised from fundraising used for?
Our annual fundraiser is what keeps our program running. It is used to pay for league dues, insurance, officials, new equipment, free tee shirt to each participant, banquet (football players and cheerleaders go for free) & trophies.




Football FAQ:

How often is practice and where is it held?

Tackle Football practices are held at Oxford High School Wolverine Field and run 4 nights (Monday-Thursday) a week during the month of August from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM. After Labor Day, practice drops to 3 nights per week from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM. 


Do parents have to stay at practices? 

Parents are expected to stay at football practice. Please refer to the handbook on the specific policies.


How many players are allowed on a team?

The maximum number of players allowed on a team is 35.

The minimum number of players is 15.


How are football players assigned to a team?

  • Flag - 5 & 6 year olds
  • 8U - 7 & 8 year olds
  • 10U - 9 & 10 year olds
  • 12U - 11 & 12 year olds
  • 14U - 13 & 14 year olds

Does everyone play?

YES, Pop Warner has a Minimum Mandatory Play Rule (MPR) based on team size. These are the number of plays that each player must play per game.

 

Tackle Football - 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U

  • 6-25 players – 10 plays
  • 26-30 players – 8 plays
  • 31-35 players – 6 plays

What equipment is needed?

Oxford Pop Warner provides most equipment needed to participate. Football players need to purchase cleats, athletic supporter and cup. All other equipment is provided by Oxford Pop Warner. All issued equipment must be handed in at the end of the season. Flag Football players need to purchase cleats. All other equipment is provided by Oxford Pop Warner.

When and where are football games played? 

There will be a link to field sites on the Oxford Pop Warner website for the location of games and practices. Games are normally played on Sundays. Field specifics and times are subject to change. 


How do the players get to the away games?

Oxford Pop Warner does not supply transportation to the games. It is up to the parents to get the player there or arrange transportation for him/her.

How long does the season last? 
The season starts August 1st and finishes at the end of October in most cases. If a team makes the playoffs, a season may last into November.


Who covers the cost related to playoff and championship games?

Should any team advance to playoff and/or championship games, all travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of each family.

Is Football safe? 

The Oxford Pop Warner League makes all attempts to make the game of football fun and safe for players. There are inherent risks in all sports, however, we follow the Pop Warner guidelines to reduce the risk of injury. One requirement is that all coaches pass USA Football certification for safer tackling techniques, in order to coach. You can find more information on this here: https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/popwarner/safety




Cheer FAQ:

What equipment is needed?

Cheerleaders will need to purchase a uniform, cheer sneakers, bodysuits, bloomers and hair pieces. Warm up suits are optional. Link to equipment list with pricing for 2019.

What is the commitment like for cheer?  
Practice for the season begins August 1st and are held outside at OHS. The frequency of practices varies depending on the age division your child will be placed in.  For example - older girls typically practice for 2.5hrs, 3-4x/wk in August, and then 2-3x/wk from September until the end of the season. Younger girls typically practice for 1.5hrs 3x/wk in August, and then 2x/wk from September until the end of the season. Practices in September until the end of the season are held indoors at one of the Oxford schools.  All teams will cheer for a football game each weekend, usually beginning in September.

What ages are able to participate in the cheer program?  
Pop Warner rules state that children ages 5-16 are able to participate in cheer.  The division of cheer each girl is placed in will depend on the child's age and the number of children signed up for the program. (ex: Tiny Mites, Mitey Mites, Junior Pee Wees, Pee Wee, Junior Varsity, Varsity)  Last season our teams were the Tiny Mites (exhibition only), Junior Pee Wees, and Junior Varsity.

Does my child need experience prior to registering for the cheer program?
No, any child is welcome to register regardless of experience.

Do we cheer for football games?  
Yes, each team will cheer for one football game each weekend. Games typically begin early September and will continue through October/November depending on playoffs.  Note: games were played on Sundays for the 2018 season.

 

Which team will my child be placed on?  
There are multiple cheer divisions within Pop Warner, each based on a certain age range.  When signing up, your child may be presented with multiple division choices seeing that ages overlap between the divisions.  Once registration is closed in June, the board will then look at the total amount of registered participants and may need to modify assigned teams.

 

Is this a competitive cheer team? When do we compete?
All teams will participate in at least 2 competitions during the season.  Younger teams will exhibition (participate but not compete) at these competitions. Older teams will compete and will have the chance to qualify for regionals (typically early November, in Massachusetts) as well as nationals (typically early in December, in Florida).  If a team qualifies for nationals in Florida, it is the responsibility of the participants’ family to pay for the cost of the trip, which is typically ~$1000/girl. Fundraising can be done to help lessen these costs. *Note: admission for local competitions is usually $20-25/spectator.


What am I required to purchase for my child to participate in cheer?  
Uniforms and pom poms will be distributed to each girl (at no cost) at the beginning of the season and will be returned when the season is over.  Replacement costs are $200/uniform and $25/pom poms.


Participants are expected to purchase the following:

  • Warm-up suits
  • Sneakers
  • Socks
  • Fitted Custom Tank
  • Backpack (embroidered name included)
  • Practice t-shirt
  • Bows

*Please note for returning girls - Our previous warm-ups were discontinued.  To prevent having to deal with discontinued items every few years we are designing new warm-ups through Rebel Athletics (uniform company) which will never discontinue.  Therefore, for this year only, returning girls will have the option to wear last years warm-ups, provided they still fit and are in good condition, or they may buy the new set. It is my hope in the coming years to develop a system where (if desired) older girls can offer their outgrown warm-ups/custom tanks to the younger girls at a discounted price to help offset some of the costs associated with the gear.




Fundraising FAQ:

 

Will the parent(s) be required to participate in fundraising?
In order to help keep the costs to play at a minimum and to fund equipment, pay for facilities we use and cover other costs associated with playing and competing, we do require all competitive teams to participate in fundraising. This excludes non-competitive cheer (Tiny Mites) and flag.

 

We also run a concession stand at home games to help raise funds for the league and hold a 50:50 raffle. We ask parents to help with these volunteer efforts.

 

How is the money used that is raised through the league?
Along with registration fees, fundraising is crucial to help pay for operating costs, training of coaches, uniforms and equipment.

 

For example, here is a list of estimated costs the league may experience in a year:

  • Football Coach training clinics - $400
  • Referees - $ 2,500
  • Athletic trainers (games) - $700
  • Football equipment, helmets, jerseys - $10,000
  • Cheer coaching certifications - $500
  • Cheer music - $ 1,300
  • Cheer uniforms (10) - $2,000
  • Storage $900
  • Insurance fees - $1,300
  • Field use fees - $600