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Caledonia Youth Football

Caledonia Youth Football


Q: Do kids have to sign-up for the division based on their birth year?
A: Yes. Kids cannot play up or down a division. The divisions are based on birth years, so there will already be a fairly large range within the intended divisions. Playing up would simply make that range larger.

Q: What do kids receive when they sign-up and what do they need to buy?
A: Kids will receive a team jersey, shorts, socks, arm bands, and a set of flags. They will need to buy cleats, a mouthpiece, and a soft helmet (optional). Please be aware that soft helmets are optional. Flag football is non-contact, but collisions will occur. A soft helmet reduces the odds of negative consequences from accidental contact but is entirely the parent’s choice.

Q: How are players assigned to teams?

A: We want a transparent process that balances fun and fairness. We will accommodate as many requests (made during registration) as possible while trying to make balanced teams. We will consider requests and schools to get as many friends playing together as possible. Not only is this more fun for the kids, but makes it easier for the parents. We also consider age, grade, and experience playing both flag and tackle football. We will also assign teams midway through camp, so we have a chance to assess the ability in person. Ideally, this will create a fun and fair environment for the kids but disparity is bound to happen. We will do our best and always appreciate feedback to improve this or any other process we have in place.

Q: What are the biggest differences between flag and tackle football?
A: As the name implies the biggest difference is we pull flags instead of tackling. We also do not block. Beyond the contact, teams and fields are smaller and the game is faster paced. 5 players play for each team at a time on a field that is roughly a quarter the size of a normal football field. Games consist of two 24 minute halves with a running clock. Teams are also always on offense or defense so there are no special teams.

Q: When are practices and games in the spring?
A: In the spring, everything takes place on Sunday afternoons. We designed it this way to reduce conflicts with other sports. 6U and 8U will play/practice from 1PM to 3PM. 10U and 12U will play/practice from 3 PM to 5PM.

Q: How are all-star teams selected?
A: Listen, the selection of all-star teams is always a contentious topic. Before diving into this answer, we want to explain the purpose of an all-star team playing in regional tournaments. Flag football is an inclusive sport that offers so many benefits. During the regular season, we want everyone to play equally so our entire program can grow and the kids will have a blast. Eventually, our kids must learn how to train and compete with the best to get ready for the next level. That is why we are sending all-star teams to compete against the best teams in the country. Our teams will compete against the best, and we want to set them up to be as successful as possible. The selection of all-star teams will reflect that. The board will select the all-star coach for each division, which is not always based on their regular season record. The board and that coach will have final discretion over who is on the all-star team. They will watch games and consult other coaches. We will be as objective as possible because it is the right thing to do and gives our teams the best chance to compete. If your son or daughter does not make the all-star, it is not personal. Please feel free to email [email protected] and we will provide honest feedback. 

Q: When will I find out all the details of the spring season?
A: Registration closes on February 10th 2024. On the 11th, you will receive an email with details on our pre-season camp, where everyone in each division will train together. Over spring break, teams and coaches will be assigned. At that time gear will be ordered and you will receive an update for the regular season. If you have questions in the meantime please let us know.

Tackle Football

Q: Are requests for specific coaches, teams, practice schedules, or game times accepted?
A: No, 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 this year?
A: 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 (i.e., the WMYFL) .

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 our home field, CHS, or at one of the other WMYFL field (Lowell, East Kentwood, Catholic Central, Forest Hills (Central, Eastern, Northern), East Grand Rapids, Comstock Park, Sparta, Northview, and Rockford).

Q: Is the Caledonia Youth Football League affiliated with or run by Caledonia Community Schools?
A: The program is run with the cooperation of the school district but is in no way affiliated with the school district. The program is a part of the WMYFL (West Michigan Youth Football League) and run solely by volunteers.

Q: How are Players Assigned to a Team?
A: Teams are constructed through a controlled draft process. Each coach is able to request 5 players. The 5 requested players include the head coach’s child and any assistant coaches child. If a head coach has three assistant coaches with children, then coach only has one open request for the draft. The children that are not requested by a coach are dr
afted based on DOB, weight, and playing experience, and then evenly distributed to a team in their age group .

Q: What is the Practice Schedule Typically Like?
A: Each team will have 4 practices the first week, and 3 practices each week after that throughout the season. Each team's practice schedule and practice location are determined by the team's head coach. Practice locations are generally the CalPlex and Duncan Lake Middle School.

Q: Are there weight limits?
A: All players will be able to play at their grade level regardless of weight. However, each player's weight must be at or under the limits listed below in order to play certain positions. If a player is over the weight limits listed below, he/she will need to play between the tackles on the line of scrimmage. Each player is weighed before each game in full equipment (minus helmet). Grade Level

3rd- 4th Grade = 125 lbs

5th- 6th Grade = 145 lbs

Q: What Equipment is Needed?
A: Each player must provide his/her own (white) helmet, black football pants/pads, shoulder pads, practice jersey, football cleats (metal or screw in cleats are not permitted), and mouth guard. 

Q: What are the rules (if any) concerning Position Assignments?
A: For a coach, assigning positions is one of the hardest things to do. We all know that not every child can 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 his/her 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. As a parent/fan, please be open-minded regarding your coach's recommendation and support your child & coach regardless of what position they play.

Q: Are There Any Rules Concerning Playing Time?
A: We insist that our coaches follow the letter and spirit of the rule. Each Lowell coach is asked to start each child on either offense or defense regardless of if he/she plays special teams, with the only extenuating circumstances being injury or a child refusing to play or practice. 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.

WMYFL rule is that “Every player must start on offense or defense and play equally.” Special Teams do not count as a starting position. CYFA insists that all our coaches follow this rule, with the only extenuating circumstances being injury or a child refusing to play or practice. 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.
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