Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Jr. Polar Football?
A: Jr. Polar Football (JPF) an independent football organization that falls under the umbrella of the North St. Paul Athletic Association (along with NSPAA Baseball and NSPAA Slow Pitch Softball) and is open to residents that live within or attend school within North St. Paul, Maplewood, or Oakdale.
Q: Who is eligble to play for JPF?
A: The JPF tackle football program is open to players entering 3rd through 8th grade who live within or attend school in North St. Paul, Maplewood or Oakdale.
The JPF flag program is open to any players entering Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade. The flag program does not have residency, or school location restrictions.
Q: How do I register my child to play?
A: You can register online by following the link on the www.jrpolars.com website. Online registration opens May 1st for both flag and tackle and runs through July 15th. Flag cost is $50 no matter when you register. For tackle, you’ll need to register by June 30th to get the early registration discounted price of $100. On July 1st, the price increases to $140. Registration ends July 15th. We accept registrations on a first come, first served basis.
Q: Can girls play football for JPF?
A: Absolutely! Both boys and girls are welcome to play for JPF.
Q: What forms need to get completed?
A: The registration forms consist of general player and parent contact information, grade and school during football season, and medical/emergency contact information, and parent & player code of conduct.
Q: What does JPF provide, and what do I need to provide in order to play?
A: JPF provides a helmet, shoulder pads, game pants, and a game jersey. The game jersey is yours to keep, but the other items get returned when the season ends so we can re-stock it for next season. You’ll need to provide practice pants and a practice jersey, a mouth guard, football shoes, and a protective cup. Our goal is to have a third party at our equipment handouts to make it easier for purchasing those items if you need to do so.
Q: How are teams formed?
A: When it comes to forming teams, league goals and the JPF goals coincide. The league uses school grade as the initial criteria and mandates balanced teams as a goal. JPF uses an internal set of criteria in order to form teams for the early grades. We start by grouping kids by school. The end result must be a set of balanced teams and not, say, one powerhouse team and one so-so team. Meeting that goal in the early grades helps as kids advance in the program because we start by aligning kids to the teams they were on the previous year. The JPF Board reserves the right to redistribute teams in order to balance them.
Q: How big are the teams?
A: Team roster sizes vary depending on the grade level. Generally, roster sizes will be limited to the proper size for each grade level to maintain the team and allow for adequate playing time. We want every player to play as much as possible.
Q: Who makes up the JPF coaching staff and the JPF Board?
A: The JPF coaches and JPF Board are made up of 100% parent volunteers who simply want to better the football experience for both players and families. We all try to draw on the experiences….both good and bad….of the seasoned coaches and Board members. If you are interested in becoming a JPF coach or Board member, please let us know - there are plenty of opportunities.
Q: When do you play?
A: Generally, the season begins in early August with equipment handout and runs until just before Halloween. We try to play our last game before MEA weekend. Game times are determined by the respective league’s game schedule. Each individual coach determines the practice regimen and times. As days get shorter, practice times begin earlier. We do try to abide by the 3 events per week rule – any combination of games/practices to total 3 events per week. That's not a JPF rule, but it's a guidline many coaches use. Either games or practices are usually held weeknights in the evening or Saturday morning, with the exception to the game rule being the annual Polar Clash (usually held on a Sunday) and the 8th grade who are scheduled on Sundays.
Q: What about times?
A: Game times vary, but for evening games the league does try to schedule younger teams earlier in the evening than the older teams to avoid younger players being out late at night. However, because of referee schedule and cost, the league likely will schedule at least two games at the same field on the same night.
Q: Where are practices and games played?
A: Practice locations are up to the individual coach, but generally the practice fields are at a field/park in the North St. Paul, Maplewood, or (north) Oakdale area. Casey Park, Richardson Elementary School, and Harvest Park are heavily practiced fields. Flag football games generally take place at Little Kunkel field. Tackle games take place at game fields determined by their respective league – generally the home field of the home team playing in the game. JPF tackle game locations are Casey Park, Richardson Elementary School, and Maplewood Middle School for unlit fields. JPF lit fields are generally Webster Elementary School and McKnight field complex. For the time being, Lower Casey has been removed from the pool of lit league fields because of field dimensions. We work with the City of North St. Paul and the City of Maplewood as well as ISD 622 in order to secure facilities to play.
Q: What teams does JPF play against?
A: Our flag program partners with ZYFA (Mahtomedi), so we play against other JPF or ZYFA teams. Our tackle program belongs to specific leagues. Our 3rd – 6th grades belong to the Metro East Youth Football League which consists of JPF, OAA (Oakdale), ZYFA (Mahtomedi), UES (St. Paul Upper East Side), WAA (Woodbury), & ERAA (East Ridge). Our 7th – 8th grades belong to the North Suburban Football League which consists of many different associations throughout the northern twin cities corridor. The game schedules are set up to avoid heavy travel if at all possible.
Q: Is there a fundraiser?
A: Yes, in order to keep the cost of the football program low (lower than any of the surrounding communities!) and to provide a supply of new equipment, we do have a fundraiser. Our fundraiser is through Greater Midwest Gourmet Foods and will begin early August. We’ll have two or three weeks to sell as much as we can and submit the orders. After that, we’ll set up a date for product pick-up.
Q: Are there different weight classes for each grade?
A: League rules for grades 3 – 6 require a striped helmet for players who surpass the league-specified weight threshold. The rules can be viewed at www.meyfl.org and the weight thresholds are listed there. JPF procedure is to weigh each player at the equipment handout, list the weight on the player’s equipment form, and stripe the helmet at that time if necessary. League rules also say once a striper, always a striper for the season. No re-weighing is allowed after that. Those forms are to be on-hand for the coaches to carry with them in case a referee or opposing coach questions a player’s weight. There are no weight limit rules for 7th and 8th grades.
Q: What if I have additional questions?
A: If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to send an email to email@example.com. We check that email address frequently during the registration & playing seasons and periodically during the offseason. You can also call the JPF phone at 651-373-2511 and leave a voice mail so we can get back to you.