Last Updated: November 18, 2015
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2015 Season Q & A
2015 OYTF Q/A
1. What happened to TriCounty? Shortly following the wrap of the 2014 season it was announced that Seneca, Coal City and Chanooka were leaving the league. OYTF was in the process of assessing our current situation and this news reinforced the reason we were looking as well.
2. Why did these Teams leave TriCounty? From what we have heard Chanooka reacted to the other programs leaving and wanted more diversity in their scheduling, Seneca was looking to join a league that matches their participation and competitive level and Coal City possibly the same reason. We have no definitive answer however
3. What did OYTF do to evaluate our options for 2015 and beyond? First step was to identify all leagues known within our area and grid out details like rules, affiliations and potential travel distance to games. Top 3 candidates were identified and brought in for interviews with the Board and a number of our Coaches from the 2014 season.
4. What Leagues made the final cut? Greater Chicagoland Youth Football and Cheer (UFY), The Chicagoland Youth Football League (TCYFL), and the Midwest Youth Big 12 League
5. Other Leagues Considered? River Valley was considered but they were not accepting more additions and this may not have been the best home for us given we had originally left this league to join TriCounty. Bill George was also not considering additions so a further exploratory conversation was not completed.
6. Travel distances were considered: estimated based on known cities and an equal schedule to all potential destinations.
7. What League will OYTF participate in for the 2015 Season: The Midwest Big 12 is our new Home!
8. Why was this league chosen? After dissecting the various league choices it became clear that the vision of this League matched OYTF the best. The current platform and future vision is one of a program that is focused on being competitive while at the same time focused on player development pointing down the road to the high school programs.
9. What Teams/Towns are in the Big 12? Yorkville, Kaneland, Burlington, Dekalb, Plano, Sandwich, Oswego and St Raphael’s feeder travel program
10. What are the levels and weight breaks for Big12? 8u and under, 9u, 10u, 11u, 7th and 8th
11. What are the rules for ball carriers? 8u and under max weight for ball carrier =85, 9u =100, 10u =120, 11u through 8th = unlimited
12. What does that mean for stripers? It means there will be no striper rules. Kids will be able to play both sides of the ball. The distinctions for weight limits are specific to carrying or lining up in a ball carrier position. See rules as posted on the Big 12 website. There may be some further definition as we go but this is a plus
13. How many levels and colors will OYTF field? This is dependent upon participant enrollment. Given the expanse of fielding 4 teams across one color to 6 teams across there will likely be some re-aligning. We would love to have more than 4 colors!
14. Will OYTF be adjusting Teams by High School feeder? The answer is both yes and no. We are always going to enrollment dependent and certainly have commitments to field teams of equal capabilities. We have discussed with both OHS and OEHS Head Coaches and they are in full support of us doing so and understand some of the limitations we may face. Once through initial registration we will be able to communicate more details and options.
15. Will all colors and all levels travel to the same city each week? There is no guarantee currently. Big 12 has tried this is in the past but in order to accommodate color flights some teams/town ended up playing the same ones a couple of times. There is, however, a focus to accommodate schedules as much as possible. The more teams that join the more possible this becomes.
16. Would all colors have traveled together in other leagues considered? There was no guarantee in any of the leagues we looked at. As a matter of fact they had more levels in other leagues which had the potential to cause an even greater imbalance.
17. What days will games be played? Current game days are Saturday. With a league that is expanding to 7th and 8th grade levels Sundays and possibly weekdays may come into play. Discussions under way. It is leaning in the direction of 11u and under will play on Saturdays and 7th/8th will have game days on Sundays starting around noon.
18. What trumps age or grade? This question has come up in the Big 12 Board room already. In the rules already at the 11u level is a specific call out for a 6th grade player being eligible for 11u if 12 years old (proof of grade required). It is being to discussed to add this same language across all levels so that all are grade and age specific
19. How will 7th and 8th grade football work? 2015 will be the first season for 7th and 8th grade football. OYTF expects to field at least 2 teams at each level, St Raphael 2-3 at each, Yorkville 2-3 at 7th, 8th pending, Kaneland 1 at each, Plano and Sandwich 1 at each but possibly just 8th. With OYTF, Raphael, Plano and Sandwich coming into the league and a focused effort from current members the 7th and 8th grade seasons are being actively shaped and defined but I assure you it will be a full schedule and full of great competition
20. What is the minimum play rule? The Big 12 (MYFC) does not currently dictate each towns minimum play rules and does not have plans to do so at this time. OYTF will be reviewing our policy from 2015 and ensure that we maintain an environment where we are competitive yet focused on development. We saw the value of 8 plays last season and also saw varying roster sizes that interrupted the intended balance. The OYTF Board will work to ensure evenly sized rosters so that our playing rules have equal effect.
21. Will we have a Superbowl? Yes. Big 12 MYFC has an end of the season Superbowl. The Top 4 teams currently advance. With all the team additions playoff options will be reviewed. And you will not have to travel out of state!
22. What about safety? OYTF will continue to be part of the USA Heads Up program and all Coaches will be certified. As a conference USA Football is coming to the February Board meeting so other programs can hear and possibly join in.
24. Will Field Trainers be added in 2015? OYTF is actively looking at our options for adding Trainers to our home games. It is being worked in as a budget item.
25. Does Big 12 have a Cheer program? Yes
26. What is the commitment level? Big 12 historically has done an end of the year “Showcase” – Discussed at the January conference meeting was an expansion of the Cheer program to include and end of the season “Competition”. A committee has been formed and the Cheer experience is being heavily focused on by all towns. Numbers are supportive across the towns and with the addition of Oswego and Raphael the focus is high.
27. What should I expect for Cheer in 2015? You should expect a fresh focus on Cheer and all of its components and a level of excitement that matches. OYTF has secured support from both High School Coaches.
28. What has the OYTF Board been doing this off season? Immediately following the wrap of our 2014 season we have been busy with,
a. shutting down the 2014 season
b. reviewing financials
c. creating short and long term budgets
d. meeting with equipment vendors
e. starting to clean out storage units and old items selling what we are able at this time
f. looking at a longer term storage and office location at a potential overall cost savings
g. meeting with the H.S. Coaches
h. opening fresh conversations with the Park District to better understand our options and costs
i. evaluating web hosts and signup systems
j. evaluating area competition
k. And of course the process of picking and joining new League
29. What is the plan for updating OYTF’s aged football equipment? Great question. Our helmets and shoulder pads are no doubt aging to the point of being at the end of their useful lives. The majority of our helmets are approaching the 10 year Riddell allowable lifespan with only 1 or 2 years left. We are also in a year of recondition for helmets (every 2 years at a considerable cost itself). We were able to meet with a Riddell Rep and take advantage of end of the year pricing lock in and are happy to announce that all players will be receiving brand new helmets and shoulder pads as part of their standard issue OYTF equipment. We are further developing a plan to keep our equipment updated on a much more regular basis. More information to come.
30. Will we be able to play games on our local High School fields? That was a very specific question we brought up with Coach Cooney and Coach LeBlanc. The answer is that we are pointed in that direction. No guarantee of exact numbers and of course it is always based on field and weather conditions to ensure the fields are in proper shape for the HS teams. We will finalize these discussions prior to the season and fully expect to have game day experience(s) on the HS fields as part of OYTF. There is also added cost that we are learning more about to do so.
31. What support do we have from our High School programs? Both Coaches were happy to have this conversation and it marked the most formal sit down in their tenures with a local program. We have their support in the following ways and will continue to meet in the months ahead to further our conversations.
More to come on the topics below. In turn we owe them detail on our registration numbers and potential alignments.
b. Coaching Clinics
c. Youth Camps
f. Public Support for OYTF as the High School Feeder
g. Other: i.e. kick off scrimmages, captain for a day
32. Does OYTF own the 308 school district boundary? No. There are other area programs that kids can play football or choose to cheer for. It is, however, our goal to be the number one choice for district 308 as the high school feeder program. We do currently exist in the Big 12 with St Raphael who has district 308 kids in the in-house and travel programs. They existed this way historically and were announced into the Big 12 prior to OYTF. We will run into families who are part of district 308 and the St Raphael program. Discussions will be had over time as to how we best handle this relationship.