Some frequently asked questions about Mustang football:
also read this article Breaking in the Rookies: How to deal with first time parents. by Tim Enger, Technical Director of Football Alberta
Q: Is football dangerous?
A: Football is not without risk. Neither is hockey, soccer, or inactivity. Read these articles on the "risks" of football. In Defense of Football, from Wideside, the official newsletter of Football Alberta, and The Reasons Not To Ban Contact Sports For Children: An Answer To 'Concussion' from Forbes.com
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Registration for all divisions is $450.00 Registration covers includes the use of all equipment, games, practices, insurance, team photo, and players year end banquet ticket.
Q: Do I need to purchase equipment?
A: Equipment is provided for players use. The only basic equipment not supplied is footwear. Cleats are recommended, either soccer or football are acceptable. Optional items such as gloves are up to the player. A $350 deposit cheque is required before equipment is issued. This cheque will not be cashed unless the equipment is not returned in a timely manor at the end of the season or other fees are outstanding.
Q: Do I have to volunteer?
A: We don't require our parents to "volunteer" for fundraising, but we do need help to make a great football experience for your child. This may be helping set up fields on game day, being a team manager, helping with equipment, or organizing team apparel orders. There are many needs through the season. See our volunteer page for more ideas on what will make a great season for you and your kids!
Q: When does the season run?
A: Our main practice schedule starts at the beginning of August. There is also a "spring camp" that is a May/June session of practice for registered players. League games start about the middle of August and the run through October. There is about 10 regular season games and 2 playoff games.
Q: How often are games and practices?
A: We generally practice three nights a week, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30. There will be some variations depending on weather and the age group involved. When the games start in August there will be 1 game on the weekend, usually on Saturday or Sunday during the day.
Q: Where do you play/practice?
A: We are based out of Confederation Park fields. (behind Harry Ainlay High School) All practices will be at our home fields. Home games will also be at Confederation Park. Away games can be anywhere around the Edmonton region depending where the opposing team is based.
Q: What are the age categories?
A: The Atom division is for players turning 9 and 10 in the current calander year. Peewee is for players turning 11 and 12, and Bantam is for players turning 13, 14 and 15 (as long as they are not going into high school) in the current calander year.
Q: My child plays hockey. Will there be conflicts?
A: Many of our athletes play hockey and successfully balance the two sports. Athletes that play in the higher teirs of hockey will have more of a challenge making both sports work. We ask players to consider factors such as whether it's a practice or game and point of the season (early season vs playoffs) when a conflict occurs. The football schedule does not tend to have many conflicts with the hockey schedule especially in the older divisions. Hockey evaluation weekend tends to be the time of most confict.
Q: What size of ball do you use?
A: Atom and Novice use a K2 ball, Peewee uses a TDJ ball, Bantams use a TDY size ball.
Q: Can I just sign up for Spring Camp to try it out?
A: The term "camp" in football refers to a session or series of practices. CFL teams may have a "rookie camp" or "evaluation camp" in addition to "main camp". The Mustangs run a spring camp for our registered players that runs before the July break. Main camp starts August 1 and runs through the season. The Mustangs spring camp is not a stand alone session, but is part of the overall registration.
Q: Is it full contact?
A: You bet! We play full contact Canadian Football League style football. The Atom game is a simplified 6 man version for the younger players to better develop the core skills of the game. The Novice division is Flag football.
Q: What about summer Holidays?
A: Football Alberta has declared the month of July as Summer break, meaning that no minor Football club may have any formal on field events during the entire month of July. We support this decision, and we respect family vacation time. If you are planning on playing football, July would be a good time to plan you summer vacation. Taking vacation in August is not a deal breaker as far as football goes, but it is a critical time in the development of a team, and the player will have a steep learning curve on his return. If you are gone for a couple weeks in August, it will likely limit options for playing certain positions.
Q: Do you play and practice in rain?
A: Football is generally played in any weather, so we will practice in most any weather. There are a couple of conditions where we cannot practice. First, if the City closes the fields because they are too wet and will be damaged from activity, and second if there is lightning in the area. We also may cancel or shorten practice if the weather is so bad that it is impossible to accomplish anything useful. If the weather is unsettled and could change during practice, please have a plan to pick up your player early if practice is shortened because of lightning or severe weather.
Q: What if my child decides that Football is not his thing, will I get a refund?
A: If you change your mind and pull out before the equipment is handed out a refund of the registration fee less $25 will be issued. After that the amounts change with time. After equipment is handed out the registration fee less $75 will be refunded. After one week of the main training camp your fee less $150 will be refunded. After two weeks the registration fee less $250 will be refunded and after three weeks there will be no refunds. A player will not be considered for refund until notice of withdraw from the program is received in writing to the registrar and equipment is returned.
Q: Do you make cuts?
A: Not for Atom, Peewee and Bantam divisions. Registration is on "first come, first served" basis, until the teams are full. Coaches at their discretion, may add players that will fill a specific need on the team, after the cap has been reached. The Midget team will make cuts to get down to the 45 player league maximum roster.