McLean County Cougars: FAQ

Can my child still register to play for the Cougars?
Yes.  Registration is still open for tackle, flag, and cheer.  We will have open registration on Thursday, May 12, 2011 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the IHSA office.  Watch the website for more information.

What are the age requirements?
A player’s age as of August 1st determines what division they will play.  Flag players are age 5-7, tackle players and cheerleaders are age 8-14 (but cannot turn 15 before November 1st).

What if I have multiple children that are on different teams?
Within the tackle program, teams are designated by a specific color (gray, white, black, and teal). Regardless of what divisions your children play, siblings are always placed on a “teal” team.  For the Saturday games, teal teams will always play at the same location.

How many players are there per tackle team?
Our goal is to have about 22 players per team at Squirt, Pee Wee, and JV levels.  At the Varsity and Senior levels, our goal is to have about 25 players per team.  This will allow for the increased specialization of positions at these higher levels.  We are fortunate to have the ability to expand and add additional teams as necessary.  These resources allow us to accommodate as many players as possible, while still providing a quality experience and ample playing time for all players.

What are playing time rules for tackle football?

JFL rules state that players on Squirt, Pee Wee, and JV are to play at least half of an entire game.  At the Varsity and Senior levels, the JFL rule is that players must play at least 10 minutes per game.  Cougars’ coaches follow these rules to ensure all kids receive ample playing time, learn the game, and most importantly enjoy participating in football.

Why should my child play for the Cougars?

The Cougars have a proud and long tradition of providing football instruction to players of all talents and abilities.  When players go through our program, they will learn the X's and O's of football.  But more importantly, they will learn teamwork, sportsmanship, dedication, commitment and many other values that will help them in everyday life.

If my child is in Jr. High sports, can they still play for Cougars?
The Cougars organization recognizes that participating in Jr. High sports is important to many players.  We do our best to accommodate schedules and work with players so they are not forced to choose between two activities they enjoy so much.  We do ask that parents communicate scheduling conflicts to coaches as far in advance as possible.  Because safety is the #1 priority for all of our players, they must be able to demonstrate the ability to play the game safely; being at practice is an important part of learning to do this.

When does practice begin?
Practice for all divisions begins the week of August 8th.

What day and time of the week do we practice?
Tackle teams will practice from 5:30 – 7:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until school begins.  After that time, practices will only be on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  As we lose daylight, practice times will shorten. Flag teams will practice from 6:00 – 7:00 two nights per week. Cheer teams will practice from 5:30 – 7:00 three nights per week.

Where do we practice?
Practices are held at Northpoint Elementary School and Tipton Park.  These areas are across from one another on College Avenue.

When do the games begin?
Tackle football games begin the weekend after Labor Day and end the last week of October. Flag football games begin the weekend before Labor Day and end in the middle of October.

When and where do we play our home games?
Home games are played at either Northpoint Elementary School or White Oak stadium. Flag, Squirt, Pee Wee, and JV teams play on Saturdays.  Varsity and Senior teams play on Sunday afternoons.

How far do we have to travel?
Some travel is required.  Out of town games are typically 30 to 60 minutes away.

What about equipment and uniforms?
For tackle: Cougars provide a helmet, chin strap, mouth piece, shoulder/hip/butt/knee pads, white practice pants, black game pants, teal socks, and a game jersey.  Players need to provide their own practice jersey and football cleats. For flag:  Cougars provide flags and a game jersey.  Players need to provide their own black game shorts, black socks, and football cleats.  For cheer: Cougars provide a complete uniform, including a warm up suit.  Cheerleaders need to provide their own white mock turtleneck, bloomers, white socks, and cheer shoes.

Can you tell me more about the volunteer requirement?
To help our home games run smoothly, we require each family to participate in two volunteer positions per child registered.  If by the first week of practice, you become a coach, team coordinator, or a board member, the volunteer duties will be waived.

Are we required to do fundraising?
Yes, every player must participate in fundraising efforts by selling a minimum of 5 items per child (a maximum of 10 items per family), or by paying the $50 buyout (per family).

What is a Team Manager?
The main responsibility of the Team Manager is to provide support for the coaching staff and relay information to the families of the players from the Cougars Board and vice versa, which entails forwarding many e-mails. Other responsibilities include helping with equipment distribution/return, fundraising assistance, team picture distribution, contacting parents to remind them of concession/game day staffing and providing water bottles during games.