USA Football
Frequently Asked Questions

How old do you need to be to play for the Eagles?
The Belchertown-Granby Eagles play in the Suburban Amateur Football League (the SAFL.) There are three (3) age divisions, and we have teams in each age division. For each division, there are weight limits; if a player weighs more than the set weight limit at the official preseason weigh-in, he or she will play as a lineman.

For cheerleading your child must be entering kindergrden at the start of the season.

Football Division Grades via School School Grades & Lineman Weight
Peewee 3rd & 4th over 80lbs (over 80lbs must be a lineman, otherwise a skilled player)
Junior 5th & 6th over 115lbs  (over 115lbs must be a lineman, otherwise a skilled player)
Senior 7th & 8th over 135lbs  (over 135lbs must be a lineman, otherwise a skilled player)

How much does registration cost? Registration for our footballs players and cheer team is $160.

When does the season begin and end?
The season starts the first week of August, with games starting in early September, and continues through the first week of November.  This is a commitment, and players are required to attend all practices and games. If a conflict occurs, please advise your coach at your earliest convenience.  

How much time is involved in football and cheer?
A whole lot!  It is a serious time commitment for both players and parents.   From the first week of August until the start of school, we practice 5 times per week for 2 hours each day Monday-Friday.  Once school begins, we practice 3 nights per week for 2 hours each. Academics are a priority for our student-athletes, so we scale back practice commitments to allow time for homework.  Practices traditionally begin at 6 pm and end at 8 pm.  Players must attend practice regularly.  Games begin in September and are played on Sunday afternoons between 12-3pm, with an occasional Saturday night game.  Depending on your season, football teams may play in play-off games. The cheer team cheers at games and play-offs and participate in a cheer-off if it is offered during the season.

Does my child have to go to Weigh-ins?
Yes!!  If your child is a designated skilled player they must attend weigh-ins.  If your child will only play a line position, they do not have to attend the weigh-in.  Your coach will be able to tell you beforehand.  This is a mandatory SAFL league regulation.  This is not required for the cheer team. 

Where are the games played?
Practices and home games are held at Cronk Field in Belchertown – this is the football field below the parking lot of Chestnut Hill Community School.  Away games are all within an hour drive.  Schedules can be found on the SAFL website.

Do players practice in the rain?
Yes, players practice in the rain.  The only time practice will be cancelled due to weather conditions is if there is thunder and lightning in the area or if there are other severe weather warnings.  Please check your emails for cancellations, because it can happen at any time and may be close to practice time. This is why we ask parents to stay at the field, should a storm occur during practice.

Do we have to buy all the equipment?
No. BGEYFO provides the equipment (with the exception of some personal items, e.g., cleats, athletic supporter, mouth guards, and under-garments).  All equipment must be returned at the end of each season. Cheerleaders purchase their shoes but are provided a uniform.

Can girls sign up to play football with the boys?
Yes! Football is a wonderful sport for both girls and boys, and the girls who have played football in our program in past years are just as capable, and just as valuable as all players on our teams.

Why do parents need to volunteer?
Parents need to volunteer because this is a parent run organization.  Volunteering can consist of different duties, please see at sign ups what we can offer.  Examples can be working the concession stand, chain gang, field set-up, parade parking etc.

Volunteering can be flexible.  It takes everyone doing a little of something to pull the program forward. Without all the parents volunteering the program would falter.  Everyone has different skills and gifts and all are needed to better the program.
There is one more reason why you should volunteer. 

Do I have to stay at practices?
It is encouraged that parents stay, especially on days when the weather can be unpredictable.  It’s  a social experience for our kids and can be a social experience for us too.

What are the procedures for Player/Coach Conflicts?
If a parent has a concern about a child being unhappy with their situation in the Eagle’s program (i.e. playing time, position or anything else) please follow these procedures. Please note that all issues must be addressed before or after practice time. Coaches should never discuss player issues before, during or after games.

1) Have the child talk with the head coach about his/her problem and talk about what they would like to do different. Sometimes a coach may not realize they have a child who is unhappy about their situation.

2) Ask for a parent/child and head coach meeting if your child tells you that they spoke with the coach and were still not happy. Listen to both sides as there might be times when a child is in the best available spot for the team.

3) If you feel the meeting with the coach was not satisfactory to you or your child the next step is to speak to a board member, explain the situation and ask them to speak with the coach and see if there is a resolution.

4) In an extreme case and after all the above avenues have been explored the last step is to file a written complaint to the President of the organization and the Board of Directors who will set up a meeting with everyone involved and put together a plan that best suits everyone. It would be voted on by the Board of Directors and made a final decision.