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Football 101

By Tom Hoffman

Hingham Youth Football consists of three different divisions, tackle football which is a member of The Old Colony Youth Football league (OCYFL), in-town flag football and cheerleading.

The OCYFL consist of 22 towns from Hingham to the north and south to Dennis /Yarmouth on the Cape.  The towns are broken into 5 divisions based upon school (k-8) population.  Some towns have enough players to have separate teams for each grade level (starts with a combined 2nd& 3rd grade and then is individual grades up through 8th grade).  The HYF website (www.hinghamyouthfootball.org) lists the weight and age limits but for the 2010 season a player must be at least 7 by 07/01/2010.

The tackle season normally starts with preseason practices in mid August for three weeks prior to the start of school.  Preseason practices are held five nights a week from about 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The OCYFL has very strict age and weight limits and the league wide weigh-in is always the Saturday after Labor Day.  If a player does not make weight that day, they have the option of playing up a level or choosing not to play.

Once school starts, practices are held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Hingham has 200 boys (no girls yet but they are allowed!) playing on six teams (combined 2nd/3rd grade and then each grade up through 8th grade).

Hingham competes in Division 1 for 4th, 6th and 8th graders and in Division 5 for 2/3,th and 7th grade.  Hingham also fields junior varsity teams for each grade so most weekends there are two games, JV on Saturday morning and varsity on Sunday afternoons. That way everyone gets a chance to play. Both teams are required to be at each others game as a show of support.

The tackle games are typically played on the Hingham HS field or Lynch Field in the case of bad weather.  HYF also schedules one Saturday night game at Lynch for each division during the season.   The tackle teams play 8 regular season games starting the weekend after Labor Day.  After the 8 game regular season each grade level has a semifinal round and those winners play in the division Super Bowl, typically the second Sunday of November. Here’s a very helpful tip too, www.hinghamyouthfootball.org has directions to the fields for all the in town and out of town games.

The OCYFL requires each town to finalize rosters by May 1st so registration is early in the year. Parents are also encouraged to volunteer as coaches, team parents, concession workers and game day operations.

Many of the parents will tell you that the kids do their best work during football season due to the discipline factor and time constraints.  HYF encourages all players to have their homework done before practice or that player should stay home and finish.  If a player misses two of the three practices, they don’t play that weekend. You can’t ask for a better motivator to get homework done! 

Insider Tips

By Moms-in-the-know

  • Practice starts at 6pm but “on time” means 5:45.
  • Uniforms are distributed in August, before preseason practice starts.  Get there early if you want to make sure that your son gets stuff that fits.
  • If uniforms do not fit, you will at least need to buy him pants that fit.
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  • You may want to buy pants anyway because the ones they give out have removable pads that cannot go in the washer, are easily misplaced, and are tasty treats for your dog.  Buy the kind that have pads built in - Pro Sports carries them.  Also, black is better than white!
  • Bring lots of water to practice.  Bottles that squirt are essential - if not they have to take off their helmets to drink [coaches get a bit testy about that!].  In August, put the water bottles in a cooler - it is SO hot on that field!
  • For updates on game times check the Old Colony website www.ocyfl.com.
  • Practice days are T/Th/F but in August coaches sometimes cancel the Friday practice so...
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  • Make sure you are constantly connected to your email during football season. You will receive a few emails a day from HYF with very important, constantly changing information that will keep you on your toes throughout the season!
  • The snack shack is very important to HYF - all parents must volunteer to man it at least twice per season. 
  • All division 1 games charge an entrance fee - usually about $3per person, make sure Grandma brings her purse.
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Flag Football

For those that can’t make the time commitment required for travel football, flag football is your answer! It is played by 300 boys and girls staring at age 5. The cost is $ 100.00 per player and additional siblings are $50.00 each.  Some coaches have practices once a week and games are played on either Saturday or Sunday depending on field availability and weather.

All of the flag games are played at Lynch Field. Flag football also has in town playoffs and tries to finish in mid November.

For further details look to the very comprehensive Hingham Youth Football website at www.hinghamyouthfootball.org. (be certain to do .org, NOT .com) If you have any questions that are not answered there, always email the contact listed on the site. They are very good about getting back to you in a timely fashion.

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