IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
Registration Dates -
Meador & Ewing
Monday, August 20, 2012 - 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m; Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - First Practice Session
Saturday, September 8, 2012 - Coaches Meeting at Hammons Heart Institute 1325 E. Cherokee at 10:00 a.m.
Monday, September 10, 2012 - Coaches Meeting at Hammons Heart Institute 1325 E. Cherokee at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 15. 2012 -
MSU Game Night - 7:00 p.m. vs Murray State
Thursday, September 20, 2012 - First Game Night
Scheduled Game Nights - September 20 and 27;
October 4, 9, 11 and 18
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Final Candy Money Turn-In
Thursday, October 18, 2012 - Final Game Night
All parents, and all boosters, are cordially invited to all practice sessions of the:
RULES AND REGULATIONS IN MIGHTY MITES HANDBOOK
All general and specific rules concerning the Mighty Mites program contained in this handbook, together with all other regulations, contained herein concerning equipment, physical examina- tions, practice sessions and games shall be strictly adhered to without the slightest deviation unless consent is first secured from the Mighty Mites Inc. Board of Directors.
It is the intended purpose of this program to teach participants the fundamentals of football, to develop positive attitude and most important of all to enjoy practicing and playing football under the proper supervision. There is of course the natural inclination for coaches, players and parents alike to become overly enthusiastic in regard to winning. The lack of league standings and championship play is aimed toward minimizing undue and unnecessary pressure placed on the participants by parents and coaches in winning ball games, as well as undue criticism. Therefore game scores are not kept & no Mighty Mites youth football games have losers. All participants are winners.
The specified equipment to be used and the specific general rules, together with offensive plays and defensive alignments are all geared towards prevention of athletic injuries. Since the incep- tion of this Mighty Mites football program, the various rules and regulations set forth in this handbook have been developed over years of experience in conducting the program, as well as available studies in the field of youth athletic injuries. It is for this reason that our strongest and most severe requirement is that every player, coach and parent alike must adhere to and conform to the said rules and regulations, all of which are developed and aimed towards the best interest of the participants playing and enjoying the game.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
WHAT IS THE MIGHTY MITES PROGRAM?
The Mighty Mites Program endeavors to provide interested girls and boys with the proper training in the basic fundamentals of foot- ball and the opportunity to play with participants of their own age and size. Moreover the program strives to teach the participants good sportsmanship and fair play.
WHO CAN TAKE PART?
The Mighty Mites program is for children in grade school, from the first grade through the sixth grade and who will not reach age 13 in 2012. However, in certain situations, a child may not be per- mitted to play without approval of the Mighty Mites board of direc- tors. This approval shall under no circumstances be given to any child having exceeded the maximum age, whose size, weight, and other factors exceed the average sixth grader in these respects; or to any child younger than a first grader.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The Registration Fee for this 2012 Season is $25.00 which includes the cost of the mouth guard, and jersey. Please make your check payable to "Mighty Mites, Inc."
You may also go online at www.mightymitesfootball.org to obtain a print out of the registration card and medical card to complete & bring to your park. Complete the registration card and bring the registration card to your park.
In the event that your child is unable to furnish or rent equipment and desires to participate in the Mighty Mites youth football program, then we encourage that he complete the registration card and notify your Mighty Mites field supervisor of your request for equipment rental assistance.
We are sure that all parents realize it is impossible to develop and implement a football program such as this without a great deal of expense being incurred, particularly since effort is made to take all steps necessary for the best interest of the participants. The major expenses are (1) cost of Mighty Mites jerseys, (2) equipment, & (3) game officials.
If it is possible for you to contribute more than the minimum of $25.00, it will enable the Mighty Mites to sponsor a player who cannot afford to pay for his equipment. We make this appeal for additional contributions because we feel that no player should be prevented from participating in the program because of lack of financial resources. We are sure you agree!
WHAT ARE EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS?
Mouth guard, NOCSAE approved helmet and shoulder pads will be required for the player's protection and if possible, regulation football pants. The approved mouth guards along with jerseys will be provided by Mighty Mites, Inc. for distribution to each player at his practice field. Additional mouthpieces are available at an additional charge. Equipment should fit properly to insure adequate protection for each child. Parents should understand that if you rent equipment from Mighty Mites that it will be in proper condition and includes all necessary parts such as helmet jaw pads, forehead pad and liner pad. Parent should also understand that any defacing, altering, modifying, permanently marking or other action resulting in damage to Mighty Mites helmets or shoulder pads WILL result in charges to the parents to repair or replace any such equipment.
Soft-soled sneakers/basketball shoes and molded rubber cleated shoes are allowed to be worn by participants in the Mighty Mites program. Shoes with hard plastic, detachable, or metal cleats are not allowed to be worn. Players who violate this policy will be excused from the program for the season, with no refund of fees paid.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RENT EQUIPMENT?
The Mighty Mites program has an equipment rental program whereby equipment (shoulder pads & helmets) is available for rent for one season at a cost of $30.00. The rental program is ideal for any participants who are indecisive about wanting to play the game of football, for they can play without investing a lot of money in new equipment. In addition some families with several players prefer to rent part of the equipment rather than buying several sets. If participants own regulation shoulder pads and/or a helmet that does not fit correctly, they can donate them to our program and in return they can use our correctly fitted shoulder pads and/or helmet for one season at no charge.
All rental equipment owned by Mighty Mites Inc. is to be used at Mighty Mites sanctioned games and practices only.
ARE PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS AND PARENTAL STATEMENT REQUIRED?
You will be furnished, along with your registration card, a health examination form to be completed by a physician and by the par- ent or guardian. Physical examination, as stated in the instructions on said form, is mandatory before any participant will be permitted to play in a game. A parent/guardian will be asked to certify that their child is physically fit to play Mighty Mites football. The par- ent/guardian is required to certify the child has no illness, disease, condition or injury that places the child at medical risk to play Mighty Mites full contact youth football.
The parent should fill out the health examination form, and your physician should complete their portion of the health form. Physical exams by physicians must be performed after January 1, 2012. Players should return the completed signed health form to their field supervisor on or before Thursday, September 13, 2012. All players will be weighed at registration to establish each player's accurate weight.
IS THERE ANY DANGER OF YOUR PLAYER GETTING HURT?
Football is a contact game and there is always the possibility of injury. There has never been any serious injury in the history of the program. It is important to remember these players are playing under close supervision with players of their general age and size, and with proper equipment. Further steps taken toward prevention of athletic injuries are the required use of mouth guard, required physical examination and the review and approval of teams for which a player shall play by the field supervisors (thus eliminating the possibility of recruiting boys to a team). League standing of teams as to their win/loss record are not published nor do we permit any inter-league competition or championship play. Acknowledging that football is very competitive, it is our firm belief that by minimizing inter-team competition will also minimize athletic injuries. Mighty Mites, Inc. does not assume any risk of liability for participants or spectators in the program.
The football program has grown at a rapid rate in relation to the number of players participating. However, we are experiencing a limitation of fields available to practice and/or play on which will limit the number of players who can participate. We encourage all parents and players who have received their registration materials and who know of boys in their neighborhood desiring to play, to advise them to come to one of our parks on the registration dates listed on page 5 or go to our website, www.mightymitesfootball. org, for registration materials. In Springfield, the program will be conducted at Meador and Ewing Parks. The size to which the program has grown makes registration very important.
WHEN AND HOW LONG ARE PRACTICE SESSIONS?
Practice sessions will begin on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. You likely will not be called by your coach prior to the first practice session. Please be at your first practice on September 4 at 5:30 p.m. Each park will set their individual starting practice time after the first practice, practices will run for one hour and 15 minutes. The first two weeks of football season will be devoted to practice ses- sions only, no games. All participants will practice Tuesday thru Thursday. Beginning the third week the players will practice Tuesday and Wednesday evenings as set forth above and will then play games on Thursday nights. The schedule for the games will be posted at www.mightymitesfootball.org and will also be available to the coaches. The season shall be comprised of a continuous seven week period starting on September 4, 2012, as stated above, there being two weeks devoted to practice sessions and five weeks devoted to practices and to games. Individual fields will set their own practice times of 1 hour and fifteen minutes. It is expected that an extra game will be played on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. Please note there is no guarantee of the number of games to be played due to unpredictable weather conditions and condition of playing fields. No more than two game nights are allowed in any one week. Cancelled games will not be rescheduled after October 4, 2012, except the final game night on October 18, 2012.
IMPORTANT GAME AND PRACTICE INFORMATION
Mighty Mites Youth Football participants will be required to travel to play some or all their games.
Mighty Mites practices are to be held at established times and locations only. No extra or additional practice sessions or meetings are allowed!
Please notify your field supervisor if your coach arranges extra practices or meetings.
HOW DO I DETERMINE IF GAMES OR PRACTICES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED BECAUSE OF WEATHER?
The decision as to whether or not games and practices will be played shall be made by Mighty Mites. You should check our web site at www.mightymitesfootball.org, contact your coach or field supervisor in this regard. Do not call the Park Board in Springfield. Please check our website for cancellation information or call your coach. Cancelled games will not be rescheduled after October 4, 2012, except the final game night on October 18, 2012.
SPORTSMANSHIP, ETHICS & BEHAVIOR
Good sportsmanship is a commitment to fair play, ethical behav- ior and integrity. Sportsmanship is defined as those qualities which are characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others. Players, parents, coaches, officials, spectators and supervisors must be aware of their influence on the behavior of others and exhibit good sportsmanship. The Board of Directors gives Officers, the Executive Administrator or Field Supervisors the authority to remove any person from any football site who behaves in a manner detrimental to the principle of sportsmanship. The following guidelines have been adopted by the Board of Directors:
EXPECTATIONS OF COACHES AND SUPERVISORS
- Attend one of two Mighty Mites Coaches Clinics.
- Always set a good example for participants and spectators to fol- low, exemplifying the highest moral and ethical behavior and be a positive role model.
- Instruct participants in proper sportsmanship responsibilities and demand that they make sportsmanship a priority.
- Respect judgment of football officials, abide by the rules of Mighty Mites, Inc. and display no behavior that could incite spectators.
- Treat opposing coaches, all players and spectators with respect.
- The Mighty Mites Youth Football Program has zero tolerance for any type of physical or verbal abuse of game officials or any other individual.
- Practices are allowed only at authorized times and locations.
EXPECTATIONS OF PLAYERS
- Treat teammates and opponents with respect.
- Treat Coaches with respect.
- Respect judgment of football officials; abide by the rules of the Mighty Mites Youth Football Program.
- Cooperate with officials, coaches, supervisors and fellow participants to conduct a fair contest.
EXPECTATIONS OF PARENTS AND SPECTATORS
- Realize that attendance is a privilege to observe games, not a license to verbally assault others or to be generally obnoxious. There is simply no place in the Mighty Mites Youth Football Program for negative comments or criticism.
- Respect decisions made by Field Supervisors and football game officials.
- Be an exemplary role model by positively supporting players and teams in every manner possible.
- Respect spectators, coaches, supervisors and participants.
- At no time may parents or spectators be allowed on the playing field, unless requested by supervisors or football game officials.
- The Mighty Mites Youth Football Program has zero tolerance for any type of physical or verbal abuse.
- Immediately report any request to attend any practice or meeting outside authorized Mighty Mites practice times/locations.
During the season, pictures will be taken on certain Mondays at our larger parks. Please check with your field supervisor and visit our website at www.mightlymitesfootball.org for your picture schedule.
WHERE CAN I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?
Any of the field supervisors, coaches or members of the Board of Directors of Mighty Mites, Inc. will be happy to explain the program to you in more detail and furnish any information required. You may obtain this information by writing to Mighty Mites, Inc., P.O. Box 1926, Springfield, Mo. 65801-1926, visiting our web site, www.mightymitesfootball.org; or by calling 833-6007. During the season you may contact any of the above. Do not call the Park Board in Springfield.
Please note that dogs are not allowed in any Mighty Mites Parks, except for trained medical or sight assisted dogs.
RULES OF THE MIGHTY MITES YOUTH FOOTBALL PROGRAM
There will be three divisions as follows:
1st and 2nd Grade Level
3rd and 4th Grade Level
5th and 6th Grade Level
If the Board of Directors, Officers or the Field Supervisors deter- mine that a player is in the wrong division due to age, size, and/or ability, that player may be placed in an appropriate division.
Mighty Mites Field Supervisors and VP - Rules will approve all Mighty Mites players, teams and coaches.
All parks will follow specific guidelines provided by the Board of Directors for selection of players for each team.
If any team is too strong, the Officers or Board of Directors may make an equitable adjustment on the recommendation of the field supervisors.
No team shall have more than 20 players, unless approved by the Board of Directors. If any coach cannot coach 19 or 20 players, he should see his Field Supervisor.
Every player shall play approximately one half of every game for which the player is dressed out and has attended practice sessions. An assistant coach could be assigned the responsibility to assure all such players play approximately 1/2 of every game.
Please note a player that plays exclusively on either offense or defense is considered to play one half of the game.
Regular high school football rules will apply with the following exceptions:
- Most playing fields will be 60 yards long and 36 yards wide. Lines will be marked off at 6 yard intervals parallel to the goal line and in-bound marks will be placed 12 yards from each side line. The end zones shall be optional but if used will be 6 yards making the total length 72 yards from end line to end line.
- Goal post to mark the goal line shall not be used.
- Extra point line shall be l l/2 yards from the goal line.
- There will be no kickoffs. The game shall start with the ball being put in play on the 18 yard line for the fifth and sixth grades and from the 24 yard line for the third and fourth grades and first and second grades.
- After securing possession, a team must make 6 yards in 4 downs or lose the ball.
- A punt may be made on any scrimmage down. The receiving team gains control at, the lesser of, the spot where the receiving team secures possession or first knocks the ball forward. The defensive line may kneel down during a punt or they may stand with their arms extended in the air. However, rushing the kicker, returning the punt, or crossing the line of scrimmage, by either team, is not allowed.
- All linebackers must be at least 3 yards from the line of scrimmage and are not allowed to blitz, or charge the offensive line, until the center has snapped the football. Motion or movement in any direction, by any defensive backfield player of more than one step, is not allowed until the center has snapped the foot- ball.
- A fumble is a loose ball which strikes the ground. Fumbles will be ruled dead at the point of recovery. They may not be advanced by either team. This includes fumbles by the quarter- back on the center snap. A loose ball which is intercepted, recovered while in flight, or taken from another player, any of which happens without the ball striking the ground, may be advanced. Offensive guards, tackles & the center are not allowed to advance the ball.
- Following a safety, the team that had possession shall free kick from their 12 yard line.
- Each half will be 20 minutes long.
- The half time will be 3 minutes.
- The referee shall announce to both teams when there are 5 min- utes remaining in the half, when there are 4 minutes remaining in the half, and when 3 minutes remain in the half the referee shall announce to both teams that 2 plays remain before the half concludes. Plays that are nullified by a penalty shall not be counted. Punts and extra point plays shall not be counted.
- The only time the play clock shall stop is when an injured play- er must be removed from the field of play. Each team is allowed one 30 second "team meeting" per half. No "team meeting" or delays are allowed during the final two plays of each half.
- Penalties; minor penalties will be 3 yards and major penalties will be 9 yards. Except for unsportsmanlike conduct, face mask or horse-collar tackle penalties; all other penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage.
3 yard penalties - False start, offside, encroachment, illegal motion, too many players on field, delay of game, holding, illegal use of hands.
9 yard penalties - Unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness, face mask, clipping, horse-collar tackle, spearing, roughing the passer, mouthpiece not in player's mouth, illegal play, and illegal formation.
- A 9-yard penalty shall be imposed against the team when one of its players fails to wear the required mouthpiece during a play. Mouthpieces shall be attached to the face guard. Special dental mouthpieces must be approved by the field supervisor. Officials should notify a player if his mouthpiece is not in place before the play starts.
- In the case of defensive or offensive pass interference, the penalty assessed shall be 9 yards from the line of scrimmage. If it is not possible to enforce the full 9-yard penalty then the penalty assessed shall be 1/2 the distance to the goal.
- There are no "loss of down" penalties and no penalties that result in an "automatic first down".
- 1st and 2nd grade teams shall run only those offensive plays from the T-Formation; as shown and explained in this handbook. No other plays shall be permitted to be run by these teams. The 6- 2-2-1 defense shall be mandatory for all teams in 1st and 2nd grade.
- 3rd and 4th grade teams shall run any legal Missouri High school offensive play, as long as it originates from either the T-Formation or the I-Formation, as shown in this handbook.
- 5th and 6th grade teams shall run any legal Missouri High School offensive play, as long as it originates from 1) the T Formation, 2) the I-Formation or 3) the Shotgun Formation as shown in this handbook on page 48.
- Only the 6-2-2-1 and 4-4-2-1 defense, as shown in this hand- book, are allowed for 3rd through 6th grade teams. No offensive or defensive formation shifts are allowed. No motion is allowed on any play. Crack back blocking is not allowed.
- There shall be no exhibition games between any teams of Mighty Mites football program without prior consent and approval of the Mighty Mites Board of Directors, which con- sent shall be severely restricted.
- Equipment owned by Mighty Mites Inc. is to be used at Mighty Mites sanctioned games and practices only, with no exceptions.
- Program participants will not be allowed to play in the final Mighty Mites football game unless all candy money outstanding has been turned in to the participant's field supervisor.
- Players, head coach and no more than two assistant coaches for each of the two teams participating in a game shall group on the same side of the field for the entire game. All head coaches & assistant coaches must display their individual certified coach card at all times. The two teams shall be on respective sides of midfield. Each individual team's coaches box will be 12 yards, from the 12 yards line to the 24 yards line, & all coaches and players will be required to remain in this box. All parents and other spectators shall be required to observe the game from the opposite side of the field from which the teams are located and such spectators shall position themselves at least 10 feet from the sideline or behind the spectator line. Where there are two adjacent Mighty Mites fields at a park, the two teams playing at the respective fields shall be located on that side of the field which comprises the area between the two fields. The spectators shall then be on the opposite side of the fields at least 10 feet from the sidelines, or behind the spectator line. At any time dur- ing the game that any parent or other spectator shall be found observing a game on the same side of the fields as the teams are located, the play shall be immediately stopped until the situation is corrected.
- Mighty Mites reserves the right to excuse any player from participation in the program whom because of size, weight or any other factor creates a situation detrimental to the other participants.
- The Mighty Mites Board of Directors gives the Officers or Field Supervisors the authority to exclude any player from par- ticipating in the program, who due to his size, weight or any other factor could be detrimental to the other participants or himself.
- For 1st & 2nd Grade games only, two coaches from each team will be allowed on the playing field to help arrange players.
MAXIMUM WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS FOR ALL OFFENSIVE POSITIONS THAT HANDLE THE FOOTBALL.
1st & 2nd Grade Level - 65 lbs.
3rd & 4th Grade Level - 95 lbs.
5th & 6th Grade Level - 125 lbs.
These maximum weight limits apply to all offensive players who are eligible to handle the football. The center is not allowed to advance the football.
On offense only the following six offensive positions, as defined and shown in the diagrams and illustrations within this handbook, are allowed to attempt to advance the football (a.k.a. ball carriers): QB, HB, FB, TB, Ends, and Receivers.
Players are required to be weighed and will take off helmet and shoulder pads before weighing.
These regulations are set to ensure the safety of all players, not to limit the play of specific positions. There is no compromise of these rules.
All coaches and assistant coaches are required to complete a successful background check once every three years, at a cost of $20 to be paid by each coach/assistant coach. Please go to our web- site - mightymitesfootball.org, click on the "Coaches" tab & complete the electronic application.