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2019 Little Gridiron
Purpose, Organization and Rules

PURPOSE

Little Gridiron is designed to introduce full-contact football to eligible students in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in Lafayette Catholic School systems. The emphasis of the program is on safety, fun, sportsmanship, learning and participation.

ORGANIZATION

Little Gridiron is governed by the participating programs of Lafayette Catholic schools. These programs are responsible for resolving matters of league interest; including finances, rules interpretation, and league policy.

Teams must be composed of no more than 24 players. Team rosters must be finalized by August 23, 2021.

Within the league, each program is required to submit a financial statement each year.

Beginning Autumn 2021, Little Gridiron game-play will join the Lafayette Youth Football 56ers organization. Preliminary season schedule will be compromised of 6 games against Junior Broncho/56er teams at Lafayette Jefferson High School.

Eligibility Requirements

A. Physical Condition

1. A statement must be obtained from the parents or guardian or their family physician, stating that the participant's physical condition affords the participant the capability to participate in the program.

2. The standard release form provided by the Lafayette 56ers, Inc. must be properly signed by the participant's parent or guardian and submitted to the league prior to any participation by the youth.

B. Age and Grade Requirements

1. Youth in the 3rd and 4th grades will be eligible to participate as players in the Junior Broncho league.

2. Youth meeting the above grade requirements shall be under 11 years of age as of July 31st of the current year.

3. Youth in the 5th or 6th grades will be eligible to participate as players in the 56ers league.

4. Youth meeting the above grade requirements shall be under 13 years of age as of July 31st of the current year.

5. Each participant shall sign a Lafayette 56ers Code of Conduct. All participants will agree to not use illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco at any time during the season. Lafayette 56ers shall be notified of any prescription drugs the participant takes.

C. Physical Stature

1. Participation will be denied to a participant weighing less than 70 lbs. or over 210 lbs. for the 56ers league.

2. Participation will be denied to a participant weighing less than 50 lbs. or more than 150 lbs. for the Junior Broncho league.

3. These requirements are not designed to be discriminatory in nature, but are designed to afford the maximum amount of protection to the participants and at the same time allow for the greatest possible participation.

Attendance

1. Each player must participate in each practice and game.

2. If a player misses practice and does not call the team coach, the player must sit out 1/2 of the next game, must be present at the game during the suspension.

3. In the absence of the head coach, the first assistant coach will follow the above rules.

A. Games

1. Each participant will participate in a minimum of six (6) plays per half, and have a starting position.

2. A kick-off team will be considered one play.

B. Discipline

1. A player ejected from a game must sit out the next game and must be present on the sideline during the game suspension.

PLAYER EQUIPMENT

Each player must wear a complete set of equipment (helmet with mask and mouth guard, shoulder pads, shoes without metal cleats, and football pants with pads).

Each program is responsible for providing player equipment.

Players are issued team jerseys to be used for games only. Players may wear elbow, wrist and hand pads, provided they do not unsafely interfere with play.

Coaches are responsible for checking equipment daily.

PRACTICE

All teams may begin practice on August 4, 2021. Practices cannot exceed four per week prior to the start of the season or three per week thereafter. No practice can exceed 120 minutes in length.

Coaches

A. Any Coach or assistant coach on the field at practice or games must have a USA Football Background Check.

B. Any coach or assistant coach on the field at practice or games must attend and pass the USA Football Coaches Certification.

C. Parents interested in helping the team must adhere to the above requirements to be on the field at a practice or game.

D. Any coach or parent that wishes to coach in the Lafayette Central Catholic program must also complete the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana Online Safe Environment Protocol Training:

PHILOSOPHY

The sole purpose of the Little Gridiron program is to provide a fun, safe, challenging, and rewarding experience for each and every player. All coaching and administrative decisions must be made with this in mind!

COACH BEHAVIOR POLICY

Any coach ejected from any game must leave the field completely and will be suspended from coaching in the next scheduled game. The coach will be allowed to coach during the week to prepare the team but will not be allowed on the premises at the next game, even as a spectator.

Any coach ejected from two games in a season will be immediately suspended for the remainder of the season and for all of the following season. The coach must then re-apply for admission back into the program at the annual Little Gridiron preseason coaches’ meeting.

Furthermore, any coach incurring two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the season will receive a mandatory one-game suspension under the terms stated above.

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