Health & Safety

Coaches Corner & Emergency Procedures

Best Behavior Always

Preseason, during the season, prior to games and scrimmages VYFL board members and coaching staff are to remind spectators that all comments, gestures, conduct by them must be positive and supportive of all players, coaches, game officials and consistent with the VYFL mission. Head coaches are responsible for their bench and spectator behavior. Let’s all set a high standard for player, coaches and spectator behavior and be consistent across the entire season.


Please encourage parents and players to bring plenty of cool water for hydration during all practices and games. Please anticipate heat /humidity extremes & arrange with the team parents to always have extra re-supply of water on hand whenever needed. Our aim needs to always be to prevent heat illness that will always translate to improved team performance. This can be especially important when teams are traveling. Pre-hydration with G2, Gatorade, etc. is best used in conjunction with a well-balanced diet for the three meals before a practice or a game. We require individual water/beverage containers for use by every athlete. These containers need to be washed after every practice and game to prevent the spread of infection. Players are not allowed to use beverages brought by other players. Helmets and mouthpieces should be properly disinfected and cleansed by parents after every practice and game.

Player Down Procedures

Coaches will ensure that parents and players all know and rehearse everyone’s role in the event of an emergency or a player down situation. In the event of a player down situation or injury, all players will immediately take a knee away from the injured player. A single player may stay with the injured player until relieved by a member of the coaching staff. 

Everyone including all coaches and players will be taught to require a “down -presumed injured/ill player” to REMAIN or STAY DOWN on the ground motionless until coaches and/or medical staff arrive.

Each team will have a well rehearsed pre-plan in place for any possible emergency situation that will include knowing what coach goes to the injured player, what coach calls for help or 911, what coach huddles the remainder of the team well away from the emergency and what coach makes plans for a replacement. On arrival for a player down, Coaches will remove the players mouthpiece and steady the helmet and neck in the position found until a proper evaluation by EMS/medical staff can occur. Team parents may be included in your team pre-plan. Please also be aware that” obstructing EMS or a physician” rendering emergency care can be punishable as a class a misdemeanor in New York State.

Weather & Emergencies: Heat lightning, lightning, high winds, severe downpours, distant and local thunder will be taken very seriously by all coaching staff and league officials. All players, coaches and parents will immediately jog to their designated SAFE VYFL building (or car if approved by Coach) when directed w/o hesitation or question. A VYFL single HORN blast (long) means move to VYFL safe building as pre-established and drilled. Failing to immediately comply as above could result in coach and/or team reprimand or disciplinary action. A minimum of 20 minutes MUST pass without any of the above to even consider resuming practice or game. 

There will be a VYFL “Officer of the Day” clearly identifiable for every practice and game. This person will be available by radio at all times and have access to a golf cart. 

Weather & Emergency Procedures

THREE horn or siren blasts mean that practice or game is cancelled. A single LONG horn/siren blast requires EVERYONE to immediately take shelter in their assigned structure for a weather emergency.

During games or practices, if Medical or EMS is needed to evaluate an injured or ill athlete on the playing field, the head coach will request the referee to alert medical by blowing their whistle three brief times & raising their arms above their head. A coach requiring medical during a practice will take similar action. 

All coaches, VYFL officials and parents are required to be very diligent & attentive for any athlete with signs or symptoms of concussion, neck injury, asthmatic, difficulty breathing or heat related illness. All persons are required to immediately report any observations to the coaching staff and VYFL EMS Medical.

Important Information

Once teams are established the VYFL President will cause the Communications Director to publish and distribute a list that contains board members,  coaches and player (by team) NAMES, PHONE NUMBERS including cell #’s, cell # for BOTH parents or guardians. Email addresses will be included on this list. A copy of this will be in the medical cart and in each coaches cell phone for their team. A coach traveling will have the phone number direct to the 911 center where you are playing. 


Broome County dial 911 or 607-778-1918

Tioga Co. 607-754-2515     687-1010

Chenango Co. 911. 607-334-5380

Tompkins Co. 911


Every player will bring their own (labeled with player's name) clean water container. Players cannot practice without water or beverage. Water breaks will occur whenever possible in shaded areas and will last for at least THREE minutes on the clock. During a heat emergency (declared by MEDICAL or the Officer of the day) no laps or strenuous activities will occur during practice. Players who have a history of obesity, asthma, other chronic medical conditions, or who are obviously struggling or in distress will not be pushed and VYFL medical will be consulted.


It is every parents, player and coaches responsibility to make sure that Arnold Park (or stadium if game day)is picked up, cleaned and always left in better shape than when we arrived. Teams that fail to comply may have their next practice first hour dedicated to cleaning & picking up entire Arnold Park. This means to be sure to fully pick up and clean your sidelines, grandstands and spectator areas at the conclusion of every practice and game. Players should not be allowed to leave with their parents until the Head coach releases them after inspecting the sidelines, practice area/s and field. Team parents are encouraged to assist with these efforts. We are guests at Arnold Park and at all the venues our teams travel to.


VYFL officials and medical staff will be closely monitoring teams at practices and on game game days to be sure that 100% of our teams take appropriate time for pre-practice, slow dynamic stretching as well as huddle for a proper cool down and team stretching at the conclusion of every practice, game and scrimmage. Stretching is not a calisthenics. Most stretches in order to be effective will last at least 30 seconds. This can be done off the field if another game is ready to begin. It should also be emphasized to players and parents through VYFL. Coaches will have parent cell phone contact numbers available for every player. 


VYFL Theme - Point of Emphasis for Week 1-2 is: “Stretching decreases pain, improves speed and prevents injury”.


VYFL Board Members, Coaches and VYFL EMS/medical staff always have the option to start an ambulance EARLY or immediately by calling 911 when indicated and when an athlete or spectator is observed to have any of the following:

  • respiratory distress - difficulty breathing 
  • allergic reaction or severe allergic reaction 
  • head injury with altered level of consciousness, all loss of consciousness 
  • neck, back, or suspected spinal cord injury where there was or is a neurovascular compromise 
  • blunt injuries to the thorax / chest
  • blunt injuries to the abdomen 
  • blunt injuries to the throat 
  • any minor extremity trauma with neurovascular compromise.
  • Severe pain that does not immediately resolve
  • Any signs/symptoms or indicators of heat illness, heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Adopted unanimously VYFL Board on 7/31/2022


Contact Us

Vestal Youth Football League
PO Box 1071
Vestal, New York 13851-1071

(631) 671-1082
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About Us

The VYFL is dedicated to teaching the art and science of football to the young men and women of Vestal, while maintaining a fun and motivating environment that will teach children Sportsmanship, Communication, Camaraderie, Teamwork, Discipline, and Work Ethic.

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