Health & Safety
All players should have a pre-season physical to determine their readiness to play and to uncover any condition that may limit participation. Make an appointment with your primary care physician or provider for a pre-participation medical history, concussion screening and physical examination. Be sure to update all immunizations, make certain the physician conducting the physical is aware that you will be participating in full contact or “collision” youth football or cheer. Institute a plan with your physician for an athlete that has any chronic medical condition. Be sure to discuss this plan with your Head Coach and with the league Medical Director. A copy of this physical is not required to be in the possession of the VYFL.
Starting the program
It is important for your child to stay active during the summer, so that he or she is prepared to begin participating in fall sports. Begin a workout program several weeks prior to the start of the season that includes at least ten minutes of proper stretching before and at the conclusion of every work out. Be sure to properly and gradually increase workout intensity under parental supervision. Proper hydration and nutrition is essential prior to workouts, practices and games.
Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of football season. During the off-season, stick to a balanced fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility. If you are out of shape at the start of the season, gradually increase your activity level and slowly build back to a higher fitness level.
Warm up and stretch.
Always take time to warm-up and stretch. Research has shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, running, or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
Cool down and stretch.
Stretching at the end of practice and games is too often neglected because of busy schedules. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles long and flexible. Be sure to stretch after each training practice to reduce your risk for injury.
Even mild levels of dehydration can hurt athletic performance. If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat and evaporation. A general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise. Drinking an additional 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise is also helpful. While you are exercising, break for an 8oz. cup of water every 20 minutes. During practices, teams will take frequent water breaks to prevent dehydration and overheating.
Parents will need to inform their Coach and VYFL Medical of all athletes with both acute and chronic medical conditions that may require support. Parents who have children with a history of diabetes, asthma, or other significant medical conditions especially those that may require “on field” support or medication must be present at all practices and games. Parents will make sure that their coach has appropriate cellular and home phone numbers for the parent.
No student athlete will be allowed to participate if they have had an illness with fever within the past 24 hours. No players will participate if they are ill or injured as well. Those returning from illness or injury where they were evaluated by a physician will require a note authorizing their return to full participation.
All players are required to use the following at all times:
- Helmet (Properly fitted and secured)
- Shoulder pads, hip pads, tail pads, knee pads
- Pants (one piece or shell)
- Thigh Guards
- Mouth Guard (A keeper strap is required)
- Athletic Supporter with protective cup
- Shoes (Players can wear sneakers, but non-detachable, rubber cleated shoes are highly supported. Check with your coach about the type of shoe allowed in your league)
- If eyeglasses must be worn by a player, they should be of approved construction with non-shattering glass (safety glass). Contact lenses also can be worn.
- Learn to recognize early signs of pain and discomfort in children, and teach children to be aware of those signs as well. Let them know they should notify their coach or parent as soon as they experience any pain.
- Avoid the pressure that is now exerted on many young athletes to over train. Listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury and help avoid future problems.
- Coaches and VYFL Medical Staff are knowledgeable about first aid and are able to administer first aid and emergency care for minor injuries, such as facial cuts, bruises, or minor strains and sprains.
- Be prepared for emergencies. All coaches and teams will have a plan to contact VYFL medical personnel for help with more significant injuries such as concussions, dislocations, contusions, sprains, abrasions, and fractures.
- Coaches are always to call 911 without any delay if they have an injury or illness that requires EMS immediate response.
- VYFL has an AED generally kept on the VYFL Medical/EMS cart or in the concession stand.
- The VYFL has a League Physician Medical Director Micah Lissy, M.D., PT, ATC and can be contacted for immediate visits by using the UHS Sports Medicine HOTLINE 24/7: (607) 762-3865.
- William Loller, RN, Adv. EMT Critical Care is the on-site VYFL Medical Director and can be contacted at (607) 221-9927.
- In the event of a Medical EMERGENCY always call 911, never delay!
An injured player’s symptoms must be completely resolved before returning to play. For example:
- In case of a joint problem, the player must have no pain, no swelling, full range of motion and normal strength.
- In case of concussion, the player must have no symptoms at rest of with exercise, and should be cleared by the appropriate medical provider. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Neurology have established guidelines recommending that athletes with concussions be evaluated and cleared by a doctor trained in managing concussions before returning to sports.
Vestal Youth Football League
PO Box 1071
Vestal, New York 13851-1071
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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