Guidelines - Backyard Flag Football

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Backyard Flag Football Events are meant to be exciting. That is why we attend. However, there
is a difference between a sporting event at the collegiate or professional level and one amongst
a group of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc. year olds. The younger players are still developing their motor,
spatial and decision-making skills. So the source of the excitement one feels as an adult when
watching a sporting event is not the same as the source of excitement felt by children that are
participating and still trying to form a self-image and identity of who they will be when on the
The process of developing one’s athletic abilities amongst one’s peers under the tutelage of a
“new adult”, the coach, is a very big deal. Everything the adult says or does is a data point that
imprints itself on one’s development. So we need to choose our words and tonality carefully.
Don’t forget that “pickup” sports don’t occur very widely anymore and that used to be the
primary training ground for our youth. So the time we spend with young, developing players on
the field now is even more critical because the shaping process that used to come from pickup
sports is absent.
Please keep this in mind as you read through and digest the information below. If there is
anything you do not understand, please contact Coach Rich for clarification.
Thanks for being a part of the Backyard Sports. We are working very hard to make it the best
volunteer-based, youth athletic development program possible and need your support and input
to be successful.
1. Coaches shall assist each player toward developing his or her fullest potential in Backyard
Flag Football.
2. Coaches shall remember that the behavior of a team can reflect the coach's own manner,
attitudes, temper and approach to the game, and shall conduct themselves in a way which
brings credit to themselves, their team and Backyard Sports.
3. Coaches shall be responsible not only for coaching their teams, but also for running
games, dealing fairly and property with officials and maintaining an objectivity and sense
of balance commensurate with good sportsmanship.
4. Exemplify the highest moral character, behavior and leadership, adhering to strong ethical
and integrity standards.
5. Respect the integrity and personality of the individual athlete.
6. Abide by and teach the rules of the game in letter and in spirit.
7. Set a good example for coaches, players and spectators to follow:
a. Please refrain from arguments in front of the players and spectators.
b. No gestures which indicate an official or opposing coach does not know what he or
she is doing or talking about.
c. No throwing of any object in disgust.
d. Coaches shake hands with the officials and the opposing coaches before and after the
contest in full view of the public.
8. Display modesty in victory and graciousness in defeat in public. Please confine your
remarks to game statistics and to the performance of your team.
9. Be no party to the use of profanity or obscene language or improper actions. Accept and
understand the seriousness of your responsibility and the privilege of representing your
team and Backyard Sports.
10. Learn the rules of the game thoroughly and di scuss them with parents, fans, fellow
coaches, and players. This will assist both them and you in the achievement of a better
understanding and appreciation of the game.
11. Teach sportsmanship and reward teams/teammates that are good sports.
12. Treat opponents the way you would like to be treated, as a guest or friend. Who better
than you can understand all the hard work and team effort that is required of your sport?
Never direct remarks at opponents in a taunting manner.
13. Wish opponents good luck before the game and congratulate them in a sincere manner,
as you would like to be greeted following either victory or defeat.
14. Respect the integrity and judgment of game officials. The officials are doing their best to
help promote you and your sport. Treating them with respect, even if you disagree with
their judgment, will only make a positive impression of you and your team in the eyes of
the officials and all spectators at the event.
15. Try to understand the seriousness and responsibility of your role, and the privilege of
representing your team and Backyard Sports.
16. Establish standards of desirable behavior and attempt to transfer that to your spectators.
17. Select positive comments that praise your team without antagonizing the opponents.
18. Encourage a positive crowd alternative when booing or any inappropriate behavior begins.
19. Give encouragement to injured players and recognition to outstanding performances for
both teams.
20. Remember that recreational athletics are learning experiences for participants and that
mistakes are sometimes made. Praise players in their attempt to improve themselves as
young athletes and as people.
21. Spectators need to understand that attendance at a game is a privilege to observe the
contest, not a license to verbally assault others and be generally obnoxious. You also are
a direct reflection on your community/program.
22. Refrain from the use of any controlled substance (alcohol, drugs, etc.) before and during
games and afterwards on or near the site of the event (i.e., tailgating).
23. Promote ideals and fundamentals of good sportsmanship.
24. Report acts of sportsmanlike behavior without giving undue publicity to unsportsmanlike
25. Refrain from making negative comments toward participants, coaches or officials.
26. Report facts without demonstrating partiality to either team.

Backyard Flag Football---The League that Defies the Odds!
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