Frequently Asked Questions
UpdatedTuesday May 24, 2022 byMatthew Pickett.
Knights Football & Cheer 2022 FAQ:
1. When is the registration period for the upcoming 2022 season?
Open Registration will run from April 15th 2022 until Aug 6thth You must have a valid registration in order to pick up equipment. We will consider late registrations on a case by case basis depending on roster availability.
All participants must register online by going to www.wabknights.com and clicking the “Registration Info” tab. Fill out all the required information and you will receive an email confirming your pre-registration. You will have the option pay online via $295 check payable to “Knights Football & Cheer”
All documents and forms will be emailed out and available in the “Documents” section of our website.
2. Who is eligible to participate?
All children living in Westford/Acton/Boxborough or going to school in Westford/Acton/Boxborough, and children in neighboring towns that don't have a Youth Football program are welcome to participate, provided they meet the following basic criteria:
- Are between the ages of 6-15 as of July 31st, 2022
- Maintain a 70% scholastic average
3. What is required for a child to participate?
Each player must provide the following information prior to the 1st pre-season practice to participate for the 2022 season:
- Payment of the 2022 Registration fee in full - $295
- Original Birth Certificate with raised seal (no copies or Hospital certificates)
- Completed 2022 Participant Contract and Parental Consent Form
- Completed 2022 Physical Fitness & medical History Form. This must be dated and signed by a medical professional after January 1, 2022.
- Copy of year end 2021-2022 report card.
- Signed 2022 Parent Code of Conduct
- Signed 2022 Cheer Policy Document (Cheer participants only)
4. What is the parental commitment?
Most importantly, you do your children a great service by making sure they get to practices and games on time, and with the right equipment/uniform. In addition, the Knights rely heavily on parents volunteering their time. There are many activities that go into making youth football a great experience for our families. Volunteers are needed for the concession stand, charting the mandatory plays, working on the "Chain Gang,” announcing games, writing team game articles, selling league apparel, etc. Many of our volunteers enjoy supporting the program and getting to know the parents of their child's teammates.
5. What is the registration fee to participate?
The registration fee for the 2022 season for each boy or girl participating in football or cheerleading is listed below and includes a discount for second and subsequent children in the same family.
One Player/Cheerleader $295 Two Players/Cheerleaders $540 Three or more (max fee) $785
Full or partial scholarships are available to those who present a hardship case to the Knights President (Matt Pickett) fee covers all of the necessary costs to participate in the program, including full game and practice uniforms and costs related to the usage of town fields and gyms.
6. When does the season begin and end each season?
The Knights 2022 season begins on the first week of August. The regular season ends in late October, but playoffs and cheer competitions can extend the season by a few weeks.
7. PRACTICES: When and where? What do I bring? Do parents stay?
When and where are practices?
Practices starts in early August for football and cheerleading. They will run up to four nights, Monday through Thursday, with a maximum of 10 hours of practice each week. Practice times are generally 6 – 8:30 PM. Mon/Thurs practices will be at NARA park in Acton and Wed/Thurs practices will be at the Abbot School in Westford. After Labor Day, practices are limited to 6 hours per week (4hrs for 5-6 yr olds. Prior to Labor Day, Football and Cheerleading practices are held at the Abbot School on Depot St. After Labor Day, Football teams continue to practice at Abbot while cheerleading practices will move indoors to Westford and Acton school gyms.
What should I bring to practice?
In addition to their equipment, players should come to practice with water. Insect repellent may also be helpful on certain nights.
Do parents have to stay at each practice?
No, parents are allowed to leave their child unattended as long as they inform the head coach and provide an emergency contact number. The parent must arrive back to the field
10 minutes before the end of the practice. No coach is to leave a child at the practice field without supervision. No coach is allowed to provide a player a ride home without the written consent of a parent or guardian In the event that a child is not picked up from practice, the team’s head coach will call the local Police Department and have the child picked up and brought to the Police Department until a guardian or family member can pick them up.
What do August Practices consist of?
The most challenging part of youth football is the first two weeks of practice. There is lots of physical conditioning, it will be hot, and new players are getting used to their equipment. During this period, the coaches will do everything they can to ensure that players have fun, stay well hydrated and learn the skills they need to have a great season.
The first week of football practice is primarily conditioning. Players will be wearing only their helmets, shorts, t-shirts and cleats. After 10 hours of practice, the players will wear all of their equipment and begin physical contact.
For cheer, most of the first two weeks of practice are spent fulfilling the mandatory 20hrs of conditioning. After this time, they can begin stunting.
8. GAMES: When and where are the games played? Which towns do we play?
There are eight (8) regular season games played on Sundays, beginning on in September and concluding in October. Playoffs for all divisions. Home games are held at Westford Academy on Patten Rd and Leary Field in Acton.
The Knights participate in the Central Mass Youth Football and Cheer Conference of the American Youth Football League, which currently includes teams from areas listed here: Associations (siplay.com)
There are eight regular season games (four home/four away) played on Sundays, likely beginning in September and running through the last Sunday in October. Home games will be played at Acton Boxborough Regional High School and Westford Academy.
Schedules will be finalized prior to the first game and are subject to change.
If a football team or cheer team qualifies for post season activities, the football games and cheer competitions at the Conference and Region level are held in late October through November. The AYF Super Bowl Football and Cheerleading Championships are held in early December.
When should I arrive for the game?
Players are expected to arrive at the playing field at least one hour before the game starts in full uniform or as instructed by their head coach.
9. What equipment/uniforms are supplied to players and cheerleaders?
Equipment and uniforms are provided to all children. Uniforms must be returned at the end of each season in good condition. The program provides the following football equipment, which is valued at over $250.00 per player.
- · Helmet with chinstrap and ear pads Shoulder pads
- · Practice shirt *
- · One pair of game pants*
*All clothing should be washed before it is worn.
Cheerleaders receive a uniform to be worn at games and competition. Competition level teams will receive a body suit for competition. Sneakers are also provided by the KNIGHTS.
10. What equipment is required to be purchased for players and cheerleaders?
Football players are required to supply the following:
- Mouth guard
- Girdle with pads - (2) thigh, (2) hip, (1) tailbone pad. Another option is to purchase your own practice pants with integrated pads that can be transferred to, or worn under game pants. (we have older girdle pads available, but recommend purchasing your own)
- Athletic supporter and cup
Cheerleaders need to purchase briefs, white body suit, game and/or competition bows.
11. Which team will my child be assigned to?
Football players are placed on teams according to grade. This will be determined once we see registration.
12. How much will my child get to play and how do you determine positions?
AYF has a "Mandatory Play Rule,” which stipulates the minimum number of plays that each team member must play in every game (determined by the number of players on each team). Players are required to have a minimum of 8-12 plays per game depending on the team size.
In most cases, players will play more than the minimum play requirements. Coaches will try to put your child in the best position possible to succeed individually and help the team. This may not always be their favorite position or desired position.
13. Do the Knights have a Code of Conduct and/or Rules and Regulations?
The Knights have every football player, cheerleader, and parent sign a statement accepting the Code of Conduct and Rules and Regulations including Attendance Guidelines that are enforced throughout the AYF season. Every volunteer Board member, coach, and concession personnel is required to sign a Code of Conduct form and is subject to review of criminal record background checks (CORI).
14. What is the refund policy?
Prior to Aug 6th = full refund upon return of all equipment
Aug 7th – Aug 17th = $100 refund upon return of all equipment No refunds will be given after Aug 23rdth.
15. How do I sign up as a volunteer?
If you have interest in helping as a volunteer, we are always looking for people to help during home games such as field preparations, holding the sideline chains and markers, concessions (snack shack), raffle sales, time clock, press box, announcer, league apparel sales, article writer. Every season we need football and cheer coaches and team parents. If interested, please contact us using the "Contact Us" form on our website or the contacts listed under question #20. You will also be required to fill out a CORI form (this can be found on our website under Documents & Forms). Check our website regularly for new info and dates to remember.
16. Who can I contact with questions/feedback related to the program?
Our objective is to ensure that we, the KNIGHTS Board of Directors, understand your concerns and listen to your recommendations so that we can continue to provide the best possible program. Please email any feedback or questions to:
President: Matthew Pickett email@example.com
Cheer Dir: Marcie Day firstname.lastname@example.org