The Warriors have provided the youth of our community the opportunity to play tackle football since 1967. During the 2020 season, we had nearly 300 players, ranging in age from 6 to 14, participating on 13 teams. We expect the 2021 season to be very similar. The Warriors are one of nine members of the Arapahoe Youth League (AYL) and serve the youth in Northern Douglas County (for a description of the Warriors territory please select the "Our Territory" button). The AYL scheduled and provided referees for our 2020 season with over 100 teams participating. The Warriors teams play an 8 game regular season schedule followed by play-offs. For 2021, Pre-season practices begin August 2nd. Also continuing for the 2021 season, all Warriors teams will be allowed to hold weekly "Conditioning Practices" on a purely voluntary basis. These "Conditioning Practices" can start as of May 1st and continue weekly until the start of Pre-season practices. Our regular season Saturday games start August 28th (Note: Labor Day is September 6th in 2021). This year we have again expanded our season to allow another full week of time to make-up any games lost to weather and reduce the potential of Sunday make-up games. Our play-offs and championship games are usually completed by the weekend before Thanksgiving. The League controls our practice start day and the allowed number of practices per week, pre-season as well as during the season, so that all teams have equal practice opportunities.
Games in the AYL are managed by the number of plays run per quarter with exception. at 6th thru 8th grade. The number of plays that constitute a game quarter will be 20 plays for grades 1st and 2nd, 22 plays for grade 3rd and 4th and 24 plays for grades 5th. Our 6th, 7th and 8th grades teams will play a 10 minute timed quarter. The games are played on a field 40 yards wide by 60 yards long for grades 1st through 4th and on a field 53 1/3 yard wide (High School regulation width) by 80 yards long for grades 5th and on a standard High School Field (100 yard long by 53 1/3 yards wide) for our 6th thru and 8th grade teams. The AYL allows the kicking of field goals and extra point kicks for our 8th grade teams. We will also allow the 8th grade teams teams to run/pass the ball for a 2 point extra point after touchdown as in High School Rules. All other ages will try for the extra point by running a play from a different yardage position for a one point or a two point PAT. The AYL generally follows all of the High School rules as described in the National Federation of State High School Associations rule book.
In Warriors football, players are grouped on football teams based on age and grade level and then by school attended if possible to facilitate the creation of carpools. For 2021 the date of age determination will be the player’s age prior to June 1st (age on 5/31/2021) to determine the age classification of our players. There are exceptions to the age classification which allow players to play at an older age if the parents feel their player is capable or at one year younger if the players is small in stature and below a pre-defined weight limit. If you wish to discuss these age exceptions, please contact any of the volunteers identified below. The teams at each age group are further divided into multiple Divisions based on the team’s experience and past record. The Divisions are the NFC, AFC N, AFC S, and AFC-R (Rookie for grades1st to 3rd). All newly formed teams are generally entered into the AFC S division (or AFC-R division for grades 1st to 3rd), which allows for an equal level of competition and affords any team the opportunity to advance into the play-offs. The more experienced teams comprised of players with a few years of playing experience generally play in the AFC or AFC-N division while the most experienced and capable teams comprise the NFC. All of the Divisions have play-offs and Championship games and based on past performance and record, teams can be moved up to the next Division the following season.
The Football league of the AYL is a "Weight Restricted" league with three weight classifications at all grades except our Rookie Tackle Program (1st through 3rd grade) and the 8th grade. These classifications are "Backfield" and "Single Patch". The AYL conducts a formal Weigh-In before the regular season begins to determine the official weight of each player participating in the league. Players whose weight is determined to be at or below the limit for "Backfield" may participate at any position on the team at any time of the game. Players weighing in at "Single Patch" level are restricted to start every play of the game from the offensive or defensive line of scrimmage and can play at any time of the game. These restrictions were developed to ensure the maximum safety of all participants and are designed to minimize the occurrence of high-speed collisions between players of disparate weights. The AYL uses many inputs to determine the changes in weight limits, including the growth charts prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics. Our weight limits are reviewed annually and will be changed when indicators have increased from the prior year. Should you wish to discuss the specific weight limits for your players please contact one of the volunteers identified below.
The Warriors and the AYL provide a competitive football league and as a result, we do not subscribe to the "everyone plays equally" philosophy of recreational sports. However, the Warriors and the AYL understand that players not only develop and improve their individual skill levels through practice but with the opportunity to play in actual games. Thus to provide players the maximum opportunity to improve their skill level, the AYL football league was established as a "Minimum Play" league. This means that all players eligible to play in the game on a specific Saturday must play a predetermined number of plays in that game, regardless of individual skill level. This predetermined number of plays is a function of the Division in which the team participates and ranges from 20 plays in the game for AFC teams and 16 plays in the game for NFC teams ( 5th grade and below), with 10 and 8 plays respecitively for 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams. The newly formed Rookie Tackle program requires an equal play of 1/2 the game as a minimum play requirement. That specifically is 32 plays per game per player for grades 1st and 2nd and 36 plays per game per player for 3rd grade. The numbers of plays in an official quarter of a game varies by age and minimum play is determined as a percentage of time played at the 6th thru 8th grade level. This "Minimum Play" is strongly supported by the Warriors and failure to comply with this rule can be cause for termination of a specific Coach. The AYL for 2021 again will require mandatory minimum play monitoring for all regular and playoff games. This will require all teams to formally monitor players for compliance towards minimum play. Parents must be aware of the minimum play rule and realize that football, as a competitive sport generally does not provide equal playing time for all players except at the Rookie Tackle Program . We encourage all of our Coaches to explain their individual philosophy with regard to earning playing time at their first Parents meeting.
Questions: Contact our volunteer football director