SMYFFL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the league policy on SMYFFL "playing time"? : The SMYFFL “NFL” Youth Flag Football League is a
“recreation” league open to all children ages 5 to 17 years old – regardless of skill level. Therefore it is league policy
that ALL kids play at least seven (7) plays per half per game and also be guaranteed a starting position on
either offense or defense of every game. The only exception to this rule would be by the parents request that their
child either play less or not at all for possible academic reasons or other personal reasons. In addition, all players will be
given the opportunity to play at both RB and QB positions at least four (4) plays throughout the course of the
season unless the child does not want to play those certain positions. In which case, the coach will work with that
individual to build up his/her confidence and abilities to at least give it a try before seasons end. All players should have
an opportunity to play both offense and defense each game – and at different positions during the course of the season
(not necessarily different positions each and every game). This policy includes the Playoffs and Super Bowls. If
excessive practices are missed however, the coach may only be able to put that particular player in on offense or
defense only, if he deems the player not familiar with certain plays that have been worked on during practices.
ZERO TOLERANCE RULE : Verbal abuse towards league officials, coaches, parents, opposing players, etc in front of
the kids by a coach, player or parent that disagrees with a “call” that a referee made - or an any other action on or off
the field will not be tolerated. Referees and coaches in all youth league sports (not just our league) are very hard to
find – and then train. Our league like many others, have a very hard time finding referees to officiate our games. There
will be ZERO TOLERANCE with permanent ejection at the fields for any adult (or child for that matter) that constantly
abuses another individual. For more detail on this issue, please read the SMYFFL Additional Rules section on the
GAME SUMMARIES & MEDIA : Referees are responsible for reporting the final scores to the league and will confirm
the score with the coaches after each score. Coaches do not need to report final game scores to the league.
Coaches, parents and family members are highly encouraged to submit and upload game photos and videos to our
interactive SMYFFL Facebook page. In addition, game summary write ups can be added and should highlight their
game and kids. Most coaches ask for a volunteer parent (a.k.a. "Team Editor") to handle these media type functions
and write ups to upload to Facebook. It is not mandatory – but a very nice feature the kids, parents and even the out of
town grandparents/relatives love. All articles MUST contain all the players names and win or lose, MUST remain positive
in nature. Any article that the league deems as "Negative" or "Derogatory" towards any players/parents/officials or the
league, will not be posted.
SMYFFL ROSTERS : Rosters once published from the league are final. Each roster will have the same amount
of equal age kids as all others. In the history of the league, this has proven to create a competitive balance throughout
the league in all divisions. We will do our best to locate a coach for you close to your area to reduce travel times,
however, in some cases some practices may require some travel.
Despite many parents asking to have their child placed on a friends or specific coaches team (for many different
reasons) – the league has stated to all parents that such requests are logistically impossible to accommodate all of
these requests when the league is so large. We will attempt to accommodate requests to the best of our abilities prior to
the season starting but there are NO Guarantees on any requests made. Parents requests for multiple players to be on
the same team cannot be granted. Only 1 individual request will be considered.
If your child is placed on a team that practices too far from your residence or on days or hours which are not convenient,
you have until the specified refund date to get a full refund for your registration fee. As stated above, due to requests
and the limited number of coaches in the southern Maryland region, we will be unable to switch teams for any
reason once the rosters are finalized and published to the coaches.
PRACTICES : Practices are held in various areas of Southern Maryland. Coaches are not officially assigned practice
days or locations by the league. Coaches can schedule practices on any date or times they so choose. The league
advertises to parents that most coaches hold one practice per week during the season, and maybe a few more per week
before the start of the regular season not to exceed two (2) days a week maximum and no longer than two (2) Hours
maximum at anytime during the season.
SCHEDULES : Once published in mid-March schedules are FINAL and cannot be changed. Often coaches will request
a simple change in a game time slot in the middle of the season after the schedules have been out. While on paper it
seems like nothing major, please keep in mind that if the league accommodates one coach request, it must
accommodate ALL coaches requests (and the league gets many each season). A simple one game change in schedule
involves four teams having their game time moved – and this effects the parents of all of these teams that may have
scheduled their Saturdays around an already published league schedule of ours.
JERSEYS : All participants will get to keep their official NFL Flag jersey at the conclusion of the season. Home teams
will be the 2nd team listed on the schedules and will wear their white jerseys. NFL Flag Jerseys come in the 8 sizes
shown: Youth Small, Youth Medium, Youth Large, Youth XL, Medium, Large, X-large, and XX-large. To better
understand the jersey sizes please see the chart below.
When you have completed registration and have selected the desired jersey size for the participant, there will be no
exchanges on sizes once received. Jersey sizes are not guaranteed when ordering and are subject to NFL Flag
RAIN & INCLEMENT WEATHER HOTLINE : Just like "Real" football, games will be played in the rain unless the fields
are too muddy and risk damage or if lightning is present. Parents are responsible to dress their children appropriately
when weather is less than optimal. Hats, jackets, and double layers of clothing are recommended if such weather is
present. Also, a change of clothes might be wise as well if you are planning to stay for other games during the day. As a
rule – the league web site will post details on cancellations early on Saturday mornings under the "Weather Tab".
SMYFFL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS : Each team qualifies for the playoffs. Playoffs will be single elimination format with
multiple playoff rounds (games) being played the same day. There will be two days of playoffs with the Super Bowls
being played at the conclusion of the second day. Playoff seeding will be drawn randomly at the end of the regular
season for each team. There will be no regular season standings recorded for the SMYFFL REC League. The Top team
in each division will receive individual trophies and all others will receive a participation medal.
WHY DOESN'T THE SMYFFL KEEP STANDINGS IN THE REC LEAGUE: During the first few seasons of the SMYFFL,
we kept standings having the team's record being the determining factor on what seed they were in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, there were way too MANY issues with doing it this way. First and foremost, coaches and teams were
focused solely on winning and having a better record in front of making sure everyone participated and had fun. Some
coaches were too concerned about having to play their best players especially in tight games because their seeding
position was at stake. This is NOT what our league is about. In the SMYFFL, participation is more important than
wins/losses. With other youth sports leagues (not just football) putting so much emphasis on wins and losses, we want to
teach the kids that they can play football and have fun doing it without all the pressures of having to WIN. In stressing
that our league is a recreation league, we instituted the current random draw at the end of the season and quit keeping
standings. This way, regardless of scores or record, teams could play everyone each week without worrying about their
position. We emphasize that our "playoffs" should be considered as an end of season tournament.
What is the difference between the SMYFFL and SMYFFL ELITE League?: The SMYFFL is the original
(recreation) league that provides all players in all divisions ample playing time with its emphasis on having FUN and
learning the fundamentals of flag football. Scores are recorded and posted each week, however, standings are not.
Every team makes the playoffs in the SMYFFL with the top team receiving individual trophies. All other participants in
the SMYFFL receive a participation medal. The SMYFFL ONLY accepts individual registrations and places players on
teams to balance each team out to the best of its ability while keeping practice travel times to a minimum by locating a
coach close to their residence if possible.
The SMYFFL ELITE League caters to more of our competitive, highly skilled players and is recognized as a "select" or
"competitive" league. Scores and Standings are kept each week and teams must compete to make the playoffs. There
are no playing requirements and players are not guaranteed which positions or how much playing time they will receive
each game. The SMYFFL ONLY accepts TEAM registrations for its ELITE league with a minimum of 7 players and a
maximum of 10.
When is the ELITE League offered?: The SMYFFL currently offers the ELITE league ONLY during its spring
seasons. With pound/tackle football in full effect during the fall season, there are many other local options available for
a highly competitive experience. In addition, those wanting to play in the SMYFFL at a high caliber level during the fall
season can tryout for the SMYFFL NFL FLAG Regional Tournament team. - (More information about the tournament at
the bottom of this page)
SMYFFL ELITE LEAGUE policy on "playing time": There are no mandatory playing requirements in the SMYFFL
ELITE League. Coaches can play their players as much or as little at their discretion.
SMYFFL ELITE ROSTERS : NEW 2016 ONLY complete teams (7-10 players) can register for the SMYFFL ELITE
League. NO transfers or refunds are permitted for any reason.
SMYFFL ELITE LEAGUE PLAYOFFS : Playoffs will be single elimination format with multiple playoff rounds (games)
being played the same day. There will be one day of playoffs with the Super Bowls being played that same day.
Seedings will be based off of regular season records with ONLY the top teams advancing to the playoffs from each
division. The Top Two teams in each division will receive individual trophies at the conclusion of their Superbowls.
SMYFFL COACHES ON THE FIELD : Below is league policy for the 2016 Spring Season
** Mites Division (5 to 6 year olds) : One coach is allowed in the huddle on offense as well as one coach out on the
field with the defense. Please note that once the play starts, both coaches must immediately back away as to not
interfere with the game action.
** Rookie Division (7 to 8 year olds) : One coach is allowed in the huddle on offense as well as one coach out on the
field with the defense. Please note that once the play starts, both coaches must immediately back away as to not
interfere with the game action.
** Semi-Pro Division (9-11 year olds) : No coach is allowed on the field. Must coach from the sidelines.
** Pro Division ( 12 to 14 year olds) : No coach is allowed on the field. Must coach from the sidelines.
** Top-Flight Division (15 to 17 year olds) : No coach is allowed on the field. Must coach from the sidelines.
SMYFFL ELITE COACHES ON THE FIELD :
** (ALL DIVISIONS) :No coach is allowed on the field. Must coach from the sidelines.
NFL Flag Regional Teams : Our league offers our more skilled competitive flag football athletes in the Semi-Pro &
Pro Divisions the opportunity to play in the NFL Flag Regional Tournament. The NFL Flag Regional Tournament is held
during our Fall season.
Please note that the SMYFFL “NFL” Youth Flag Football League does not participate in the process of selecting
players to place on these teams. We rely solely on those volunteer coaches that are experienced and dedicated
enough to manage the tournament team process. The League however supports the efforts of these coaches
If your child is interested - and skill wise good enough - please consult with your child’s 2013 Fall League head coach
once the season begins. Again, the league does not get involved with the selection of players for any of these teams,
and does not guarantee placement of any players on such squads. We appreciate the volunteer efforts of our
tournament coaches and support their selection process without interference. The league does realize the large
impressive talent pool of young players in our league and welcome more coaches/parents to step forward
to form additional tournament level teams of their own (as long as they feel they can field a team that can
compete at NFL Flag tournaments). Those interested should contact the league office via email.
NFL FLAG Regional/National Championship Tournament OVERVIEW
Disney's Wide World of Sports® Complex hosts the NFL FLAG National Championship each year. Twenty-four
teams will advance from Regional Tournaments held across the United States to the National Championship
tournament from a pool of over one hundred thousand youngsters who will be participating in NFL FLAG
competition this year. Teams will compete for titles in 9-11-Year Old Co-ed; 12-14-Year-Old Boys; and 12-14-
Year-Old Girls divisions. Regional Tournament winners from around the United States will earn an all
expense paid trip to the NFL Flag National Championship that is annually televised by ESPN TV and the NFL
Every year, more than 100,000 children throughout the country play in NFL FLAG football leagues. Leagues
are held in the fall for this tournament and organized through local youth groups like the SMYFFL "NFL"
Youth Flag Football League and provide an opportunity for boys and girls aged 5-17 to improve their skills
on the field as players. NFL FLAG teaches values and life skills on and off the football field. The program
emphasizes safety, fun, teamwork, self-esteem, discipline and goal-setting. NFL FLAG is a non-contact
version of traditional football. The Mid Atlantic Regional Tournament will be held in Baltimore in late
October. In order to advance to the NFL Flag National Championship in Florida, teams must win this
Baltimore tournament played against the best travel, all star & league teams from all over the nation.