Author Topic: Recruiting 7 year olds  (Read 1362 times)

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Offline mahonz

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Recruiting 7 year olds
« on: February 26, 2018, 03:50:13 PM »
Gents

Me and Gumby are first in line to take on a 2nd grade team this Fall. We coach in the largest Org in our State so numbers have always been there. We just finished up with an 8th grade team in this Org and they fielded 6 teams alone out of the 18 Orgs.

I have been out recruiting at my youngest Grandsons Events for his team this Fall. Its not going well.

When I first started coaching in this Org in 2012 they fielded 4 second grade teams. Last season they fielded just two.

The Org I coached in for 12 years before this Org did not field a second grade team in 2017 for the first time since they became part of the League in 1964.

Im certain we will get our team since we are the top Staff in waiting and surly there has too be at least 18 moms out there that are not freaking out...but Im just not sure who we are going to play?

Sad times anymore. By the time my Grandson gets to be an 8th grader Im wondering if this League will even exist. They started with 6 Orgs in 1944.

In 2005 they had nearly 400 teams. Last year barley 200 but this is a skewed number. There were more 8th grade teams than in any other Division. That has NEVER been the case before. I see the League shrinking fast as the older teams age out. Those families at least got involved with football before the sky began to fall on all of us. Basically the younger Divisions are shrinking to the point here was no D3 at the 4th grade level in 2017 and only 13 second grade teams down from 22 in 2012 and 30 in 2005.

Plus the traffic on Dumcoach has gone down every year for the last 5 years....a lot. Less kids....less teams....less coaches.

Time to get a HS coaching job while you can.  :(
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Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 04:53:57 PM »
We are going to Flag Football for 2018 for k/1-4th grade this season.  Our numbers have dwindled significantly and all but one of the other Org's in our Conference have already done, or, are doing same this year. 

If Illinois passes "The Duerson Act" it will all but shut us down.  We have only 2 teams to field in Grade 6-8. 6th grade team will not be able to play and there are only 9 boys in the 8th grade class. 

It will be a long, long, long summer for us.    :(
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Offline Seabass

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 11:18:56 PM »
Gents

Me and Gumby are first in line to take on a 2nd grade team this Fall. We coach in the largest Org in our State so numbers have always been there. We just finished up with an 8th grade team in this Org and they fielded 6 teams alone out of the 18 Orgs.

I have been out recruiting at my youngest Grandsons Events for his team this Fall. Its not going well.

When I first started coaching in this Org in 2012 they fielded 4 second grade teams. Last season they fielded just two.

The Org I coached in for 12 years before this Org did not field a second grade team in 2017 for the first time since they became part of the League in 1964.

Im certain we will get our team since we are the top Staff in waiting and surly there has too be at least 18 moms out there that are not freaking out...but Im just not sure who we are going to play?

Sad times anymore. By the time my Grandson gets to be an 8th grader Im wondering if this League will even exist. They started with 6 Orgs in 1944.

In 2005 they had nearly 400 teams. Last year barley 200 but this is a skewed number. There were more 8th grade teams than in any other Division. That has NEVER been the case before. I see the League shrinking fast as the older teams age out. Those families at least got involved with football before the sky began to fall on all of us. Basically the younger Divisions are shrinking to the point here was no D3 at the 4th grade level in 2017 and only 13 second grade teams down from 22 in 2012 and 30 in 2005.

Plus the traffic on Dumcoach has gone down every year for the last 5 years....a lot. Less kids....less teams....less coaches.

Time to get a HS coaching job while you can.  :(

And in 5 years from now how much will that matter when kids aren't playing football at all?

Offline davecisar

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 09:34:45 AM »
In todays world- kids are starting a tad bit later

In years past we would rarely or  NEVER get a new 6th grader- this year we have 8

Almost all of our kids would jump in at the 3 or 4 grade level

This year we also have 8 new 5th graders- usually we only have 1-2
This year we also have 2 new 7th graders- usually we have NONE
We had to add a combined team at 5&6th to accomodate the additions AND that bracket isnt as competitive as single grade- so it's a great way for new players to get started- allows us to offer another level of play rather than the "Top GUN" Division all of our other teams play in-None of our teams are in a "B" or "C" level bracket
This allows us to field a team in the "B" bracket playing against High Schools that our High Schools play against and even a few lower

This is something Im seeing and hearing about with other programs Im working with across the country- kids starting later
ALSO- we arent offering flag football- but in Nebraska Flag Football has exploded- numbers wise

Before you go out to recruit
You need to know:
Who you are- what your strengths are
Who is your competition- ALL OTHER FALL SPORTS
What their strengths and weaknesses are
Then you position yourself in a 'sweet spot" that may be underserved and that you can live with and deliver on
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 09:40:07 AM by davecisar »
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

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Offline mahonz

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 10:59:10 AM »
In todays world- kids are starting a tad bit later

In years past we would rarely or  NEVER get a new 6th grader- this year we have 8

Almost all of our kids would jump in at the 3 or 4 grade level


I think you are correct. Maybe everything is simply upside down anymore.

In 2016 my Org created a new 7th grade team when we were coaching 7th graders. That was unheard of in the past.

In 2017 no D3 4th grade Division. In the past the biggest sign up age has always been 9 year olds.
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Offline davecisar

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 11:06:13 AM »
I think you are correct. Maybe everything is simply upside down anymore.

In 2016 my Org created a new 7th grade team when we were coaching 7th graders. That was unheard of in the past.

In 2017 no D3 4th grade Division. In the past the biggest sign up age has always been 9 year olds.

Ive had to SHUT DOWN- taking any new 5, 6 and 7 graders-in the last 30 days- so all good stuff  ;)
Even with adding a new team at 5& 6th combined- we are at our limit- an all time high of I think 69 boys
Same for 7th grade- we now have 26- so Im cutting it off- retained 100% of last years team and added 2 new boys

Where we are hurting some is like you 3& 4th grade
We only have 40- so 2 teams- I would like to be at about 44

BUT it's still only February- we hope to be able to get to 44
 5-6 years ago- the youngest age group filled up the fastest and of course had the most new players
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Winston Churchill

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 11:39:32 AM »
There are 2000 people in our town.   We are hearing that towns twice our size are struggling for numbers to have teams.  There is some talk about Consolidation of some teams. However, on a positive note, we are also hearing that Flag Numbers are increasing year over year.  Current discussion, barring the passage of the law, is to start Tackle Ball at 6th Grade across the Conference.  With 5th grade being a hybrid form of Flag with full gear. 


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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 12:34:17 PM »
The Denver Metro/Boulder area (maybe Colorado in general?) seems to have more than a fair share of gluten-free, anti-vax, raw milk, fluoride-free parents. To them, embracing any whack job idea that is contrary to "the establishment" makes them smarter, more enlightened and conscientious parents. Football is the new gluten.

Unfortunately, the football world is feeding this. At Glazier this weekend, every other booth was a better helmet, helmet covers, neck strengthening devices (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2CkbE5e_IY), etc. On top of that, HS coaches are actively joining the fray by discouraging tackle football before HS.
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Offline Seabass

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2018, 02:11:55 PM »
"With 5th grade being a hybrid form of Flag with full gear".....If that is what it sounds like....that's one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. Has some moron really come up with a plan to have kids in helmets and shoulder pads play flag football?

Offline mahonz

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 02:26:27 PM »
"With 5th grade being a hybrid form of Flag with full gear".....If that is what it sounds like....that's one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. Has some moron really come up with a plan to have kids in helmets and shoulder pads play flag football?

That idea is out there but I thought it was only an idea.

My League is considering something like this as a Spring Program but its just a thought right now.

Im with you....its simply tackle football with less protection.... not flag with more protection. Maybe Shady can go to a few games and fill us in.
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Offline jrk5150

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 03:43:41 PM »
My (former) org is in trouble.  Numbers declining, and to add insult the new HS coach is starting up a MS program for 7th and 8th grade.  That peels off the top two age groups from the youth org.  We didn't always have two teams, but usually had at least one, so that's going to hurt.  Also gives parents an excuse not to let their kids play at 9-10-11 years old - "just wait until you get to 7th grade and you can play on the MS team".  The MS team doesn't start until school starts, practices after school, plays during the week - pretty much zero commitment from the parents vs. the huge commitment that youth football requires.  The fact the coaching and level of play sucks, and that the other towns who participate have sh*tty HS teams seems to be lost on everyone.

Additionally, based on 2017 season numbers, it was unlikely there would be a Pee Wee team (mostly 6th graders) either - that was the age group I coached, and I wasn't planning to have the numbers for a team this coming year.  So it's entirely possible they'll be reduced to 2 or 3 teams at the lowest 3 age group tiers.

Before I stepped down the board was looking at AYF since the local league has a few programs that used to be in our Pop Warner league, and the age groupings work better than PW without the 7th and 8th graders.  The problem is the cheerleaders - they send one or two teams to Disney every year, and are unwilling to give that up for what they perceive as an inferior AYF national playoff.  It's in FL, but not Disney.  The fact there may eventually be no football to cheer for didn't seem to move them too much.

The org just posted a long thing on their FB feed about how they, through PW, have partnered with USA football for Head's Up football and coaching certification.  obviously taking a bit of a poke at the MS program that doesn't have any kind of certification of coaches etc.  They're trying to use that crock of sh*t stuff as a competitive edge.  Hey, maybe it'll help.  Didn't help on the field.

On the other hand, they also couldn't get their sh*t together and even do an end of the year banquet/ceremony. They're starting up registrations this weekend, basically haven't had any activities or communications with the kids since the last game in early November. No opportunity to open up a dialogue with the parents or kids about the MS program, nothing. 

It's a shame - been around for almost 60 years, and most likely won't hit 65.  But who knows, maybe they'll figure it out.  I think the org Pres generally knows what he's doing, and is a great coach, but he's way too busy, stubborn, and conflict-averse to do what needs to be done.

I will miss coaching, but glad I'm out of that mess.


Offline patriotsfatboy1

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2018, 07:45:08 PM »
We have not had 2nd graders playing tackle in about 5 years.  I started flag 2 years ago for K-3.  I won't offer it for 4th and up.  Those kids can play tackle if the parents will just listen.

Last year, we had a group of 4th graders for the first time in a while.  It was 18 kids who had never played before and half of those kids came from our flag program directly.  I think that we will be keeping at least 90% of those kids plus we are getting new kids who saw that it was fun and safety was not an issue. 

We also lost our 8th graders last year to the HS.  Not sure what will happen this year with our 8th graders because that group was such a rag-tag group of multiple grades and kids from different towns.

We are recruiting hard and I have no idea what will happen.  I am putting out testimonials from moms who were not sure whether they wanted their kids to play tackle and who had a great season after they went for it.  It is compelling along with other info that we provide, but I don't know if it will get kids to sign up.   :-\

Offline Dimson

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2018, 09:01:00 AM »
The best way to build the 8u level is to have a feeder flag program. 8U is never an issue in our league because of this. We have issues with the older levels due to most kids wanting to play high school ball once they turn 14.

Offline angalton

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2018, 09:12:33 AM »
Last year we had (1) 5-6u (1)7u (2) 8u (1) 10u (1) 12u and (2) 14u. We usually field 12 teams of 22 to 35 players on each team. Since 1954 we have always went thru cycles of low numbers, but I don't know if this is just a trend.
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Offline Patriot

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Re: Recruiting 7 year olds
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 01:57:06 PM »
We are an org in Omaha. We have around 34 total teams.

3 at 3rd Grade
5 at 4th grade
7 at 5th grade
7 at 6th Grade
8 at 7th grade
4 at 8th Grade

We have never in the past 15 years fielded a 2nd grade team. That's always been flag around here. I think we had 15 second grade flag teams last year (16 per roster).

What we have noticed is that we typically only get 3 3rd grade teams each year. Then at 4th, some flag teams move over. Then a height of kids at 5th and 6th. 7th and 8th we do have middle school competition, so numbers typically fall off at 7th, but not this year.