Boulder, Colorado's only youth tackle football program.

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Safety Overview

The safey of our Boulder Bears players is our primary concern. All of our coaches and assistant coaches must be Heads Up Football certified. Heads Up Football is a comprehensive program developed by USA Football to advance player safety in the game of football. During their training, coaches are educated on the 5 components of the Heads Up Football program: Concussion recognition and response, heat preparedness and hydration, sudden cardiac arrest (this sounds scary but it is uncommon-and definitely NOT more common in football. However, research has found that a properly trained coach can save a life and it is required training for most sports now), proper equipment fitting, Heads Up tackling and Heads Up blocking. This link gives a pretty detailed overview of the program and is recommended reading for all parents: http://usafootball.com/headsup
 
In addition, we will be implementing USA Football's suggested practice plan.  This plan limits contact drills to 30 minutes per practice and describes a clear progression for learning new skills. Additional practice plan details can be found here: http://usafootball.com/practice-guidelines.
 
An additional safety precaution that we implemented last year and will continue this year is to have a certified trainer on hand at all home games. We are the only youth football club in the league to provide this extra level of safety.
 
CONCUSSIONS
 
Colorado's  "Jake Snakenberg Youth Sports Concussion Act"  went into effect January 1, 2012. This law, considered one of the most sweeping laws in the nation, is designed to help protect youth athletes from head injuries by requiring concussion awareness training for public and private school coaches, as well as volunteer coaches and managers in organizations like Boulder Youth Football (BYF).  

The bill requires that coaches receive education about concussions, that a student athlete is removed from the field of play if a concussion is suspected, and that the student be signed off by a healthcare professional before returning to play. 

All BYF coaches receive their concussion training as part of their annual USA Football Heads Up Football certification. As part of this program, BYF has implemented a "suspicion of concussion" policy for all Boulder Bears teams:
 
If a coach or a parent/guardian thinks or has a suspicion that a player may have suffered a concussion, the following must happen: The player shall be immediately removed from any contact, play or exercise. The parent/guardian or coach are to be notified of the possible concussion, and the player may not return to contact, play or practice until the parent/guardian has the player cleared by a doctor to return. Before the player is permitted to participate in any football activities, the head coach must receive (1) a document signed by a medical doctor stating that the player has been cleared to play and what activities the player is able to participate in; and (2) a note signed by the player's parent/guardian requesting that the player be allowed to resume participation. The head coach must submit both documents to a director of the Boulder Bears within three days of the player resuming participation, and such documents will be kept in the player’s permanent file.
 
For current and up-to-date information on concussions you can go to: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/index.html
 
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HEAT INDEX POLICY

 

At all times, a player can request/get water and/or a break.  Practice policy will be determined by four different "zones".  These zones are based on recommended guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for participation in sports activities during periods of extreme heat. The Orange and Red Zones were modified to a safer standard to include designated break times and practice cancellation.

 

White Zone
Heat-index of 65-82degrees: In this range, the participant is in very little danger from heat and no special measures will be taken.

 

Yellow Zone
Heat-index of 83-100degrees: In this range, coaches will be encouraged to take extra steps to protect their players by making sure they keep them hydrated and by encouraging frequent substitution during practices.

 

Orange Zone
Heat-index of 101-107degrees: In this range, all measures taken in the Yellow Zones; coaches are instructed to reduce the time of practice (1 ½ hour max), take frequent water breaks (5 minutes each every 20 minutes) and practices must be done in the AM hours before the heat-index reaches this range and start later than 5:30 PM when in this range.

 

Red Zone
Heat-index ranging of 108 and above degrees: Practice will be canceled

 

Game Days, Boulder Bears will follow CCMFL rules in regards to heat and game cancellation during high temperature months.

 
LIGHTENING POLICY

 
CFOA Lightning Policy and Procedures - From CHSAA; June 25, 2014

1. The following policy shall be followed for all CHSAA-sponsored scrimmages and games.

2. It has been recommended to the schools that an electronic weather service or lightning meter be available at all outdoor activities and be readily accessible.

3. Officials shall abide by the lightning policy of the host school district. This policy will normally not be available in writing at the site, but the officials should accept the interpretation of that policy as provided by an appropriate member of the host school. If there is not a school district policy, the following shall apply.

4. When a meter or other device is available, activities shall be suspended and all personnel directed to move to a safe area when the meter indicates there is lightning within a six mile radius. Activities shall remain suspended until the meter or weather service indicates there is no longer lightning within a six mile radius.

5. When a meter or other device is not available, the default NFHS policy that appears in the Rules Book shall be followed. All officials must be thoroughly familiar with the NFHS default policy as well as this policy. In brief, that policy requires suspension of all activity when cloud-to-ground lightning is observed or thunder is heard and requires a thirty minute wait after the last strike within the six mile radius.

6. When activities are suspended, the following individuals shall be responsible for the safety of personnel:

    a. The head coach for players and other team personnel.

    b. Game management for spectators and support personnel.

    c. The Referee for the officiating crew.

7. In accordance with Rule 3-1-5, the referee is authorized to delay the game when weather conditions are construed to be hazardous to life or limb of the participants.

8. The referee will not suspend the game without the concurrence of both coaches. The officiating crew will remain on site and be prepared to continue the game unless all three parties (the referee and both head coaches) agree that the game cannot be continued that day.

9. If appropriate, the lightning delay can serve as the halftime intermission e.g., the game is suspended with two minutes remaining in the second quarter. When play is resumed, a short intermission is taken before the second half kickoff. Both coaches must agree to any such modification.

10. If an administrator is present (Athletic Director, Principal, School Board member, etc.) and expresses disagreement with his head coach, it is the coach’s responsibility to resolve the conflict. The referee shall only consider the decision of the head coaches.

11. Prior to continuation of the game, the teams shall be afforded sufficient time to warm up as determined by the coaches.

12. If continued, the game shall resume from the point of interruption unless the teams agree to terminate the game with team that is ahead as the winner with the existing score (Rule 3-1-4). Any other agreement that is reached must result in a winner being declared. If the game is tied at the point of interruption it is recommended that it be continued until a winner is determined.

13. If a game being played under the mercy rule is halted by lightning, the game is immediately terminated.

14. Any period may be shortened by agreement of the three parties (Rule 3-1-3). Only in the rarest circumstance will the referee not honor an agreement of the two coaches.

15. If the game is suspended, the officials are entitled to the full game fee and any authorized expenses. If the game is resumed on another date, the officials are entitled to a full game fee and authorized expenses unless another arrangement is agreed upon with the host school.