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Andover Junior Football League


When does the season start and end?
The season starts middle of August and ends in November. Practices begin around the second week of August. Games begin in early September and continue through to the beginning/middle of November. The length of the season is determined by playoffs, and once a playoff game is lost, the season will conclude for the team. Or stated another way, the season can go through the middle of November if the team is successful in the playoffs. 

What does a typical football week look like?
The first two weeks of practice in August will be Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 7:30 PM. We will build up to putting on pads the second week of practice. The last full weekend in August we have play in a jamboree against other Teams in the league. It is a one day three hour event usually taking place on Saturday. After the jamboree, practice will be 3 days a week usually starting around 5:30 p.m. and will last approximately 2 hours for the rest of the season. If the past we have usually practiced on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Practices in the later months of the season will either be held a little earlier and/or will be under the lights to combat sunset timing. With the exception of a bye week, each week there will be a weekend game. Games are traditionally either Saturday night or Sunday afternoons. Home games are generally held on Sunday.

I go on summer vacation and may miss a few weeks in the late summer, will this be a problem?
The first few weeks of practice are essential to getting a good start to the season and developing proper techniques. These weeks are instrumental to player development. Players are expected to participate in practices before the season starts in September. It is understood that people will go on vacation, and family time is important. Simply put please enjoy vacation with your family but the players that are at practices and learning the plays are usually the players that get most of the playing time early in the season. Particularly given the fact that it is difficult to judge a player's ability and physical condition when they are not practicing. 

How are teams assigned? How are games played?
AJFL players are placed on teams based on the school year of the player. We have two separate teams. A Junior team and a Senior Team. The Junior team is 4th, 5th, and 6th grade and the Senior team is 7th and 8th Grade. Each team plays two games every weekend, one after the other. Each team will play a Varsity and a JV game. Each player will be placed in the team the coaching staff thinks they will develop the most as well as get the most playing time. 

Are there any weight restrictions?
There are no size or weight restrictions for the Sr Team. There is a 135 lbs weight limit for the Jr team for anyone who wants to carry or throw a ball (QB, RB, WR). Other than that there are no weight restrictions 

How far away will I travel?
AJFL's Junior and Senior teams play in the Northeast Junior High Football League. This league is comprised of teams from southern New Hampshire, as well as some seacoast New Hampshire teams including Rochester, Dover, Bedford, Portsmouth, Timberlane, Winnacunnet, Derry, to name a few. Half of the games will require traveling to these towns. The farthest drive from Andover is approximately 45 minutes, and most are closer. Half of the games will be at home and played on the high school turf field. 

My child plays other sports, will this be an issue? 
It is understood (and encouraged) that players will participate in other sports. However, there is an expectation that football will be the priority for the entire season. The football season is short relative to other sports, and football should be your primary priority from the end of summer through late fall. As stated before, the players that are at practices and learning the plays are usually the players that get most of the playing time in season.

Are there minimum playing requirements?
There are no minimum playing requirements, and best efforts will be made to put players in positions to succeed. Great efforts will be made to have kids play a reasonable amount. We have two different games to try and get your son or daughter into the game to get significant playing time.

Who gets priority with respect to playing time?
As a matter of safety, those players who make practices will be given priority in playing time. Also, generally speaking, players that study the playbook and know the plays will also see more playing time.

What equipment is needed? 
The Andover Junior Football League will provide players with: helmet, shoulder pads, practice jersey, game jerseys, practice pants, and game pants. Parents are responsible for providing “all-in-one football pants/girdle” to wear underneath practice or game pants provided by AJFL. All-in-one football pants have all pads attached to them (i.e., hip, thigh, knee, tailbone) and are machine washable and can be purchased online or at a sporting goods store. We recommend looking a couple of months before the season starts because retailer do run out of the “all-in-one pants” quickly. Players are encouraged to purchase these items early to ensure they fit and to avoid stores being sold out just prior to the start of the season. 

What about personal equipment?
Parents are also responsible for providing football-specific cleats – which should have rubber molded bottoms. Parents will also be responsible for providing their player with a water bottle which they should have at each practice and game to ensure adequate hydration. Players will also be responsible for their own mouth guards and athletic supporters. Additional equipment such as gloves and forearm pads will not be provided by AJFL.

What about player safety?

Player safety is the most important priority for the league. There will be a focus on concussions and concussion protocols. Emphasis in the early season is on form tackling. Full speed hitting will be minimal. Professional training staff will be present at all games. If your son or daughter even hints at a concussion (says they are dizzy, eyes glossed over, not forming coherent sentences, etc.) we take their helmet away and they have to be cleared by a doctor before being able to step back on the practice field or in a game. We take safety extremely seriously and all of our coaches have to be USA football safety certified in order to coach your sons. 

Will there be water breaks?
Player safety is the most important priority for the league. This includes providing adequate breaks for hydration purposes. 

Are there other parent responsibilities?
Parents and players will abide by a strict code of conduct. Additionally, parents are expected to help volunteer. This can include, but is not limited to working in the concession stand, setting up/breaking down the fields, announcing, spotting the ball, running the scoreboard, and holding the down marker and 10-yard chain. Parents will also need to attend an orientation meeting prior to the first game. At this meeting the coaching staff and an AJFL board member will review expectations for the season and answer questions. 

Is AJFL a feeder program for the high school?
AJFL is closely aligned with the high school football program. AJFL coaches coordinate with the high school program with the intention of preparing players to play at the high school. AJFL frequently runs plays and uses terminology similar to those used at the high school. Andover High School players and coaches frequently participate and support the program. 

Will there be a year-end banquet?
Yes. In an effort to make the player experience special, a banquet and dinner is held at the conclusion of the season. This is a special event, with great speakers and continued team and community bonding. 

Contact Us

Andover Junior Football League

9 Bartlet St., #5
Andover, Massachusetts 01810

Email: [email protected]

Andover Junior Football League

9 Bartlet St., #5
Andover, Massachusetts 01810

Email: [email protected]
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