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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  My child is small or has never played before, will he/she be OK?  We understand your concern. We take every precaution with our players including things like making sure each helmet is inspected in the offseason and re-certified or thrown away. We educate our coaches on the signs of concussion and each staff has a coach certified in CPR and first aid. All coaches are required to complete a coaching certification through USA Football.  Furthermore, our coaches manage practice to make sure that kids who are not yet as developed in the game or are smaller compete directly against other players who are at the same stage of development or size. Football is a physical sport, but injuries are not common. RYFL has an AED on site at all home games and practices.


2. What is the 7 on 7 tackle program? This program is designed by USA Football for kids to learn and have fun playing all positions:

  • 7 on 7 football is a good bridge between flag football to 11-person tackle football, focusing on skill development.

  • Designed for 7-on-7 play.

  • A smaller field (40Yards) and limited player numbers on the field are designed to fit the right ages. right stage of the players

  • It can be used as an entry point for new players before advancing to the 11-on-11 tackle game

  • There is a 90-pound weight limit to run the ball.

  • Players will have the opportunity to play different positions.

  • Could be an ideal alternative for players who are still finding their way in 11-man, but love the game of football.

  • Feel free to contact our Board President, BJ Brandehoff at if you have any questions or like your child evaluated to see which program best suits his/her needs.

3. Are there try outs?   No. Every child who registers will be placed on a team.

4.  Do I have to live in the Riverside School District to play in the RYFL?  No, but we cannot have more than 10% of our players from outside our school district. Usually, we can allow about 22 players from outside our district to play for us.

5.  Does my child have to get a physical?   No

6.  I also have a child who will be cheerleading, will she be able to cheer for her siblings team? Yes, we draft the football players and then make sure that cheerleaders are assigned to the same team as their sibling.

7.  I have siblings who are in the same division, will they be on the same team? Yes, we keep siblings together.  

8.  Can my child play up a division to play with his friends? Yes, if your child's birth date falls within the dates specified by the GLYFL. It is much better though to let your child develop with players who are the same age, than sacrifice the playing experience for proximity to friends. If your child does not meet the age requirement to move up a division, a special request has to be made to the RYFL board of directors.

9.  How many players are on a team?  Generally, we keep our team size between 18 and 21 players.  We like to keep our teams smaller to provide more playing time for kids. This all depends on registration numbers.

10.  What equipment do I need to provide?  Your child will need football cleats (NO metal spikes). We recommend getting your child a protective cup. You will also need to provide a water bottle of some sort, the bigger the better. Players lose a lot of fluids during a 2 hour practice in August, so please DON'T send them to practice or a game with an 8 ounce bottle.  Sports drinks are fine, but water is best. 
11.  Can my son be on his friend’s team? Can I request a specific coach?  Our focus in determining teams is to make each team balanced and equal. That means we can’t guarantee your child will be placed on a team with a specific friend or a specific coach.  Fortunately, there is practically no chance your child will be placed on a team where he doesn’t know anyone.


12.  If my child was on a specific team in one year, will he be on the same team the next year? There’s no guarantee that teams will be kept together as the players get older. Coaches typically move up with their children and then out of the program. Depending on the number of teams we have compared to the previous year we may have to redraft an entire division.  Consistency throughout the program is more important than consistency on a specific team. 

13.  Where are the practices held? All teams practice at Riverside High School.

14.  How long are practices?  Practices can be no longer than 2 hours, excluding warm-up and cool down or conditioning time. Practices typically start at 6:00 pm and run until 8:00 pm. Some teams vary this slightly as the days get shorter.

15.  When are practices?  Up until school starts we practice Monday thru Thursday.  Once school starts, the league recommends teams practice on Tuesdays and Thursday.  League rules allow up to three practices a week.  Head coaches have the option to alter these days based on their personal schedule or the personal schedule of his players.  


16.  How do I pay for the registration?  We do online registration only. We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

17.  What do the fees cover?  It is expensive to run the RYFL.  Fees are used to cover expenses associated with insurance, equipment, referee fees, coaches certification and background checks, sanitation, storage fees, and the list goes on. The expense per player is much greater than the fee charged by the league.  We rely on fund raising. We raise money from our concession stand, and  we sell Riverside apparel. In previous years we've held a social fundraising event. All of these fund raisers are necessary to keep the league running and to keep registration fees as low as possible.

18.  How do you pick teams?  We have a player draft similar to the NFL.  Our goal during the draft is to make each team within a division as equal as possible regarding players' abilities.   

19.  How much playing time will my child get?  Every player is guaranteed to play 10 plays or more at each game. How much your child plays is up to the coaching staff. This is a developmental league and our coaching staff will determine the best position and time for your child to play. Not every player can be on the field for every play.  There are about 30 offensive and 30 defensive plays per game.

20.  How can I become more involved in the league?  The RYFL is entirely run by volunteers. All Parents/Guardians of football players and cheerleaders are required to fulfill at least two (2) volunteer opportunities during the season. This includes: Concessions, Chain Gang, Stadium Clean Up & Scoreboard. Concession is never during your child's game, it is before or after your child's game.

21.  I want to be a coach, what do I do?  Contact the board president for an application to become a coach. Coaches are required to pass a criminal background check and successfully complete an online coaching certification course.

22.  When does my child get their equipment?  Equipment is generally distributed a week or two before practices start.  

23.  We have a vacation scheduled the first week of practice, does my child get to join practice right when we get back?  Each player must have 4 conditioning practices prior to contact. If you are gone for any or all of the initial practices, your child must condition with a separate coach on the side until he has completed 4 practices at which point he can join in all the drills.

24.  We missed a practice, can my child still play in the game?  Typical your child must be present for 1 of 2 or 2 of 3 practices held during the week leading up to a game in order to be capable of playing in the game that weekend. Extenuating circumstances can be reviewed by your coach, but if your child misses practices, there is a chance he will not play in the game.

25.  When are the games?  Games are played on Saturdays or Sundays.  You could play on a Saturday one weekend and then Sunday on another weekend.  Game days will differ from week to week.  

26.  What time are the games?  The C division generally start between 9 am and 11 am.  The B division generally start between 10am and 2pm.  The A division generally start between 1pm and 4pm.  Game times will differ from week to week. 

27.  Where are the games held?  Home games will be played at Riverside High School.  The other games will be played at other locations around Lake County.  

28.  How many games are there?  Each team will play 9 games.  There is 1 scrimmage game, 6 regular season games, and 2 playoff or consolation games.  

29.  How long are the games?  Approximately 90 minutes.  Players typically have to report to the game one hour before the game for warm ups.  

30.  When will the schedule come out?  The schedule should be out in the first week in August.  With over 40 teams playing in the Great Lakes Youth Football League, its a time consuming process to put the schedule together.  The GLYFL won't know the exact number of teams playing in the league until the first week of July.  

31.  What is the Great Lakes Youth Football League?  The GLYFL is the league or "conference" that we play in with 8 other cities.  The GLYFL makes the schedule.  The GLYFL has it's own set of Rules and Regulations that each city must follow in addition to each cities own set of rules.  

32.  Does my child get to keep his jersey?  No. The jerseys we use are high quality and are expensive.  Registration fee would have to go up approximately $65 if we were to let players keep their jerseys.

33.  When do we return the equipment?  Equipment turn in will be within days after the last game.  All equipment should cleaned before it is turned back in.