FAQ

General FAQ

The season length is different from spring to summer/fall. The spring season lasts from March to mid-June, and the summer/fall season goes from late June to mid-November. Check out the Programs and Teams page for a brief description of each program’s season and its schedule. Of course, if you need any more detail, feel free to contact us for more information.

We believe that family and education are extremely important and football is relatively low in priority in comparison to these. Vacations are a part of the summer with all families and are supported by the coaches. With this in mind, coaches design their skill introduction to be a bit repetitive so that the players don’t miss out on the fundamentals even if they miss a week or two. Please let the head coach and team manager know of vacations as far in advance as possible.

In regards to the commitment required, football is more similar to a theatrical or musical production than it is to other sports. In football, like in a play, each participant is given a specific part to play – a part uniquely suited to their skills and abilities and which is not often learned by many of the other participants. As such, it’s critical to the team’s execution of the plays and tactics for all players to be present at the practices and games.

Relative to the complexity of the sport, there is a small number of practices each week in which to prepare the players for the season and each game. Due to the strategic nature of the sport, and the number of skills that each athlete must master in order to make their contribution on the team a success, attendance at all practices and games is mandatory. If there is an issue that will prevent your child from participating, please contact the head coach directly to discuss it. Low practice attendance may impact a player’s eligibility to fully participate in games.

You wouldn’t expect actors to just show up for performances, so likewise you can’t just have players showing up only for games.

Football is a sport that demands a high level of commitment in order to achieve team success and individual player development. Scheduling conflicts between football events (practices and games) and other activities are handled on a case by case basis and are to be discussed with the head coach as soon as the conflict is known to exist. The coaches understand that there are other worthy pursuits in life, and will work with the player’s family to ensure a reasonable balance is maintained.

In the nineteenth century, New Westminster firefighters earned a reputation for being very fast to react to and reach fires in the burgeoning city, eventually earning the nickname “hyacks”, which is a Chinook Jargon word meaning “fast”, “quick” or “swift”, and which when used as a command means “hurry up”. Several organizations and athletic teams in New Westminster have taken this name on. When the football club was started, we wanted to have a team name that could be closely identified with New Westminster, and decided to use the “Hyacks” name.

safety FAQ

A 2006 study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission examined athletic injuries on a sport-by-sport basis.  It found that 5-to-15 year-olds playing organized football had 12 % fewer injuries per capita than organized soccer for the same age group.  Football also had 50% fewer injuries than bike riding and 74% fewer than skateboarding. Many experts note that that the risk of keeping children indoors and discouraging them from participating in sports (resulting in poor health) outweighs the risks of sport-related injury.
 

Football is a collision sport, and injuries can and do occur. The most common injuries are joint sprains (finger, wrist, ankle, knee) or bruises. It is possible to sustain more serious injuries, such as broken bones, shoulder separations or concussions. All participants in football are warned that serious spinal injuries can occur, as can happen in any collision sport.  Our coaches work hard to keep your child injury-free, teaching safe hitting techniques and drills at every practice and helping your child to be in good physical condition.

Concussions are a hot subject in sports right now, whether it be in the NHL, NFL or in local minor sports of all flavours. Concussions are minor to severe injuries of the brain that result from a person’s body moving suddenly and severely changing direction or stopping. You don’t have to hit your head to sustain a concussion.

Improved protective equipment Our club has invested heavily in buying helmets that are recognized to be industry leaders in shock absorption and design. These same helmet models are those being employed in the NFL, CFL and collegiate football ranks. We’re putting this equipment on the heads of our own children, so you can be sure its of a high quality. See our equipment page for more information on this equipment.

Proper fit of equipment A helmet that is fitting an athlete properly won’t necessarily be comfortable for the first few practices. It’s important that the helmet be very snug to the player’s head and not be slipping or sliding around: if a helmet is loose, it’s likely to not adequately protect the player from contact and could increase the severity of impact from a significant collision. This means that both players (and their parents) need to be patient with the process of getting used to a helmet. Recognizing that not all players have similarly shaped or sized heads, we do have a variety of sizes and helmet models to accommodate the needs of players.

Better conditioning of athletes Athletes that are “in-shape”, properly hydrated and whose muscles (even 8-year-olds have muscles!) have been properly adapted to the needs of the sport are less prone to injury. Our coaches work hard to ensure that the players are adequately prepared for the physical rigours of sport, which may mean that they need to demand effort and physical exertion that some children may be unaccustomed to. With concussions, studies have shown that as athletes develop stronger neck and shoulder muscles, their susceptibility to head injuries decrease. Often, the light-headedness of people in poor shape who are suddenly active can be mistaken for mild concussions. We err on the side of caution if players complain of effects, but everyone needs to recognize that these symptoms are not always due to concussions.

Better training of athletes Abrupt change-of-direction is a major cause of most concussions. As athletes become more experienced and better-trained, they become  more aware of the movement of teammates and opponents alike. They then are more apt to be able to move “with the flow” of a football play and able to recognize and avoid many of these abrupt hits.

Recognizing and properly treating minor concussions when they first occur, before they develop into a more severe or recurring injury for the athlete Football BC is leading the nation in implementing policies for raising awareness of concussions and the proper assessment and treatment protocols. Our football club actively participates in these programs.

equipment

Unlike most other youth sports, football does not require parents to purchase any of the protective equipment or uniforms from year-to-year. All of the necessary equipment (and there’s as much or more in football as in any other sport) is provided by our club and the use of this equipment is included as part of the registration fee. This is done to: ensure that the equipment is of a high quality and properly maintained; keep the sport affordable (the replacement cost of the equipment package is approximately $400), and; to keep the team looking as uniform as possible (it doesn’t hurt to look good!). The one item parents do need to provide for the child is proper footwear: cleats (must not have any metal) for the football players (“soccer” cleats work just as well as “football” cleats), and runners (preferably white) for the cheerleaders.
 

In football, the most important equipment is that which protects the player’d head, the helmet. Our club has a large inventory of top-of-the-line helmets from various manufacturers to ensure that each child receives a properly-fitted helmet that offers a superior level of protection. The primary reason for the variety of models is to ensure a proper fit for athletes of all different head shapes and sizes. All helmets are regularly maintained and re-certified according to the manufacturers warranty guidelines (and actually exceeding their prescribed schedules). Since our equipment managers are parents themselves, they want the best protection for all of the children: they won’t put a helmet on a child’s head that they wouldn’t put on their own.

Schutt AirXP: The majority of our helmets are this model. This is the same helmet that many NFL and CFL players are switching to due to its superior cushioning and fit. If it’s good enough for NFL quarterbacks, it’s probably going to be pretty good for our players.

Schutt DNA Pro+: This helmet is more widely used in college football than in the pros. It’s an excellent helmet that has a less-traditional look to it.

Riddell Speed: Many of the players in the NFL and CFL are wearing this helmet, the latest generation from the their leagues preferred helmet vendor.

Riddell Revolution: The first “alternate-style” helmet offered, this is still a popular model with excellent protection features.

While shoulder pads may not seem as critical a piece of equipment as the helmet, it is still important that good, properly-fitted pads are protecting the primary contact surface of the players (the shoulders and chest). Our club is proud to provide its players with lightweight flat pads from Schutt, TAG and Rawlings. Our pads feature antimicrobial ballistic fabrics and are annually sanitized to maintain top-quality protection for all of the players.

You want to play well, but also to look good. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of our parents, we have been able to invest in high-quality jerseys (modern fit, with twill numbers and embroidering) and cheerleading uniforms. Players on the flag teams get to keep their jerseys at the end of the season, and starting in 2012 family members and fans will also be able to purchase replica jerseys to proudly wear in the stands or around town. Or course, there’s also a large selection of snazzy spirit gear (shirts, hoodies, pants, jackets, hats, etc.) available for purchase at home games and other events throughout the year.

Relative to the complexity of the sport, there is a small number of practices each week in which to prepare the players for the season and each game. Due to the strategic nature of the sport, and the number of skills that each athlete must master in order to make their contribution on the team a success, attendance at all practices and games is mandatory. If there is an issue that will prevent your child from participating, please contact the head coach directly to discuss it. Low practice attendance may impact a player’s eligibility to fully participate in games.

You wouldn’t expect actors to just show up for performances, so likewise you can’t just have players showing up only for games.