1. ) How much does it cost to play football?
A: Football is an expensive sport due to the safety requirements, team coordination, field rental, referee expenses, coaching requirements, insurance, and many other items. A first year Varsity player should expect to spend approximately $1200 (not including travel and other personal expenses). Junior High players will cost significantly less. These costs can be offset by proactively obtaining sponsorships and participating in team fundraising activities. We are first and foremost a ministry to the homeschool community, if you have a hardship please let us know, there may be scholarship opportunities available.
2.) What's included in my registration fees?
A: New and returning player fee's are different (because of equipment expenses), but the benefits are the same:
- Membership in HCYA (if you play more than one sport your football registration can be used for the whole school year membership)
- Practice and Game Field rental and other expenses
- Physical Education requirement met
- 9+ regular season games; including at least 4 home games
- Weekly Film Session & Dinner
- 2 Game Uniforms with pads
- 1 Practice Uniform with pads
- Helmet (5 Star rated)
- Shoulder Pads
- ~1500 man-hours of coaching (during the season)
3.) What specifically comes with my uniform and equipment?
A: Players will receive the following items with their complete registration:
- Helmet with Chin Strap
- Shoulder Pads
- Practice Jersey
- Practice Pants with Pads and Belt
- Practice T-shirt
- Black Game Jersey
- White Game Jersey
- Game Pants with Pads and Belt (incl. Girdle)
- Game Socks
- Large Equipment Bag
- Pre-game T-shirt
4.) Do I have to turn in my uniform and equipment?
A: It depends. Varsity players do not. You will own your uniform and equipment. If you are graduating or leaving the team for any reason, FBC may be willing to purchase back your used equipment. We will also take donated equipment, since we are a ministry and would like to be able to offer lower costs to families in need. Junior High players equipment is loaned to minimize cost and it must be returned.
5.) What costs are not included in my registration and equipment fees?
A: As mentioned above some personal expenses are not accounted for in the fees. The following items are NOT included in your annual fees:
- Player cleats and mouthpieces (Required)
- Player personal items like undergarments, arm pads, gloves, etc.
- Personal clothing, such as black practice shorts (two team t-shirts for practice and pre-game are provided)
- Travel expenses (such as: to & from home/away games, travel to & from practice)
- Post game team meals (voluntary)
- Gifts or appreciation offerings at the end of the season
- Hotel (if needed for playoff games or long distance away games)
- Water for practices
- Medical expenses (including mandatory impact screening cost of $5)
- Helmet Reconditioning (required every other year)
- Off-season conditioning (Spring training is considered in-season)
- Please ask a board member if you are not sure about other items.
6.) What kind of experience do the coaches have?
A: The coaching staff is very experienced. The head football coach has coached football for over 10 years, and specifically 6-man football for 6+ years. He has started two different 6-man programs (Logos Prep & FBC). Some of the Associate Coaches are former college football players, with more than 8 years experience coaching football. Additionally, the team has relationships with other college and high school programs in the area for continueing education. In addition to football, the coaches have experience coaching a variety of other sports. Informal coaching CV's are available upon request.
7.) Will I have to volunteer or do anything besides show up to the games?
A: Yes. Each family is required to volunteer. Our program operates similar to a booster club (without the fundraising requirement). It takes a lot of work to put on a football game. We are a small family driven organization and we are here to support one another and lift each other up. This is a ministry to the homeschool community; no one is getting paid to participate except the referees and medical professionals. Each family should expect to have volunteer(s) working every home and away game, that way we can share the workload and everyone will have time to enjoy the game.
8.) Can I opt out of the Volunteer requirements?
A: Maybe. Depending on the number of families FBC may offer the option to pay to "opt-out" of the volunteer requirement. The fee is high and changes each season based on the number of home and away games. If available, the "opt-out" is only good for the pre-season scrimmages and regular season games. Once the team is in the play-offs every family must provide a minimum of one volunteer per game week. The fee for the "opt-out" helps pay for the cost of paying someone to do the job you would have done.
9.) What kind of fundraisers do you do?
A: In past we have held team car washes, sold Giordano Coffee, Berry Hill Tamales, Thirty-One bags, and various discount cards. We will continue to find ways to offset the cost. In addition to fundraising we incent each family to find sponsorships by crediting player accounts for some of the sponsorship money brought in by that family.
10.) What is Spring Training and is it mandatory?
A: Spring Training is an opportunity to focus on football fundamentals and teamwork. FBC is allowed to conduct 15 practices during the later part of spring before the school year ends, to prepare players who plan to play football in the fall. It is extremely important for these young men to work on proper technique to ensure they don't have to think as much while playing. These techniques keep them safe and make them better players. With that said, the coaching staff understands that homeschool families keep varying schedules and some families can't help but miss. This extra practice does not cost extra, and missing it could affect the players ability to compete for playing time in the fall, simply because they will be behind the players that attend.
11.) How is 6-man football different from 11-man football?
A: Football is football. You have to block, tackle, run, pass, and catch. However, there are differences between the two games. The field for 6-man is 10 yds narrower and 20 yds shorter. That's not much when you take 10 players off the field, so the game is more wide open and fast paced. The major differences, aside from the number of players and field, are: 1) the ball cannot be advanced beyond the line of scrimmage without an exchange, 2) all players are eligible receivers, and 3) 15 yds is required for a first down. For additional rule differences, please refer to the documents page linked through our home page on this site.
12.) Why not just play 11-man football?
A: 11-man football requires facilities, additional coaches, and other resources not available to homeschool students in our area. The play on the Offensive and Defensive lines requires a strength and conditioning regimen that requires access to a weight room and specific times of day when all the players can meet, as well as blocking sleds and other field equipment that requires a dedicated field specific for the team. These are significant barriers not available to FBC at this time.
13.) Will you transition to 11-man football in the future?
A: FBC has no plans to move to 11-man football in the future. We are enjoying the competition and fun of 6-man. It's an exciting and entertaining game that many kids prefer to 11-man once they begin to play it.
14.) Is there a deadline to sign up?
A: Yes. Once fall practice starts (first Monday in August), registration is closed for the current year. Registration will reopen in February for the next season. You can email the Registrar anytime if you are interested in registration information or you would like to signup for Spring Training.
15.) What days and how long do you practice?
A: In the offseason, there are two workouts a week for ~1.5 hours each day. During spring training, the team practices 4 days per week for 2-3 hours each day. Once fall practice begins in August, practices vary from 3-5 practices per week for 3 hours each day. You can review the calendar for updated details here.
16.) What is practice like?
A: Offseason workouts are conducted in shorts and t-shirts (weather appropriate clothing) with cleats (or tennis shoes if in a gym for bad weather). The workouts vary to build strength, agility, speed, and stamina. Football practice will be different and is usually a combination of workouts, drills, teamwork, and other activities. Please feel free to come observe a practice/workout and even have your son participate in one to try it out.
17.) I have some concerns about safety, can anyone from FBC answer those for me?
A: Yes. Our coaching staff has a lot of experience and training regarding football safety. We also employee a certified trainer (or EMT) at every home game. Each year we have two parents meetings, the first is prior to spring training and the second is prior to the start of fall practice. Our Board and Coaching staff are present at these meetings and would be happy to answer all your questions or point you in the right direction to have those questions anwered by a medical professional. Additionally, we take head injuries very seriously, so we only use 5 star rated helmets (as measured by Virgina Tech Helmet RatingsTM). Additionally, all players are required to have a concussion baseline every other school year, prior to the start of fall practice.
18.) Are non-homeschooled students allowed to play?
A: Only on the Junior High Team. We allow junior high school age players, that attend a private or charter school, as long as it does not field a football team, if the family is considering homeschool as an educational option. Once a player moves up to high school, FBC only allows homeschool players on the team. We do this because that is our mission and we are sticking to it.
19.) How much playing time will my son get?
A: For Junior High players, FBC has a committment to play all those players commensurate with their effort and attendance at practice. Players at this age are new to football and we are focused on growing individual skills and maturity. Winning and losing is secondary to that development. All players develop and mature at different rates, and it usually takes a full year to acclimate to the physical and mental demands of football.
For High School players, FBC works hard to play all the players throughout the season. However, playing time is not promised. Along with effort and attendance, ability, maturity, and aggressiveness are a big part of the coaches decision on who plays when. Due to the physical nature of the game, the coaches will not play a player against a level of competition he is not ready to compete against. Players should be focused on hard work and team work, more than playing time.
20.) Does my son need to have any football or sports experience?
A: No experience of any kind is required to learn football. We have had all levels of experience join our football team and enjoy the experience. The coaches have experience training different skill levels simultaneously and focus on what each player can acheive. If you are not sure, you can always come out during the offseason and give it a try.