Football for boys and girls of all ages
Published in the Daily Gleaner on Saturday August 20, 2011
There really is something for everyone in the Capital Area Minor Football Association.
There will be more girls on the gridiron than ever before in Fredericton this season. The organization is launching a pair of programs for girls as registration for all programs kicks off another season.
Registration and equipment fitting takes place Sunday from 6-9 p.m. at Willie O'Ree Place in Fredericton and the Hazen Park Centre adjacent to the Oromocto Mall.
Girls in grades 6 to 9 this season can enroll in CAMFA's girls flag football program. Teams practice and play games Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings from Sept. 10 through Oct. 29. The first session comes up Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. at Scotiabank Park South.
There's also a tackle football program aimed at girls from 14-17 years old, with the coaching coming from women who play for the Capital Area RV World Lady Gladiators of the Maritime Women's Football League. Practices begin Tuesday and Thursday next week, Aug. 23 and 25, at the Lincoln Heights field from 6-8 p.m. Two teams from the area, the Fredericton Southside Lady Black Kats and the Oromocto Area Lady Blues, play in the New Brunswick Junior Girls Football League. The first league games kick off Sept. 18 with the season wrapping up Nov. 20.
Girls can also play in the Mosquito tackle football league. It's for boys ages 9-11 and girls ages 9-12. Since it's an introduction for youngsters into tackle football, coaches are on the field at all times to ensure the players learn how to safely block and tackle.
Those players will hit the field right away, with training camp Monday, Aug. 22 and Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Heights Field. Games run on Mondays and Saturdays from Sept. 10 through Oct. 29.
The league includes the Nashwaaksis Axemen, Devon Knights, Northside Mounties, West End Rough Riders, New Maryland Rams, East End Crush and two Oromocto teams, the Red Dogs, and the Grizzlies.
The Capital Area Mite flag football program is for boys and girls ages 6-7, while the Oromocto flag football program is for boys ages 6-9 and girls 6-10. In those leagues, and in the Capital Area Squirt flag football program (for boys 8-9 and girls 8-10), kids play a low-contact form of football. Players wear a flag on each hip and ball carriers are "tackled" when one of the flags is pulled off. Teams in these programs will have a maximum of 12 players, with six on the field at one time.
Training camp for the squirts and mites begins Aug. 23 and 25 at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Heights Field. Squirt teams will play Thursdays and Saturdays, while mite games will be Saturday. Games run from Sept. 10 through Oct. 29.
And of course, there are the middle level and bantam tackle divisions. Six teams operate in the middle level division for players aged 12-13. Middle school students in the area may wind up playing for the Crusaders, Eagles, Nordics, Panthers, Tigers or Wildcats. One of those teams will host either Moncton or Saint John for the provincial championship Nov. 20. The journey begins Monday night with training camp.
That will also be the case in the bantam tackle division, for players aged 14-15. The Junior Black Kats, Junior Blues and Junior Lions will run teams in both the eight-man and 12-man divisions. The Capital Area champion will host either Moncton or Saint John for the 12-man provincial championship, also on Nov. 20.
The first step is to register and get fitted for gear. The registration fee for bantam, middle school and mosquito programs is $180. Squirt costs $130, mite, girls tackle and Oromocto flag, $100 and girls flag is $60. All players playing tackle must also make a $60 deposit on equipment by cash or cheque, postdated to Oct. 31. The association provides all equipment except footwear.
For further information, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 470-1236 during the day or 472-0042 evenings. The association's website is www.capitalareafootball.nb.ca. If you register online, you save $10.