Frequently Asked Questions about Football

If you can’t find the answer you are looking for here, contact your child’s coaching staff or email us at info@joemac.ca and we will do our best to respond to your questions as soon as humanly possible.

General

Who can sign up for Tackle Football?

Youth in between the ages of 8 and 14 can sign up to play in one of our three league divisions.
MINIMAC: 8 to 10 Years Old
TYKE: 11 to 12 Years Old
BANTAM: 13 to 14 Years Old

What is JMYFL?

The JMYFL is Greater Sudbury’s Youth Football League. The JMYFL was founded in 1983 to recognize and honour Greater Sudbury Police Constable Joe MacDonald, who was killed in the line of duty, for his many contributions to the sport and our community. In addition to remembering Joe, the JMYFL affords the opportunity for the youth of the City of Greater Sudbury to participate in tackle football. This activity does not only provide the participants with physical activity, but also instills dedication, teamwork and the importance of friendship

What is the time commitment?

Compared to other youth sports, football is a big commitment. There are six to ten hours of practice per week before the regular season starts, dropping to four to eight hours per week after the season starts. There is one game every weekend during the season. For more information see our Calendar section.

Do I have to start playing in Mini Macs?

No. We have many new players at each level who do great.

What if I have scheduled a vacation during practice time?

Go and enjoy yourself. Football will still be here when you get back. But please tell your coach as soon as possible that you will be gone.
With that said, if you have ANY flexibility, please try to schedule around the football season, especially in August. With JMYFL conditioning requirements and team formation, it is important that your player be there if at all possible.

Can Girls Play?

Yes, we have had several girls play nearly every season.

Registration:

Where do I go to sign up?

Visit our Registration Page to get started.

Where can I get information about Scholarships?

We want to give everyone the opportunity to play. To that end there is assistance available. You can find out more information by contacting info@joemac.ca. Please note, that while there are funds available, we reserve the right to select the most worthy recipients in order to ensure that those with the greatest needs are met.

How late can I sign up?

It is best to register early so that you are guaranteed a place on a team. You should also take advantage of our early bird pricing. Registration generally closes once the season begins, but new registrations can be accommodated on a case by case basis. While we want to ensure that we can service as many children as possible, we must still ensure that they have received proper instruction.

Do I need a physical?

This is up to you and your doctor. We do not require one in order to register your child or for them to participate in our season. However, getting a doctor’s consent before starting any new physical activity is a good practice which should be observed by anyone wishing to do so.

Refunds:

Can I get a refund?

All refunds must be approved by the President of the JMYFL. Typically, no refunds will be approved once the season starts and equipment has not been returned.

Equipment:

What equipment is provided?

JMYFL provides almost everything you need to play. Your helmet, mouth guard, needed pads, practice/game pants, and practice/game jersey are all provided.

What equipment do I have to provide?

Athletic shoes or cleats, socks, and underwear are all that are needed. Athletic cups and supporters are not required and should not be worn to prevent serious injury.

Most players might need a custom mouth guard throughout the season. If your child wears braces, you may want to ask your Orthodontist about any special mouth protection that you may need.

My helmet hurts — can I get a different one?

It is very common for your helmet to feel uncomfortable and even hurt your head for the first couple of weeks. Helmets must fit tightly to ensure a correct fit. Our equipment managers take the necessary time to make sure that each helmet is fitted properly. We recommend that once you get your equipment, that you wear your helmet before practice in order to break it in and get used to how it feels. When you put it on, remember to pull it all the way down, hard. If you continue to have discomfort, please let your coach know and we will have our equipment managers adjust the fit of your helmet.

What kind of cleats do I need?

Cleats are not required, though they are encouraged. As a general rule of thumb any molded (plastic) football cleat will do. You may also elect to use the screw-in variety. For safety reasons, no metal spikes, baseball cleats, or even most soccer cleats will be permitted.

What if there is a problem with my equipment?

Many problems can be corrected using the tools and supplies that each team has, so contact your coach for assistance. If they cannot resolve the issue, then they will arrange to get you a replacement from our equipment manager.

When and Where do I get my equipment?

Upon your registration, you will be contacted via email and an appointment will be made for you to pick up your equipment. If the date provided cannot be accomdated, please let us know as soon as possible in order to facilitate another date. You must attend one of those days as this will be the only time equipment is fitted. Equipment is fitted and handed out are our clubhouse on LaSalle. Please visit the website for further information.

Equipment Care:

Helmet Care

Try keeping your helmet clean and free of debris. You can do this by simply wiping with a damp cloth. NEVER use abrasive cleaners or solvents to clean helmet.

Always inspect your helmet – paying particular attention to the fasteners that attach the facemask and chin strap. If the helmet appears damaged in any way – IMMEDIATELY show your Coach or one of JMYFL Equipment Managers. NEVER play or participate in contact drills with a damaged helmet.

Wash & Care Instructions for Integrated Pants

COLD WATER WASH, please. Wash them separately from other garments. Keep whites and colors apart. DO NOT DRY CLEAN OR PRESS garments. This will discolor the fabric. Do not allow perspiration soaked or muddy garments to lie in a pile or rest on top of each other for any period of time. Launder them immediately if they really, really need it. However, it is not necessary to launder after every wearing. Simply hang them on a plastic or wooden hanger until the next day of practice. DO NOT OVER-WASH pants. DO NOT remove the belt or pads. FASTEN HOOK & LOOP belts before washing so they don’t bounce around in the washer. DO NOT use chlorine bleach. DO NOT use fabric softeners. DO NOT soak the pants. Softeners deteriorate garments with spandex. They also restrict the effectiveness of Dri-Fit technology and act as a magnet to dirt. Use MILD powdered detergent. Powdered detergents are recommended for athletic colors. REMOVE garments from the machine immediately after washing. This will help avoid color bleeding, particularly on color blocked garments.

AIR DRY

Allow the pants and game jersey to AIR DRY. If you must use the dryer, do so on the LOWEST setting. Line Drying is recommended, particularly with these garments. Be sure these garments are completely dry before storing. ONCE again, COLD WASH and AIR DRYING are the best way to launder these items so that they stay looking new!

Teams:

Do I have to try out?

No. As long as your registration is complete and paid, and you are not on a waiting list, you will be placed on a team.

How are the teams divided?

JMYFL ensures that all teams be evenly matched across talent and skill levels, with no “stacked” or “developmental” teams. Each team in an age level will have the same number of players of a given grade level.

Can I request to be placed on a team with a friend?

Unfortunately no. JMYFL requirements are very straight forward. One of the great things about our league is that all of the players will be mixed with same-aged players from other elementary and middle schools. All of these schools feed into our high schools, and other sports programs, so this helps them develop friends they will eventually go to school with and may play with in other venues. Siblings are the one exception to this rule.

What if I need to carpool?

There are generally two teams practicing per field (Tyke and Bantam). So, if your player needs to carpool with someone on a different team, this should usually not be a problem.

Can I request a specific coach?

No, see above.

How are the coaches picked?

Applicants for head coaching positions are reviewed and selected by the JMYFL. Assistant coaches are selected by the head coach or may also be assigned by the JMYFL, usually from among the parents of their players. All coaches are subject to a background check.

Practices:

When do practices start?

Practice starts following the August long weekend. Speak with your child’s coach for specific times and days.

How long are practices?

Most practices are 2 hours long.

How many practices are there per week?

Before the regular season begins, most teams will practice between 4 and 5 days a week.
Once the regular season begins, most teams will practice between 3 and 5 days a week.
Note: Mini Mac practices are generally no more than 3 times a week.

Games:

How long are the games?

Games are made up of four 10 minute quarters. With clock stoppages, half time, moving the chains, etc., most games last nearly two hours. In addition, players are expected to be at the field at least an hour before the game to warm up. So count on spending 3 hours at a game.

How many games are there?

There are 6 regular season games and two playoff games. Every team makes the playoffs.

Where are games played?

Our games are all played at the James Jerome Sports Complex (Lily Creek Field)

Why do I have to get to the game so early?

Players are expected to be at the field this early to ensure that they have enough time to warm up and stretch. Failure to do so can lead to serious injuries. Some coaches may reserve the right to refuse to let your child play if not properly warmed up. This time also allows coaches to game plan based on player numbers and also to address any equipment issues which might arise as the season progresses. It is important to be on time to the game site. If you are “time challenged”, consider carpooling or setting your alarm 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual. You don’t want to be hurt, and you don’t want to miss a game!

How much will I get to play?

JMYFL has taken steps to ensure that all players should get an even change to play the game of football. This means that your child should realistically expect to play at least 10 active plays per game (plays ending in penalties, kneel-downs, and PAT’s are not considered active plays). Depending on your child’s position, skill level, and especially their willingness to work hard, they may play more.
Notice that “position” was the first item on the list: if your child insists on playing only one of the “skill” positions, like everyone else, they will likely not play as much. There are a lot of people who want to be quarterback and receiver. But if you are willing to learn to play a line position, you will have a better chance to play more often. Think about it: There are more starting linemen than there are of any other position on the field. If ten people can play line well, and only four can play quarterback well, individuals from which group will get more play time?

What position will I play?

Probably several. JMYFL encourages players to learn at least one position on offence, and one on defence. Some players may learn more. Most players will play several positions during the season. Your coaches will observe your child and work with them to find the best locations for them. We want everyone to be successful!

Coaches and Executive Members:

Are Coaches and Executive Members paid?

Everyone associated with JMYFL are volunteers donating hundreds of hours year round to help make this program a success.

Who can be a Head Coach or Assistant Coach?

Anyone with the ability to put in the time commitment. All coaches must register through the JMYFL website. Head coaches should have a basic knowledge of football, and can apply it at the youth level. Head coaching experience is desired, but not necessary. JMYFL is a place where players, referees and coaches can come to develop their skills. As such, we will be providing information and training in order to assist in this goal. Head coaching candidates are interviewed by the board at the beginning of the year. All coaches are required to undergo a back ground checks.

Why are there so many coaches for each team? My son’s soccer team only has two.

The short answer: Soccer, Hockey and Basketball are sports in which most, if not all of the players are easily interchanged. Football is a very technical sport. Players have to be taught both offensive and defensive skills and positions. Many coaching staffs are made up of a head coach with general knowledge in each of the different disciplines and positions. Additionally, because football is a contact sport, the additional coaching staff increases the safety factor at practice while players are learning new skills.

On-Field Positions and Play Terminology Glossary

Canadian football, and football in general, has on-field and play terminology unique to the sport and it can be difficult to understand for newcomers. For new or curious fans, we are providing this glossary of some phrases and their definitions. This page will continue to be expanded and improved based on queries or as terms and trends change in the sport; you can help improve and add to this section by contacting with terms and phrases you would like added or explained or just send suggestions for improvement.

Keep in mind that the following terms found herein are only for information purposes. Some of the terms may not be applicable to this league, or in all divisions.
The rulebook is the best resource for specific penalty and foul terminology.

On-Field Positions

These definitions are meant as an introduction to the unfamiliar. There are nuances and subtleties to the rules surrounding positions and movement not covered here. To understand these fully, please see the rulebook.

Offense

Offensive Line

Five players make up the offensive line, lined up on the line of scrimmage. Line players must be motionless before the snap. Two additional players (ends) must line up on the line of scrimmage to meet the requirements of seven players on the line. The five O-linemen are ineligible receivers and must wear a jersey number of an ineligible receiver, 50-69.

Centre (C)

Player in the centre of the offensive line whose duty it is to snap the ball between his legs to the quarterback to start each play from scrimmage.

Guard (Right and Left) (OG, ORG, OLG)

Players immediately on either side of the centre, part of the offensive line.

Tackle (Right and Left) (OT, RT, LT, ORT, OLT)

Players on the ends of the offensive line, on the outside of each guard.

Quarterback (QB)

Player behind the centre who takes the snap to start each play from scrimmage.

Running Back/Tail Back (RB, TB, 3B)

Player in the backfield who can accept handoffs/pitches on a running play, block or escape the backfield as a receiver.

Fullback (FB, 2B)

A bulkier, bigger running back whose primary purpose may be to block but also may receive the ball on a running or passing play. CFL offences normally do not deploy a fullback in all scrimmage situations, deploying a fifth receiver instead.

Tight End/Split End/H-Back (TE, SE, HB)

Tight ends are normally deployed at the ends of the line of scrimmage, tight to the line (next to a tackle). They count as the 6th and 7th men on the line of scrimmage or they can be lined up 1 yard off the line of scrimmage and other players technically occupy the end positions. Single or double tight end formations are normally only seen in short yardage or special formations in the CFL.

Slotback, Slot (SB)

The inside receivers, closest to the quarterback, but not attached to the offencive line.

Wide Receiver/Wideout, Flanker (WR)

The receivers found widest on either side of the field.

Defence

Defensive Line (DL)

In a 4-3 defence, there are 4 defensive linemen. In a 3-4 defence, there are 3 defensive linemen.

Defensive End (DE)

Defensive player on either end of the defensive line.

Rush End (RE)

Defensive end whose primary purpose is to rush the quarterback, usually from a stand up position rather than a down lineman. The rush end is normally positioned on the wide or strong-side of the field.

Quick End (QE)

Defensive end whose primary purpose is to rush the quarterback. The quick end is normally positioned on the weak-side of the field.

Defensive Tackle (DT)

Defensive player in the centre of the defensive line (2 tackles in a 4-3 defence).

Nose Tackle (NT)

Defensive tackle in the centre of the defensive line (1 tackle in a 3-4 defence).

Linebackers (LB)

Players behind the defensive line providing run and pass support. In a 4-3 defence, there are 3 linebackers. In a 3-4 defence, there are 4 linebackers.

Weak-Side Linebacker (Will)

Linebacker who plays the weak-side (short hash mark side) of the field.

Middle Linebacker/Inside Middle Linebacker (Mac/Mike)

Linebacker who plays the middle linebacker position(s).

Strong-Side Linebacker (Sam)

Linebacker who plays the strong-side (long hash mark side) of the field.

Defensive Back (DB)

Sometimes refers to all defensive coverage players, or also the inside coverage players responsible for covering inside receivers or territory of the field.

Halfback (HB)

Ambiguous term that has fallen out of usage. Could refer to a running back in the American game, or the inside defensive back. Normally prefixed as Defensive Halfback to indicate the player covering the inside receivers (normally Slotbacks).

Cornerback (CB)

Defensive back responsible for covering the outside receivers or territory of the field.
Safety/Free Safety/Strong Safety (S/FS/SS)
The last line of defence in the defence. Depending on which side of the field they line up on, they may be a secondary.

The defensive backs (DB, HB, CB, S)

In the defensive formation, the secondary line of defence. The first line of defence, the linemen and linebackers are usually referred to as the front seven.

Nickelback/Dimeback

Extra defensive backs that enter the game in obvious passing situations, replacing a linebacker. Since the CFL normally deploys five defensive backs, Nickelback would be a misnomer (it is named for the fifth DB, i.e. Nickel).

Special Teams

Kicker (K)

A player that specializes on place kicking duties, which are field goal attempts, or extra-point kicks. Kickers will also sometimes perform kickoff duties. When a player performs both kicking and punting duties, they are normally listed as K/P.

Kick Returner/Punt Returner (KR/PR)

A player that specializes on kick return duties, returning punts, kick offs and/or missed field goal returns. A team may deploy different players for different types of returns and even multiple players on different returns depending on the conditions and situation.

Long Snapper (LS)

A long snapper is a specialized centre who snaps the ball on special teams plays, field goal attempts and or punts. The technique and actions of this position are so unique that a dedicated role has developed on most teams, usually out of a backup, as rosters have grown.

Punter (P)

A player that specializes on punting duties. When a player performs both kicking and punting duties, they are normally listed as K/P.

Field Terminology

Boundary Side, Boundary Corner

The short side of the field. See weak side. For example, boundary corner.

Deadline

The line signifying the back of the End Zone, 20 yards from the Goal Line.

End Zone (Goal Area)

The areas of the field bordered by the Goal Line, Deadline and Sidelines in Goal. There are two end zones, one at each end of the field. The purpose of the game is to move the ball towards the opponents end zone; moving the ball across the goal line results in a score.

Field of Play

The area of the field bounded by the goal lines and sidelines. The field of play is 110 yards long and 65 yards wide.

Field Side, Field Side Corner

The wide side of the field. See strong side. For example, field side corner.

Goal Line

The lines marking the end of the field of play, representing the start of the end zone. There are two goal lines, each 55 yards from centre field or 110 yards apart. Crossing the opponent’s goal line with the ball results in a score.

Goal Posts

Apparatus situated on each goal line, with two posts 18 feet, 6 inches apart and 30 feet high with a crossbar 10 feet above ground level. Kicking the ball from the ground through the goal posts results in a field goal.

Hash Marks

The dashed yard markings 24 yards from each sideline. The position of the ball at scrimmage must always be on or between the hash marks, so when the ball carrier is tackled between the hash marks and sideline, the ball moves to the nearest hash mark for the next scrimmage. With the field 65 yards wide, there is 17 yards between the hash marks.

Neutral Zone

The 1-yard space between the offensive line of scrimmage and the defence. Defensive players are not allowed to be in the neutral zone when the ball is snapped.

Red Zone

Inside the 20 yard line of the opposition for the offence. This is the scoring zone, with the expectation to score touchdowns when reaching this position on the field. Also called the green zone or the go zone.

Sidelines

The lines marking the sides of the field, perpendicular to the yard lines. Sidelines represent the long side boundary of the playing field.

Strong Side

The wide side of the field. When the ball is placed on a hashmark, it creates unequal widths of the field from the centre’s point of scrimmage, one wide and one short. For example, strong side linebacker.

Weak Side

The short side of the field. When the ball is placed on a hashmark, it creates unequal widths of the field from the centre’s point of snap, one wide and one short. For example, weak side linebacker.

Yard Lines

The yard lines are marked across the width of the field parallel to the goal lines, 5 yards apart.

Play Terminology

Blitz

A defensive blitz is the attempt by the defence to send at least one more player rushing the passer than there are blockers, hopefully allowing a player an unblocked path to the quarterback. Play-by-play announcers and commentators often use the term blitz whenever five or more players (four lineman plus linebackers and defensive backs) rush the quarterback. In our league, defences are only allowed to blitz within their own red zones.

Block

The act of legally impeding the opposition from reaching the ball carrier or quarterack.

Blocked Field Goal/Punt

Making contact with a punt or field goal attempt after it leaves the kicker’s foot but before it crosses the line of scrimmage. A blocked ball that crosses the line of scrimmage is partially blocked, while one that doesn’t cross the line is blocked.

Convert, PAT, Extra Point

After scoring a touchdown, teams receive an additional opportunity to add to their score. They receive one down from the 5-yard line. In our league kicking the ball through the uprights results in a 2-point score, passing or running the ball over the goal line results in a 1-point score. The reverse is true in other leagues. We do this to encourage the kicking game and player development at the kicker positions.

Counter play

A running play where the direction of the play starts in one direction only to reverse in the other direction.

Down

One of three plays (Canadian Football), or four (American and our league) the offence gets to try to gain 10 yards to achieve another set of three/four downs. Teams move down the field this way attempting to cross the opponent’s goal line to score a major score or touchdown.

Draw Play

A delayed handoff to a running back, who appears to be staying in the backfield to block. The delay allows the defence to move into pass defensive positions, opening up room for the RB. Often used in passing situations such as third or fourth and long when a rushing play is unexpected.

Empty Backfield

The backfield is empty of running backs, either initially or by motion.

End-Around

A Tight End or Slot-Back moves through the backfield and accepts a pitch or handoff heading for the opposite side of the field.

Flat

The area between the line of scrimmage and 10 yards downfield with 15 yards of the sidelines, usually on the wide-side of the field. Running backs can release into the flat as the safety valve receiver and wide receivers run quick outs and hitch passes in this area.

Flea Flicker

A deceptive play intended to draw the defence towards the line to defend the run then throw a pass. The quarterback will hand off the ball to a running back, who as he approaches the line will turn and pitch the ball back to the quarterback. The quarterback then throws a pass to a hopefully, uncovered receiver or player.

Forward Pass

A forward pass is one that is thrown over hand and towards or past the line of scrimage. A forward pass is dead upon striking the ground before being caught. Only the direction of the pass matters. That is why an overhand pass parallel to the line of scrimmage or backward is a live ball, the same as a pitch-out and a pitch forward (shovel pass) to a receiver that falls incomplete is an incomplete pass.

Fumble

The loss of the ball before being tackled, which is a live ball able to be recovered by either team. Forced fumbles, fumbles lost and fumbles recovered are all tracked statistically.

I Formation

A double-back set lined up behind each other directly behind the QB under centre. In the modern CFL, a single RB behind the QB, either under centre or in the shotgun (rarely seen) could be called an I Formation.

Incomplete

A pass that falls to the ground without being caught is incomplete. The ball is then dead and the down over.

Interception

A defensive player who catches a pass thrown by the offence has intercepted the ball. Interceptions are tracked for both quarterbacks and defensive players.

Lateral

A pass that is parallel or backwards towards the offensive team’s deadline. As this is not a forward pass, the ball is live and not dead if it hits the ground.

Bootleg

A outside run by the quarterback to an open side of the field often with no blocking help, such as pulling linemen.

Pistol Formation

The QB about 5 yards behind centre to receive the snap instead of directly behind the centre. This has become the standard formation for most teams that employ a zone read offence because it affords an equal amount of versatility between the passing and running game.

Play Action

A fake handoff to a RB in order to draw the defence in and set up the pass.

Punt

A ball dropped from a player’s hands and kicked before it touches the ground. When faced with their last (third) down and long yardage to gain, teams will punt the football to the opposition rather than risk turning the ball over to the other team at the point of scrimmage if they fail to gain the necessary yardage.

Quarterback Draw

A delayed running play executed by the Quarterback. In today’s CFL, the QB will receive the snap from centre in the shut fun formation, pause for a moment before running off-centre or off-tackle depending on the play design. Rarely seen today, but in the past QB’s under centre would complete their 3 or 5 step drop before rushing the ball. Quarterback draws are used in passing situations (such as second and long) and use receiver routes to pull defenders out of the middle of the field to be successful.

Reverse

A handoff to a RB or receiver who then hands off to a receiver running the opposite way. An end-around, where a receiver receives a hand-off in the backfield moving from one side of the field to another is often incorrectly called a reverse.

Rush

The defensive players pursuing the QB is called the rush.

Rushing Play

A running play, that is a hand-off or pitch to another player, or the QB running the ball after receiving the snap. Yards gained on the ground are called rushing yards.

Sack

Tackling the quarterback (with the ball) behind the line of scrimmage is called a sack and is a statistical category tracked for defensive players. See Section 16 of the Statistical Scoring Rules for details on what qualifies and is recorded as a sack.

Screen Pass

A play where offensive lineman release their blocks and the QB throws a short pass to a player who has blockers in front. A centre screen would be a pass to a RB with OL blockers. A hitch screen or hitch pass would be to a WR behind the line of scrimmage (but not usually a lateral) with other receivers in position to block defensive backs.

Shotgun Formation

The QB about 7 yards behind centre to receive the snap instead of directly behind the centre. Except short yardage situations, almost all snaps from centre in the CFL are now from the shotgun formation. This evolved over the past 30 years, when the opposite was true.

Shovel Pass

A short, underhand forward pass to a RB or receiver between the tackles. If the pass is incomplete, the ball is dead as a forward pass. The underhand flip of the ball looks like the QB is shoveling the ball forward.

Statue of Liberty

Traditionally the QB must pump fake to one side of the field while handing off the ball to a RB or receiver behind his back with his other hand. In the CFL, play-by-play men will call any pump fake and handoff a Statue of Liberty play.

Stunt

A defensive maneuver where players switch positions at the snap of the ball in order to confuse the blockers. This may involve a lineman dropping into a linebacker role while the linebacker rushes the quarterback or the switching of two players rushing the quarterback, with one looping behind the other in his path to the quarterback. This crossing of players during the rush is also called a trade, twist, or loop.

Sweep

An outside run by a quarterback or running back with blocking help from pulling guards or other offensive linemen. The ball carrier runs parallel to the line of scrimmage until blocks are in place allowing them to turn up field.

Waggle

A waggle is the motion of a receiver towards the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. Slotbacks generally take a running start towards the line of scrimmage, timing their arrival with the snap of the ball.

Y.A.C.

Yards after catch, or the amount the receiver gains after receiving the ball before being tackled. If a player is thrown a pass 10 yards down field and runs 40 yards to score, the 50 yard passing play would have 40 YAC yards credited to the receiver.

FLUID IN SPORT FACTS
Proper fluid intake before, during and after training or competition is the simplest practice to maximize performance. Yet, proper hydration is often overlooked or ignored. Dire consequences on performance and health result from improper fluid intake when exercising in warm environments. All coaches, parents, athletes and exercise enthusiasts should consider the facts and should ask themselves, “Am I, or my athletes and teammates, drinking enough of the right stuff?”

Why Fluid is Important

The human body is made up of 45-75% water, depending on body composition. The body needs water to…
• Maintain blood volume, which allows efficient transportation of nutrients and oxygen to tissues
• Aid digestion in saliva and digestive juices that break down and absorb food
• Provide the setting in which all biochemical reactions of the cell occur
• Lubricate joints and cushions organs and tissues upon impact
• Eliminate waste from the body through urination
• Regulate core body temperature at 37°C by perspiration Because we lose body fluids every day through excretion (urine) and sweat, it is essential to replace those fluids on a daily basis. For an athlete, remaining well hydrated is especially important to prevent the rise in body temperature associated with exercise, and even more so when exercising in hot or humid environments. Heat illnesses are easily preventable, though common. Some biochemical reactions in the body generate heat as a sort of “by-product”. During exercise, the body, its tissues and cells, generate more heat. During physical activity, muscle tissue can generate up to 20 times more heat then it does at rest! This heat builds up and is stored in the body, which can raise overall body temperature. The most efficient way the body can rid itself of this heat is through perspiration. With longer and/or more intense exercise, more heat builds up in the body stimulating the body to produce more sweat. This eventually leads to an overall body fluid deficit. During a training session, an athlete needs to drink the volume of fluid they are losing. This ensures the body maintains core temperature (through perspiration) and still has enough fluid for regulation of blood volume, digestion, joint lubrication, etc. However, even when fluids are easily accessible, athletes tend to avoid fluid intake during a workout or event. This is referred to as “voluntary dehydration”. 

Consequences of Dehydration

We do not adapt to dehydration. A loss of 1-2% body fluid reflected in body weight significantly decreases athletic performance. This amount of fluid loss is common in a one-hour training session, where sweat losses can measure ½ to 1½ litres! One of the easiest ways to tell whether you
are adequately hydrated is by checking the colour of your urine. Light coloured urine is an indication of adequate hydration. If you are experiencing infrequent urination and the colour of urine is dark yellow, these are signs of dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration include constipation, irritability, fatigue, lightheadedness,
headaches, muscle cramps, reduced endurance, and exercise may feel more difficult then usual. Because body fluids are essential for the proper functioning of joints and related tissues, dehydration also increases risk of injury.

Physiological Changes:
– Drop in blood volume, blood pressure and cardiac output, as well as increased viscosity of the blood resulting in less oxygen being transported to the muscles.
– Decreased skin blood flow, which is needed to dissipate body heat.
– Heart rate speeds up.
– Slower gastric emptying. This means that when hydration is poor, the fluids and foods that are ingested will be released from the stomach more slowly. The athlete’s ability to incorporate water and nutrients into the body is impaired. Dehydration also decreases tolerance to heat strain; even in athletes acclimatized to warm training locations. The dehydrated athlete’s body temperature rises, placing them at risk of developing heat illnesses in hot/humid environments.

Heat Illness (Hyperthermia)

The Manitoba Marathon 2005 took place on a very hot and humid morning. Runners were dropping like flies and 15 people were sent to the hospital with heat exhaustion. By luck or by virtue of an excellent medical staff, no on was seriously injured. In the heat, sweat rates can climb to 1-2 litres of sweat loss per hour. Marathoners have been noted to lose up to 7 litres of sweat in one event!

When sweat losses are not matched by fluid intake in the heat, there is a risk of developing 3 different types heat illnesses:
1) Heat cramps: These are painful, involuntary and intermittent muscle spasms that can occur in any muscle group.
2) Heat exhaustion: This is more hazardous as the sufferer’s mental status is changed; they become
irritable, dizzy and have poor judgment. Other symptoms include nausea, headache, sudden fatigue and profuse sweating. Skin colour may be pale. When not treated, this can develop into heat stroke.
3) Heat stroke: This occurs when body temperature rises to 41°C and above. This illness is very dangerous and could lead to coma or death. Central nervous system dysfunction causes loss of motor coordination, confusion, delirium and loss of consciousness. At a body temperature of 42°C and higher, protein within the body coagulates and causes cell death – in words more appealing to Hannibal Lector, the body cooks itself. This leads to multi-system organ failure. Symptoms may include reddened skin, rapid heartbeat, quick shallow breathing, normal-profuse sweating, personality changes and fainting.

Check your hydration status
1. Monitor your urine colour and volume. If your urine is dark yellow and you’re excreting small volumes, you need to drink more fluids.
2. Do not wait to feel thirsty before re-hydrating. The sensation of thirst generally does not occur until fluid loss accounts for 2% of body weight, which as described earlier is enough to impair performance!
3. Before exercise: Begin all workouts/competitions well hydrated by drinking 2-2½ cups of water or sports drink 2 hours before, and try ½ to 1 cup 10-20 minutes before a training session or event. Drink what you can tolerate.
4. During exercise: Try to match fluid input with fluid output. To find out your sweat rates, weigh yourself before and after exercise in the nude or, for the more discrete, in the same clothes before and after. The amount of weight lost during exercise is indicative of the volume of fluid lost: 2.2lbs (1kg) accounts for 4 cups (1 litre) of fluid that needs to be replaced. You can also try drinking ½ to 1 cup of fluid every 20 minutes during your session.
5. After exercise: Aim for complete re-hydration. Try drinking 3 cups of fluid for every pound of body weight lost within 2 hours after exercise. It is recommended that you consume 500-1000 ml (2-4 cups) of fluid post exercise.

Choosing Good Re-hydrating Drinks

For a training session that lasts less then one hour, water is sufficient. When exercising for more then one hour, consider a sports drink. This will help replenish some of the lost carbohydrates, already burned for energy, as well as electrolytes (notably sodium) lost in sweat. Commercially sold sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) are concentrated 4-6%, tested to maximize water absorption and minimize stomach discomfort. However, if you do experience some stomach distress with these drinks, dilute them with water. You can make your own sports drink by mixing fruit juices with water, and adding a pinch of salt.

*Note : you can drink too much water! When exercising for long durations in the heat, sodium is lost in
sweat. If nothing but water is consumed, the body will reach a diluted sodium concentration, which causes cramping, headaches and nausea, and could lead to poor coordination and seizure.

Sodiumcontaining sport drinks should be considered during (or salty foods plus fluids) before and after exercise.
• Sport drinks and juices also make good recovery drinks. After a workout, consuming simple fast absorbing carbohydrates stimulates muscle recovery.
• Energy drinks are less ideal for good hydration. Carbohydrate concentration in these beverages ranges from 20-25%. Studies have shown that drinks with a carbohydrate concentration of 8% and higher slow down fluid absorption in the intestine.
• Alcohol and sporting events seem to mix together. Remember that alcohol has a diuretic effect – you pee more, making you lose more fluids. One study showed that athletes who drank beer lost about 2 cups more urine over the course of four hours than those who drank a low-alcohol or alcohol free beer.

Hydration plays a huge role in high energy performance. During or after a hard event, alcohol won’t
help you re-hydrate or recover. Prevent and treat heat illnesses When training in hot conditions, remember the signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat illnesses. Act immediately upon onset of the first signs and symptoms by removing yourself from the sun or the heat, and by consuming some fluids. Minnesota Vikings right tackle, Korey Stringer, was caught on camera struggling with pre-season practice in a heat wave in the summer of 2001. He died of heat stroke the next day. Exercise-induced heat stroke deaths are not unheard of in sports involving non-stop intensity and heavy uniforms. Be sure to watch out for other teammates, as they may not realize or want to admit they are becoming dehydrated and ill.

First Aid as provided by the Mayo Clinic:

If you are hit with heat cramps, take a rest to cool down, drink some fluids and practice stretching and massaging of the cramped muscle(s). If the cramp persists for an hour or longer, call a physician. If heat exhaustion is suspected, remove the affected person from the sun or into a cool location. Have the person drink water and cool down their body with cool water spray or cold blankets and fanning. Call for medical assistance. In the event of heat stroke, move the affected person to a shady or air-conditioned location. Call for emergency medical assistance and cool down the person with water spray, fanning and cold blankets or damp sheets. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious individual!
All heat illnesses can generally be successfully treated with fluid replacement, oral or intravenous. Severe heat stroke can be treated by immersing the affected person in an ice-cold bath for 15-20 minutes, while carefully monitoring their body temperature so that it does not drop below 37°C. However, if an individual is suffering from heat stroke, the first measure to take is to dial 911.

An athlete can become acclimatized to the heat, however when slightly dehydrated, this acclimatization has no benefit. Acclimatize slowly, giving yourself at least 1-2 weeks to fully get used to training in the heat. Reduce your training volume and intensity on warm days by taking longer breaks. Reduce the amount of protective gear worn during practice, and take advantage of the shade. Message to all coaches, parents, athletes and exercise enthusiasts Remember that…
• Dehydration hurts athletic performance
• Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration: fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, struggling with exercise
• Be responsive to signs of heat illness: nausea, dizziness, sudden fatigue, profuse sweating, confusion, irritability, rapid shallow breathing
• Consume fluids before during and after training sessions to limit rise in core body temperature and to prevent heat illnesses in hot and humid environments
• Choose water, juices and sports drinks over energy drinks and alcohol
• Maintain hydration and take longer breaks in the shade when acclimatizing to the heat

MAKE YOUR OW. SPORT DRI.K FOR
HIGH E.ERGY PERFORMA.CE & OPTIMAL RECOVERY:
 2 Cups Unsweatened Orange Juice
 2 Cups Water
 ¼ tsp Salt
1 L = 54 g (5.4%) carb and 0.5 to 0.7 g salt

Written by: Jorie Janzen, RD, BHEc, Sports Dietitian, SMCM
and
Krystal Merrells, BSc., Dietetic Student Volunteer

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On-Field Positions and Play Terminology Glossary
Offense

Offensive Line
Centre (C)
Guard (Right and Left) (OG, ORG, OLG)
Tackle (Right and Left) (OT, RT, LT, ORT, OLT)
Quarterback (QB)
Running Back/Tail Back (RB, TB, 3B)
Fullback (FB, 2B)
Tight End/Split End/H-Back (TE, SE, HB)
Slotback, Slot (SB)
Wide Receiver/Wideout, Flanker (WR)

Defence

Defensive Line (DL)
Defensive End (DE)
Rush End (RE)
Quick End (QE)
Defensive Tackle (DT)
Nose Tackle (NT)
Linebackers (LB)
Weak-Side Linebacker (Will)
Middle Linebacker/Inside Middle Linebacker (Mac/Mike)
Strong-Side Linebacker (Sam)
Defensive Back (DB)
Halfback (HB)
Cornerback (CB)
Safety/Free Safety/Strong Safety (S/FS/SS)
The defensive backs (DB, HB, CB, S)
Nickelback/Dimeback

Special Teams

Kicker (K)
Kick Returner/Punt Returner (KR/PR)
Long Snapper (LS)
Punter (P)

Field Terminology

Boundary Side, Boundary Corner
Deadline
End Zone (Goal Area)
Field of Play
Field Side, Field Side Corner
Goal Line
Goal Posts
Hash Marks
Neutral Zone
Red Zone
Sidelines
Strong Side
Weak Side
Yard Lines

Play Terminology

Blitz
Block
Blocked Field Goal/Punt
Convert, PAT, Extra Point
Counter play
Down
Draw Play
Empty Backfield
End-Around
Flat
Flea Flicker
Forward Pass
Fumble
I Formation
Incomplete
Interception
Lateral
Bootleg
Pistol Formation
Play Action
Punt
Quarterback Draw
Reverse
Rush
Rushing Play
Sack
Screen Pass
Shotgun Formation
Shovel Pass
Statue of Liberty
Stunt
Sweep
Waggle
Y.A.C.


 
FLUID IN SPORT FACTS

Why Fluid is Important
Consequences of Dehydration
Check your hydration status
Choosing Good Re-hydrating Drinks
First Aid as provided by the Mayo Clinic