Our member programs are endorsed by and aligned to their High Schools
The Jr Skyland Football Conference (JSFC) is an unlimited weight, high-school aligned, intermediate level football league founded on the principles of being an extension of the local High School program. We work in partnership our High School coaches and use the same techniques, terminology, schemes and concepts used by the High School programs so our players are best prepared for the next step in their football career. For this reason, the JSFC requires that all players play on teams aligned to where their primary residence is.
As you may have recently read or seen, Pop Warner has eliminated kickoffs for their lower level teams under the age of 10 years old. We congratulate them on catching up on this player safety consideration that we here at Jr Skyland Football have had in place since our inception!
Once again, Pop Warner is slow to react to the current state of youth football
and only do so when pushed.
Since our founding year, we have never had kick-offs for players on teams below 5th gradeand in our max playtime Patriot division, we don't have kickoffs below 7th grade. Teams start with the ball on the 35 yd line after scores as well as at the start of the game & 2nd half.
Regardless of this move, Pop Warner is still tone-deaf and denies player safety concerns by standing by their Older/Lighter process. (Related Article) This allows older, but lighter, players to play down at a lower level with younger kids. Not only does it enable leagues and coaches to stack teams and manipulate rosters (see quote), even worse it puts player's safety as risk by having kids as much as 4 years different in age play together on the same field.
Multiple studies by both the medical community as well as youth sports organizations, including USA Football, (Related Article) have shown that regardless of height and weight, the safest way to group players is by player age. This puts kids with similar physical development, muscle/body maturity and athletic ceiling together and creates a safe and level playing field.
Age differential - not weight - is the biggest factor affecting unnecessary injuries.