AYF youth football for New Jersey serving , hunterdon county NJ, sussex county NJ, mercer county NJ, middlesex county NJ, warren county NJ; american youth football, partner with Jersey Shore AYF & Garden State AYF, formerly Jr Skyland Football Conference

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Updated July 20, 2018
 

Background 

 

[Click here if your organization is interested in joining]

 

The Greater New Jersey AYF conference (GNJAYF) was originally founded as the Jr Skyland Football Conference (JSFC) in December of 2004.  It was established as an unlimited weight, intermediate level football league with the goals of providing an opportunity for highly talented players to experience seriously competitive football at a level above the average youth football league.  The conference transitioned as an independent conference to the American Youth Football league in 2018 and renamed itself from Jr Skyland to Greater New Jersey to better represent the breadth and regionality of our member programs.  

 

One of our conference goals is have our individual programs positively impact their local public high school football programs and to nurture a smooth transition from youth football into high school football.  Therefore, we require all member programs within the GNJAYF have the explicit support of their local HS Head Football Coach and HS Athletic Director.  We also require that the foundation of their football program aligns to the principles, schemes and terminology that is taught at their high school.   Most Head Football Coaches view their local GNJAYF teams as a direct extension of their programs and take an active interest in how they develop young players.

Many of the teams in the GNJAYF play under the lights on Saturday nights on their high school’s home football field and share the colors and have a name affiliation with their sending district High School. 
 

 

AYF Top To Bottom Structure, Terminology And Implementation In The GNJAYF

 

Structure

Definition

Greater New Jersey Conference

Region

A Region is defined as a geographic territory. The geographic territory is determined by the AYF National Office. The 8 regional territories that make up AYF can be found online at:  AYF Regional Map.  A Region is comprised of Member Conferences within its territory that have applied for, and have been granted membership, by the National Office. 

GNJAYF is part of the Big East region which includes: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Northern Maryland, West Virginia

Conference

A Conference is defined by the geographic boundary of its membership. A Conference’s membership is the Associations that have applied for, and have been granted membership, by the Conferences governing body

We are the Greater New Jersey AYF Conference serving West and Central NJ

Association
(aka Program or Organization)

An Association is often defined as a local city, or town. The Association may be restricted by its Conference from drawing participants from certain geographic territory/boundaries. The acceptable method and determination of what participants can register within any given Association will be governed by the Conference/Region to which it is a member

In GNJAYF we also refer to associations as programs or organizations and we name them based on the sending district or HS they represent. (see list below)

Tier/Flight

AYF enables conference to structure their conference as ‘A’ and ‘B’ tiers to ensure teams are playing weekly against comparable competition  

The GNJAYF uses a two-tiered conference structure to support the needs of the sending districts and provide maximum opportunities for all participants (see below) 

Levels

In the Age Protected Unlimited Weight Division, the levels are defined by the ages of the players based on their birthday relative to July 31.  They cover each individual age year from to 14U.   We do not allow any players who are matriculated into High School.

In GNJAYF we may combine multiple age groups into a age Levels.  In 2018 we have 4 levels:  8th grade Varsity, 11U JV, 9U Peewee and 7U Flag

Team

A defined set of participants who are registered to play together as a unit within a Age Level.  

in the GNJAYF, participants cannot be registered to more than one team.

Participant

A Participant is defined as a minor child that has applied for and has been granted membership within a given Association.

Participant register with their affiliated association. 

 

 

Greater New Jersey Playing Levels 

Each year, based on the number of participants registered at each age level across all the associations, the GNJAYF will detemine if any age groups are required o maximize the regular season scheduling and match-ups

 For 2018  GNJAYF will have 4 playing levels

  • 8th Grade Varisty:  14 years old or younger as of  1/31 and cannot be in HS. 
    (We are making the age cutoff equivolent to 13.5U and 6 month younger than what AYF allows for this age group.  We decdied to maintain what JSFC previously allowed at this level for 2018)
  • 11U JV: 11 years old or younger as of  7/31/18 
  • 9U Peewee: 9 years old or younger as of  7/31/18
  • 7U Flag: 7 years old or younger as of  7/31/18 

 

 

How We Leverage The 2-Tiered Structure

One of the advantages of the AYF structure is that they support an ‘A’ and ‘B’ structure and they enable their member conferences to manage and structure themselves to provide on the field game experience for ALL players.   Because we run the ‘A’ and ‘B’ structure our players who play JV and Varsity levels have the opportunity for the best of both worlds; either to participate in the highest level of youth competition in the state (‘A’ Division) or get the maximum on the field experience to achieve their goals. (‘B’ Division).

 

Generally, programs will have their boys will play…

 

Program Size:  JV & Varsity Levels

Raritan ‘A’

Delaware ‘B’

Large (able to field more than 1 team at a level)

Primary Team

Secondary Team(s)

Large to Medium

Primary Team

 

Small

 

Primary Team

Program Size:  Peewee & Flag Levels

Raritan ‘A’

Delaware ‘B’

All Size programs

n/a

All Teams

 

Only teams that play in the Raritan ‘A’ will be eligible at year end to play in the AYF Regional and National playoffs.  This is the winner of our conference playoffs. 

 

 

Playing Rules  
You can open and download HERE  (being revsied for 2018)

 

General Information

Member Clubs/Organizations as of 2018

Del Val Jr Terriers (Joined 2014)
Hillsborough Jr. Raiders *(Joined 2004)
Hunterdon Central Jr Red Devils (Joined 2004)
North Hunterdon Jr. Lions * (Joined 2004)
Pope John XIII Jr Lions (Joined 2017)
Phillipsburg Little Liners (Joined 2004)
Ridge Varsity Jr Devils * (Joined 2004)
Voorhees Jr. Vikings (Joined 2004)
 

* Past Varsity Champion (see Championship Page)

 

Practice and Schedules

Pre-season Season starts 4 weeks before the 1st game of the season, which is the 1st Saturday after Labor Day.  In 2017, this would be a start of preseason on August 14th and the 1st game weekend will be September 9th.  
lubs can practice 5 days a week, up to 2 hours a day prior to the start of the season and up to 3 days a week and 2 hours a practice during the season & school year.
Clubs can also have non-contact workouts during the summer prior to pre-season.  This is a maximum twice a week and 2 hours a session.    Clubs can also host a week long (up to 5 day/20hr) camp during the summer.

Game Times (revised for 2017)

All conference hosted games are scheduled for Saturdays

Day Games
Game Clock is TIPS:  4 x 15 minute quarters, game stops on Timeouts, Injuries, Penalities & Scores,  Clock runs on Out of Bounds and Incompletions
Games are played on local fields either secured by or operated by the GNJ AYF Associations

There are 4 time slots
  8:30am  Reserved for 7U Flag games only (Coach Ref)
  9:45am  Could be used for any tackle level age group (3 Carded/Cadet Officials) 
11:30am  Could be used for any tackle level age group (3 Carded/Cadet Officials) 
 1:15pm   Could be used for any tackle level age group (3 Carded/Cadet Officials) 

Note: Flag Games can be scheduled for timeslots later than 8:30am also if multiple flag games are scheduled for a single site

 

Night games
Game Clock is 4x10 minute, full stop clock (high school rules)
These games are traditionally for the top age level teams of the Raritan ‘A’ divisions, although some crossover games or Delaware games could be played at night also
  5:30pm 11U JV  (High School Fields, 5 Carded Officials)
  7:30pm 8th Grade Varsity (High School Fields, 5 Carded Officials)
 

Rosters (revised for 2017)

Associations are encouraged to maximize the number of second, third, etc... teams they have, keeping rosters as close to the 16-22 player range as possible.  This is to maximize playtime and opportunity. 
If a club fields more than 1 team in the Delaware Division, the teams should be balanced and talent spread out as much as possible. 
A individual players cannot be rostered on more than one team and cannot change teams after the season starts.

 

Structure 

 

 For 8th Grade Varsity and 11 JV

 

  • The Greater NJ Raritan ‘A’ Division places a significant priority on providing the highest level of competition among the best players from each participating program with a priority on winning championships.  
  • The Greater NJ  Delaware ‘B’ Division's goals are to provide competitive football where players can get significant playtime and game experience to develop the skills and experience needed to compete for a role at the Raritan Division level.

 

For Peewee (9U) and Flag (7U)

 

  • All teams play in Greater NJ’s Delaware Division.

 

Many clubs field multiple teams at each level and most have an evaluation process at the upper age levels to determine who makes the Raritan team (best players from their programs) and who plays in the Delaware division.

 

Some Associations from small sending districts or those who are building their program may participate only in the Delaware Division until such time they are deemed strong enough to be promoted into the Raritan Division.  This designation is decided by the Greater NJ board of directors.

 

Some key differences are outlined below

 

 

Raritan ‘A’ Division

Delaware ‘B’ Division

Purpose

Play to Win
Win Championship

Competitive environment with maximum playtime.
Prepare players to play Raritan.

2018 Age Levels

8th grade Varsity
11U JV

8th Grade Varsity
11U JV
9U Peewee
7U Flag

Weight Limits

"Unlimited Weight"
No max,  No min

"Position Restricted"
Unlimited weight for Lineman only. 
 Prestrictions for Eligible players on Offense and LBs/Secondary on defense. 

Older/Lighter?

Not Allowed!!

Not Allowed!!

Home Fields

 High School 

Town or Organization Fields

Area Restrictions

Must live in the High School sending district or designated areas
Cannot play for a different association if they reside in a GNJ aligned sending district

Minimum

Playtime Requirements

Minimum Playtime Rules based on # of players on the team
16 to 25 players =8 plays
26 to 30 players =6 plays
31 to 36 players =4 plays

Max Playtime Rules

Must start on Offense or Defense
& play at least ½ the game plays. 
(This prorated if over 22 players on a team)

Game length

Night Games: 4 x 10 min, stopped-clock, qtrs
Day games: 4 x 15 min TIPS Clock qtrs

Gameplay Restrictions

None

None for 8th Grade Varsity
Age Appropriate at other levels (see rulebook)

Standing & Playoffs

Post Season Playoffs based on standings

Varsity/JV: Post Season Playoffs based on standings
Peewee:  No Standings, All teams qualify for Post Season Tournament
7U Flag: no Standings for playoffs

Championship

Played Championship Day – all divisions and tackle levels

Lopsided Score Protection

Varsity & JV: at 24+ points in 1st half, 17+ points in 2nd half
Peewee @ 15+ points