Frequently Asked Questions
The football and sideline cheerleading season is usually around 13 weeks long. There are typically 8-10 league games, mostly played on Saturdays. The first game is typically mid-to-late August. Practices usually begin on Monday 4-5 weeks earlier (late July). The season usually ends late October. Approximately three Cheer Competitions are held after the season. Cheerleaders MUST participate in sideline cheer, and MUST decide upfront whether they will participate in competition cheer. Check our website for actual dates each season.
When are the games played?
Most home games are played on Saturdays, with Flag Football opening the day Saturday morning, followed by Tackle Mini, then Freshman, then JV, then Varisty. Away games are similar, but day and start time can vary.
Where are the games played?
Each squad plays home and away games during the season. Home games are played at Walden Pond Park in Lancaster off Walden and Ransom. Away games are played at the home field of the opposing team. Transportation to and from games is the responsibility of the parent or guardian of the player. Click here
What teams are in the Empire West league?
Alden, Cheektowaga Airlanes, CSRA, East Aurora, Eden, Elma/Marilla/Wales, Holland, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Tonawanda
Lancaster Youth Football & Cheer is a non-profit, fully volunteer organization that is "dedicated to the development of the hearts and minds of the youth in our community.” There are MANY opportunities to volunteer. To find out more, contact our Registration Director or any Board Member. Click here
to email. If you don't volunteer to assist the board or head coach, we require at registration a $125 volunteer deposit. This is fully refunded upon completion of a sactioned volunteer shift (typically 2-3 hours long). You may sign up for a volunteer slots online as they vecome available. If you do not volunteer, your check will be deposited.
Each year our organization does a general fundraiser to help keep costs down and replace and buy new equipment as needed. We are also working towards a facility of our own where ideally games, practices, and equipment can all take place at one facility. If you or anyone you know would like to make a donation, become a sponsor, or have fundraising ideas, contact the Sponsorship Director. Click here
Online registration usually begins around April 1st. If you require assistance, please let us know.
Click here for more detailed information about Registration.
What are the costs for the football or cheerleading program?
Football and Cheerleading programs require a big time commitment. If you or someone you know is dedicated and wants to participate, but registration costs are difficult, please contact our Registration Director or Treasurer about options. click here
What is the last day to register for football or cheerleading?
Registration is first-come, first-served. If there are still spots available, prices typically increase starting June 1st so register ASAP. Late registrations may result in late arrival of game-day jersey plus other challenges.
How are teams determined?
Squads are determined by age. PW Division is for children ages 6-7. Freshman is for children ages 8-9. JV is for ages 10-11. Varsity Football is for ages 12-14.
How many children are there per squad?
There is a maximum of 35 children per squad on a first come, first served basis. We look to have smaller squads, offering multiple squads at most age levels when numbers allow. Once your child is in the program, they will continue on the same squad. If registration is filled, there is a waitlist. You will be notified of your options if your child is on a waitlist or if an opening becomes available as some players may move up a division based on weight or grade or choose not to continue to participate.
What if I registered and now my child does not want to play? Can I get a refund?
If your child decides they do not want to play after registration, you need to fill out a Refund Request Form. Forms are available for download on the documents page (click here).
Refund requests received before May 31 will be refunded the entire amount of registration fees minus fundraisers or buyouts. If personalized apparel has not been ordered from the company, a refund may be available. Refund requests received between June 1 and July 1; Refund entire amount minus any buyout /fundraiser fees and any cost for personalized apparel. You will be notified when apparel and fundraiser items are available to be pick up. Refund requests received between July 1 and August 12 will receive 50% of the registration fee minus any late fees, fundraiser or buyouts, and cost for personalized apparel. No refunds will be accepted after August 12 of the current playing year.
We require a $200 equipment deposit check when your child is fitted for their uniform/equipment at the beginning of the season. You are responsible for the equipment during the season. This check will be returned to you when the uniform/equipment is returned undamaged and clean when requested at the end of the season. There are multiple uniform/equipment hand in dates. If the uniform/equipment is not returned before the end of season deadline (typically before Thanksgiving), your equipment deposit will be cashed by December 15. If you fail to return the equipment or it is damaged you will be responsible for the cost to replace or fix the equipment. Click here
to see the Liability and Equipment Release Form on the documents page.
Cheerleader Back to top
What equipment do I need to obtain for my cheerleader before the first day of practice?
You will need to attend a cheerleading fitting to order cheer apparel (requirements vary from year to year). There is an optional fundraiser which cheerleaders may participate to help defer costs. Many items can be re-used annually as long as they still fit and are safe. Cheerleading fittings dates and places TBA. Please monitor the website home page.
What equipment does Lancaster provide for my cheerleader?
Our organization loans each cheerleader a uniform skirt and shell top.
Can cheerleaders be less than 6 years old?
We do allow cheerleaders less than 6 years old to participate as mascots. They learn cheers, but do not participate in mounts. They will typically cheer with the PW squad.
When do cheerleaders practice?
Cheerleaders typically practice three nights per week during the summer and then approximately 2-3 nights per week after school starts. Practice is usually 6-8pm, but is determined by the coaches and coordinators.
Where do cheerleaders practice?
Cheerleaders practice at William Street School (WSS) during the summer and early fall and then, for competition participants only, move to various indoor facilities when it gets dark earlier. Click here
for directions to WSS (Football Practice Field).
Do cheerleaders have competitions?
Participants may chose sideline cheer only OR sideline plus competitions. There are multiple competitions each year as part of the competition program. Most are held on Sundays near and after the end of the season. Competition dates are determined each year from the available options in the area. Competitions are typically late October thru mid-Movember. Check the website and talk with your coaches for actual dates.
What equipment do I need to obtain for my football player before the first day of practice?
You will need to have practice jersey, 7-pad girdle plus black game pants OR 7-pad black game pants, non metal cleats or sneakers, mouth guard that attaches to the helmet (not clear or white so referees can see it), and a support cup. You can get these items at places like Laux’s Sporting Goods and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
What equipment does Lancaster provide for my football player?
Our organization loans each player a helmet abd shoulder pads. We do not provide 7-pad sets or game pants. Please do not wear game jersey during practice. These are for the games only.
What about the game day football jersey?
Each football player will need to purchase a football game jersey with their name on the back and give choices for their preferred football number. There is an optional football jersey fundraiser to help defer cost. You can either complete the fundraiser or pay for the jersey.
Do we get to choose our own football jersey number?
When you register, you get to list in order of preference three jersey numbers. We cannot guarantee that you will get one of your choices, but majority of players are able to wear their first or second choice.
How much playing time do football players receive?
All players are guaranteed at least ten plays per game, and often receive additional playing time. Additional playing time is earned, and their are many opportunities to earn it. Players are coached equally and fully participate in all practices, as well as receiving extra playing time in scrimmages. Youth football is often described as a "two-year sport" because it takes much of the first year for many beginners to pick up enough before they can safely and dependably contribute on the field.
Do you suggest a minimum or maximum weight for football?
We do not have a minimum weight limit for each division, but we do have a maximum, for safety by position. You, as the parent, know your child and his/her abilities. Football is a demanding sport both physically and mentally. We suggest you talk with your child about playing football and their expectations and yours.
What are the weight limits for football squads?
Mini (ages 6-7) maximum weight limit is 90 pounds with over 90 pounds in a "striper" position. Freshman (ages 8-9) maximum weight limit is 110 pounds with over 110 pounds in a "striper" position. JV (ages 10-11) maximum weight limit is 135 pounds with over 130 pounds in a "striper" position. Varsity (ages 12-13) maximum weight limit is 160 pounds with over 160 in a "striper" position.
What if my child wants to play football, but weighs more than his age group weight limits?
If your child is over the weight limit for their age group, they have a choices. If your child is close to the weight limit, they might lose some weight with the football practices, extra activity before and during the pre-season, and healthy eating habits. Each football player is weighed before they can participate in a game. They must be below the maximum weight limit for their squad or be designated "striper" (see below).
What is a “striper” on the football team?
A “striper” is a football player who is over the base weight in their age group. They will be restricted to certain positions of play for safety and have a designation on their helmet. There is also a limit to how many stripers can be on the field at one time per team on game day. There are specific requirements for safety that need to be followed on the field.
When do football players practice?
Football squads practice up to four nights Monday through Friday 6-8pm during the summer and then approximately 2-3 nights weekly once school starts. Practice dates are determined by coach of each squad. JV and Varsity players who play both school and town football may be allowed to attend less practices as they have daily school practices and/or weekly games.
Where do football squads practice?
All squads typically practice at William Street School. Click here
for directions to Practice Fields.
For other questions, contact a board member such as the Registration Director or Secretary, click here for email.