Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Tell me a little bit about the program.
KWJFL is a non-profit youth football-only program that has been in operations since 1960 supporting Kirkwood, Webster-Groves, and the greater St. Louis area. KWJFL is part of the Gateway Football League (GFL) and rules regarding the formation of teams, types of play, age, running weight, etc. are created by the GFL and adhered to by all of the participating areas. While our purpose is to convey the fundamentals of football in an instructional way, the league is competitive in nature. You can expect to see contact football played in a competitive manner throughout the season. Our three core fundamentals are: teaching the fundamentals of football, having FUN, and promoting safety. We are supported by a 100% volunteer-based staff. Across the executive board, head coaches, assistant coaches, and all other participants everyone is volunteering their time and services to better the youth playing football within our organization.
When can I register?
Online Registration is available starting on April 1st for all new players. Returning players may register beginning on March 1st.
When and where are practices held?
There is two weeks of practice held in late May/early June, in shorts, shirt, and cleats from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., usually Monday to Friday (exact dates vary each year). KWJFL sponsors a camp in July open to all eligible 2nd – 8th graders. The first official practice typically begins the last Monday of July.For the first two weeks, teams may meet up to five times per week. During these first two weeks, practice times will be 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Beginning the third week, practices will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. All practices will be at Green Tree Park on Marshall Road (just east of Kirkwood Athletic Association’s baseball fields).  Attendance to all practices is crucial to the success of your player in this program. Each year the exact date of the official league start date is determined by the GFL, we will notify all registered parents/players of the official start date.
When and where are games played?
Games are played on Saturdays or Sundays, however all game days, times and locations will be determined by the schedule created by the GFL. All home games will be at Kirkwood High School.
What will we need to get started?
Our registration fee includes the use of our football equipment. All you will need to provide is a mouthpiece, protective cup and football shoes (molded cleats only). A birth certificate and copy of a school report card is needed for league weigh-in/registration. It must be a state-issued birth certificate with the raised seal intact. All birth certificates and report cards will be returned.In addition, no player will be allowed to participate without a physical examination by a doctor. This physical must state that the player can participate in contact football. Copies on the necessary form can be obtained at registration. Note: The league provides an opportunity to get a physical at the cost of $10.00. All proceeds are donated back to the KWJFL.
How much does it cost to play and what is covered in the registration fee?

Registration for KWJFL is $220 for the 2016 season. This, in addition to team fundraising provides the necessary funds to provide all the player equipment to be prepared for tackle football except for a mouthpiece, protective cup, and football cleats. This also supports the cost necessary to rent field space, utilize the lights at Marshall Field for practices, cover costs for use of Varsity field-turf at Kirkwood High School for our home games, cost associated with gameday referees, and all other related operating expenses.

Beyond the registration fee, what other fundraising is expected?
In addition to the registration fee, the individual teams may have additional fundraising activities planned to offset the cost of the $1500 team fee, banquet, trophies, jerseys, etc. Also, the KWJFL expects each family to participate in one work-duty event. This offers you the option to choose between a variety of volunteer options, including working weigh-ins & field duties (concessions, chain-gang, policing the field). More information on this will be forthcoming, upon registering and once the league year starts (June). KWJFL typically holds one or two league wide fundraising events to help keep registration costs down & to make capitol improvements for the program.

Are there a minimum number of plays per player?
GFL does not have a minimum # of plays. However, KWJFL uses 8 plays per game as a guideline for our coaches. Many other organizations do not institute a minimum # of plays.
What is the average roster size?
The average roster size is less than 24 players per team. This allows significant playing time for all players and an solid ratio of coaches-to-players.
Are there cuts?
KWJFL makes every effort to include all players that want to participate. However, in order to guarantee playing time and quality instruction, we do have established roster limits for our teams. For 2nd thru 5th grade, the limit is 26 players. For 6th thru 8th grade, the limit is 32 players. When registration exceeds these limits at any age, we make every effort to form an additional team. But, this cannot be guaranteed. Players may be dismissed from a team based upon conduct (player or parent), attendance, or a board decision to remove a player from the team.My child is a 1st grader, can he play?
1st grade players turning 7 before January 1st, are allowed to play with the 2nd grade team. 1st graders who turn 7 after 1/1, will be allowed to practice in a pending-status and reviewed by the Board after two weeks of practice for final roster determination.Can my child play up a grade?
We understand that parents with multiple children may wish for them to play together (a 5th grader with a 6th grader). However, KWJFL does not support anyone “playing up”. Safety is one of our three core fundamentals; and playing up at the youth age could greatly reduce the safety of the game for that player and their teammates.

What if my player decides football is not for him?
Refunds of the registration fee, minus a $25.00 processing fee, are available to players who choose not to play prior to the official weigh-in (usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend in August). Requests for refund must be sent via email to info@kwjfl.com or to VP Administration at 832 Providence Avenue, Webster Groves MO, 63119 prior to Sept. 30th. All equipment must be returned before a refund is processed.

Who decides what team my player is on?
Player assignment is based on the grade of an individual player. We do make every attempt to keep a returning player on the same team, but cannot guarantee that assignment from year to year. New players may request a coach and will usually be placed on that team but their is no guarantee we can place that player on that team. New players who do not request a coach, will be placed on teams at random, to balance rosters. Those registering on-line will be notified of what team they are on by July 1st or within 14 days of registering; whichever is later.

What are weigh-ins?
In mid/late August, all players will be required to attend weigh-ins/registration. This is the event where the Gateway Football League verifies the grade, age, and running weight of each potential player. Please be aware that this is the only chance for a player to establish a roster spot on a team (other than highly unusual circumstances, in which case the player will weigh in a week later.)

When does my player get a photo I.D. card?
All players get a new I.D. card each year and they must have a birth certificate and copy of a report card (showing their grade). IDs are taken at the weigh-in.

What is the role of parents at practices and games?
Parents are asked to be supportive of players, coaches and officials at all games and practices. We are proud to have a reputation of good sportsmanship and ask that you help us to continue in this manner. Because of limited space, we ask that all spectators stay off game and practice fields. You are welcome to observe all activities from the periphery, but not from within a practice or game area. This is to create a safer environment for all of our players.

Where do I park?
Parking is at a premium on practice nights and game days. The Kirkwood police request that you not park along Marshall Road. In addition, please refrain from parking along the park drive on the field side (exit direction). This creates an unsafe situation for kids coming off the field. You can park in the parking lots, in the lots across Marshall Rd. and in the gravel lot adjoining the baseball complex. **Do not double park in any of the lots. Not all teams finish at the same time and you may prevent someone from leaving.

Do you perform background checks?
Yes, background checks are run on all coaches, administration, and others before they can join the KWJFL and interact with your kids.

Other questions?
Please feel free to Ask your coach or a board member if you would like a rule clarified or have additional questions.