Frequently Asked Questions

/Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions2019-11-20T14:42:26-05:00
I live in Hyannis, Wareham, Plymouth, can I register?2016-05-16T19:00:03-04:00

Absolutely.  If the Upper Cape Spartans are the nearest American Youth Football association, you’re welcome to register with us.  If we discover there is an association that is closer for your family, we will put you in touch with the appropriate representatives of that association.

Do I have to attend the mandatory parent meeting?2016-03-13T20:05:10-04:00

Mandatory parent meetings are held just before the season begins. During the meeting, the required paperwork is collected to include medical release forms / birth certificates, parent contracts and report cards.

It is extremely important to attend one of the mandatory parent meeting dates as failure to appear will void your registration. Families that are on the waiting list should also attend the mandatory meeting.

In cases where a team has a waiting list, seats usually open up on the team due to families failing to appear for the mandatory meeting.

What if my son/daughter is on the waiting list?2016-03-13T19:58:10-04:00

Due to high demand to participate in the Upper Cape Spartans Youth Football & Cheerleading program, registration is handled on a first-come first-served basis. The maximum number of football players that may be on a single team is 36. When registration numbers for a single team exceeds 36, subsequent registrants are placed on the waiting list.

What kind of football helmets do the Spartans use?2016-01-07T21:02:23-05:00

The Upper Cape Spartans runs Xenith X2 & Epic helmets exclusively.  The Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings rates the Xenith helmets as 5 star.

Who owns the Spartans?2015-04-22T13:24:40-04:00

The Upper Cape Spartans are a non-profit corporation founded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.    A non-profit is owned by no-one and everyone both at the same time. It is a public organization that belongs to the public at-large.  The parties responsible to operate the organization for the stakeholders are the members of the board of trustees.

The assets of the association are owned by the children and families of Upper Cape Cod and are managed by the Upper Cape Spartans, Inc. Board of Trustees in accordance with federal, state and local law as well as governing bylaws filed with the attorney general of the Commonwealth.

Why are you an “Upper Cape” program?2015-04-22T13:10:53-04:00

On Cape Cod, prior to 2012, a monopoly existed with regards to youth football.  If your child was able to meet the age and weight requirements defined by national Pop Warner, your child could play for a town Pop Warner team (Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee or Sandwich).  Unfortunately, many great kids who wanted to play youth football weren’t able to, because they didn’t fall into the age/weight matrix or they were being forced to “play up” against older kids.

A group of parents, primarily from Falmouth, decided to found a new youth program under American Youth Football, which places players on teams based on age rather than by weight.  Being that American Youth Football was not being offered anywhere else on Cape Cod, it was decided to make age-based youth football available to a wider audience rather than exclude kids by tying the program to a town.

What town are the Spartans based?2016-04-21T23:22:08-04:00

Despite being called the Upper Cape Spartans, the program was founded in Falmouth, Massachusetts and the principle office is in Falmouth.  Beginning in the 2015 season, our practices and home games were hosted by the town of Mashpee.

Who will coach my child?2015-04-21T21:49:27-04:00

Our mission is to help your child reach his or her highest potential. We recognize the importance of recruiting, selecting, screening and educating Spartan coaches. Many of our coaches have played football in high school, college, semi-professionally and in the military. All coaches are required to undergo a thorough background check and must hold the following certifications: Coaching Football the AYF Way, USA Football Tackle for the appropriate age level, Positive Coaching Alliance Double Goal Coach.

If you are interested in serving as a coach for the program, please contact us or give us a call at 1.855.4.UCS.AYF

Is there a deposit for equipment?2014-12-18T11:19:38-05:00

No.  We do not collect a deposit for the equipment that we issue for the season.  We do however; require that you sign a contract stating that you received the equipment and that you will return it in good, usable condition.  Should the equipment suffer damage from negligence or abuse, you will be responsible for the replacement cost of the item in question.

Do I have to volunteer?2015-04-22T14:12:30-04:00

No.  We do not collect a deposit for volunteer hours or require that anyone volunteer in our organization if they do not have a desire to.  We want you to get involved, but won’t force or coerce you into it.

I heard the games are far away. Is that true?2014-12-18T11:11:09-05:00

It is not.  Our regular season is 8-9 games long.  These games are typically equally divided between home and away games, which is the standard across all youth tackle football programs.  Our flag team plays the same 8-9 game schedule as the tackle teams.   The amount of travel required to participate in the Upper Cape Spartans program is comparable to other organizations in the area.

How do I join the Upper Cape Spartans?2014-12-18T11:23:01-05:00

You can register on our website by clicking the following link: Registration for the 2015 season is completely free. Yes, you read that right. Learn more on the registration page.

What are the Spartan’s geographical boundaries?2015-04-22T14:12:23-04:00

Serving as the only American Youth Football program on Cape Cod, allows us to accept players from any town on the Cape.  Most of our participants come from Falmouth, Mashpee and Bourne.  We do have some families that come from as far away as Centerville to play for us.

What should I bring to games?2014-11-25T05:03:17-05:00

Football players will need their helmets, shoulder pads, game jersey, game pants and cleats.  Players will also need black game socks.  In an effort to be uniform, players should wear black undershirts.  Water will be provided.
Sports drinks are prohibited on turf fields. 

What teams do the Spartans play against?2014-12-18T11:26:12-05:00

The Upper Cape Spartans are members of the Blackstone Valley Youth Football Conference (BVYFC), who consistently compete at the national level.  During the 2014 season, 8 Blackstone teams/squads traveled to Florida to compete in nationals.  The Blackstone Valley Youth Football Conference All-Star team was ranked #4 in the United States.   For a complete list of teams, please visit the conference site.

Do sports build character?2014-11-24T16:51:26-05:00

Dr. Stuart Robbins, a chair of the School of Physical Education at York University says that sports are neither good nor bad.  The positive and negative effects associated with sports do not result from participation but from the nature of the experience.  In the hands of the right people with the right attitudes, sports can be positive, character-building experiences.  They provide one of the best opportunities for children to come in contact with rules and social values.

The Upper Cape Spartans’ approach to creating a positive environment in which to develop character in participants, wasn’t an after-thought.  This program was founded with the purpose of utilizing youth football and cheerleading to teach core values.

What do I need to know about the flag football program?2014-10-30T00:51:07-04:00

Upper Cape Spartans flag football is real 11-on-11 football for children ages 5-7 years old.  The intent of the flag program is to get participants familiarized with the game: offense, defense, blocking, carrying the ball and having fun.  The flag team plays against other towns just as the tackle teams do.

Practices are 3 days per week until school starts at which point the schedule drops down to 2 days per week.  Practices are 1.5 hours long.  Games are played on Sundays beginning in mid-August and are 1 hour in duration.

Each participant receives a mouth guard and a practice jersey.  Game jerseys are issued out and returned at the end of the season.

Tuition for the 2014 season was set at $50 for the entire season.

What about background checks?2014-10-30T15:29:26-04:00

All volunteers in the program to include coaches, administrators, team moms and those who help out on the field or with carpooling undergo thorough background checks.

Who can I contact if I have questions?2015-04-22T14:12:09-04:00

You may contact a member of the Board of Trustees. You can call 1.855.4.UCS.AYF or you may email us at


How can I stay updated on UCS information?2015-04-22T14:11:55-04:00

UCS e-mails and posts a monthly newsletter during the off-season and weekly starting the first week of August. Updates can be found on our website under news. Any immediate updates are sent out via email by the UCS secretary or president. We also recommend that you become a member of the UCS Facebook Page, found here

What are my responsibilities as a parent in the program?2015-04-22T14:11:48-04:00

The UCS has no “volunteer” or “mandatory participation” requirements of parents. The UCS is a community program and is run solely by volunteers. It is the hope of the current Board of Trustees that parents will choose to contribute in the success of the program.

Does the organization have any rules or guidelines that my child and I need to be aware of?2015-04-22T14:11:11-04:00

Yes. UCS has a parent and player standard of conduct which can be downloaded Add. UCS-00. All of our policies and guidelines are available for download on our documents page

Is there an attendance policy?2015-04-22T14:11:37-04:00

Yes, attendance at practice and games is mandatory. Please refer to S.O.P. UCS-01 Attendance for more information on excused and unexcused absences.

When and where are games played?2014-10-30T00:32:55-04:00

Football games are played on Sunday, beginning roughly the weekend prior to Labor Day (with Labor Day weekend off), depending on the field scheduling and other factors.  The season is equally divided between home and away games.  Home games have been played on sports fields in Falmouth.  Away games are dependent on the conference schedule.  Please review Addendum UCS-07 – Travel for more information.

Where are practices held?2016-10-19T09:35:52-04:00

All Upper Cape Spartans squads practice at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds.  During inclement weather practices are sometimes held at TJO Sports indoor facilities in Falmouth.

What is the practice schedule?2014-10-30T00:28:54-04:00

in late-July and August before the beginning of the school year, all tackle squads practice 4 days, flag squads practice 3 days. When school is in session, practices will be reduced to 3 days a week for tackle squads and 2 days a week for flag squads. Practice typically runs between the hours of 5:30-7:30PM.

What is the time frame for the season?2014-11-25T01:47:35-05:00

The beginning of the season is determined by the conference. For the 2014 season, practice may begin as early as July 22nd. September marks the first games of the season. Playoffs are played in the beginning of November followed by our annual UCS Banquet.


How are cheerleaders assigned to squads?2014-10-30T00:25:06-04:00

Cheerleaders are assigned based on age, experience and team structure considerations, such as the number of girls in a particular age group (if one team is oversized and the next level up is undersized, some of the older girls might be moved up to balance the squads), family considerations (keeping siblings at the same level to simplify travel arrangements), etc.

Do I need to buy a uniform? Are there other items I need to purchase?2014-10-30T00:24:27-04:00

For football players, uniforms, helmets and pads are provided by UCS. Additional costs for football gear/clothing may be incurred. Additional items include: cleats, practice pants, game socks, athletic supporters and protective cup. Cheerleaders will need to purchase: items designated by the Cheer Director.

How are coaches selected?2014-10-30T00:23:38-04:00

Coaches for all football / cheer levels are volunteers with coaching experience who are able to commit to implementing the UCS Character, Academics and Leadership program with the team they are coaching. Many of our coaches have played at all levels of the sport including semi-professional, military and college teams. Our coaches attend annual training sessions including youth football / cheer coaching techniques. Tackle football coaches are certified through USA Football in partnership with the NFL and the CDC to learn “heads up tackling” to ensure that all players are using correct and safe form. Coaches are nationally accredited through NCACE (National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. UCS coaches are selected each year based on their previous experience, and coaching performance. Each coach must submit an annual criminal records background application as well as pass multiple certification exams.

What will my child need the first day of practice?2014-10-30T00:23:11-04:00

Boys and Girls will need to have a completed physical turned in prior to the first day of practice. An AYF physical form was provided in the registration information packet, however, a physician may document on any form he/she desires. Equipment Handout will be conducted on the first day of practice. Boys will come to the equipment shed to check-in and receive helmets. The rest of the equipment will be issued during practice at a later date. All players need to wear helmets, shorts and football cleats for the first day of practice. Boys should bring water to all practices, but NOT to games. Do NOT bring juice or sports beverages. Please note, that NO jewelry is to be worn. This includes bracelets, earrings, necklaces or watches.

What team will my son be on?2014-10-30T00:22:23-04:00

In accordance with American Youth Football rules and regulations, team placement for the All American Division is based on age. The significance of the All American Division is:

  • Children at the same physical and developmental maturity level play together on the same team.
  • The Upper Cape Spartans do not turn away players who previously could not participate in youth football programs because they weigh more than their classmates and friends.
What if I cannot afford the cost of tuition?2014-10-30T00:21:23-04:00

In order to give every child the opportunity to participate in youth football or cheerleading, the UCS offers partial and full scholarships. For more information please see S.O.P. UCS-20-Scholarships and you may also download a copy of the Add. UCS-8 Scholarship Application

How much will my childs’ participation cost me?2014-11-28T21:39:11-05:00

The registration rates are determined annually by the Board of Trustees.  Financial aid is available for qualifying families, along with payment plans. Registration for the 2014 season was $150 for tackle football players and $50 for flag football participants.

When is registration?2016-03-13T19:53:10-04:00

Registration is typically open between January and early-August of the calendar year. Please check for additional information on registration.

What about concussions?2014-10-30T00:19:26-04:00

Concussions are an important topic in all levels of football recently. Many studies conducted have found that concussions occur more frequently in practice than in games, this is most likely attributed to poor coaching and the selection of drills. To address the deficiency of coaches, all Upper Cape Spartans coaches are required to complete multiple certification courses which emphasize safety and concussion awareness.

The Upper Cape Spartans were selected by USA Football and the National Football League to serve as one of the first New England Youth programs to participate in USA Footballs “Heads Up Football” program.  This program educates coaches, parents and players on proper tackling technique in order to guarantee the highest degree of safety for all participants. To learn more, click here.

Is American Youth Football safer?2016-10-19T09:35:52-04:00

Traditionally, youth football teams have been formed based on age and weight.   Whereby an older-lighter player could play against younger-heavier players.  Numerous studies have been conducted that have shown that age is a bigger factor in player safety than weight.   See “Required Weight Limits in Youth Football” by Sadler Insurance, or the 2-year study initiated by USA Football.

How safe is youth football?2014-10-30T15:32:10-04:00

Statistically, youth Football is safer than organized soccer, with 12% fewer injuries per capita among 5-15 year olds. American Youth Football is 100% age based. This means that your son will be playing against children that are his same age. The Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma in New York completed a youth football injury survey in 71 towns covering over 5,000 players in 1998. The injury experience of 5,128 boys (8 to 15 years of age, weight 50-150 lbs.) shows an injury rate of roughly 1.33 injury per team per year with no catastrophic injuries occurring.

Does the UCS hold try-outs?2014-10-30T00:07:15-04:00

No. There are no tryouts for football or cheerleading and there are mandatory play requirements, meaning every child is guaranteed to play. All interested participants may register for an age and grade appropriate squad. Registration begins in early February each year. Squad sizes are limited and therefore, interested participants are encouraged to register at a young age as returning participants are guaranteed a roster position each year.

What does CAL stand for?2014-10-30T00:06:36-04:00

CAL is an abbreviation for the Upper Cape Spartans’ “Character, Academics & Leadership” program. Spartan Coaches strive to bring out the best in each participant, both on and off of the field. It is our mission to reinforce the positive values and lessons that will allow participants to be successful in life.

Is the UCS part of the school system?2014-10-30T00:05:51-04:00

No, UCS is a privately operated, non-profit, all volunteer program. The Board of Trustees are elected each January, and consists of parents and others in the community who are dedicated to the core mission of this organization to the benefit of the youth of the Upper Cape.

What is American Youth Football?2016-10-19T09:35:54-04:00

American Youth Football (AYF) / American Youth Cheerleading (AYC), established in 1996, is an international youth football and cheerleading organization established to promote the wholesome development of youth through their association with adult leaders in the sport of American football. Rules and regulations are established to ensure that players play in an atmosphere of safety with a competitive balance between teams. 

American Youth Football is on a mission to give back to the community. AYF is one of the largest membership organizations dedicated to teaching youth through positive role models. Emphasis is on learning, playing, and enjoying the sport while instilling high moral standards by stressing the importance of academic achievement and community involvement. Helping kids become leaders and teammates, AYF players will learn to both foster confidence and a sense of self-worth that extend beyond the gridiron and into the school, family and community. Sportsmanship, teamwork, honesty, responsibility and self-discipline are among the traits needed by youngsters to face the future with positive aspirations and confidence. If we teach them positive lessons, such as playing by the rules, our young athletes will learn to live by the rules What is American Youth Football?

Are the Spartans a Pop Warner team?2014-10-30T00:02:50-04:00

No. The Upper Cape Spartans are in no way affiliated with Pop Warner, we are an American Youth Football/Cheerleading association.

What is the UCS?2014-10-30T00:01:38-04:00

The Upper Cape Spartans are a public, non-profit, 501.C3 corporation dedicated to creating an environment of discipline, self-respect and success to aid in the academic, athletic and social success of our student-athletes. Our mission is to use the educational power of youth football and cheerleading to help the children of Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich to reach their highest potential.