Local youth football league is first in NJ to use protective headgear
As reported in the Courier News by Michael Contaldi, Community Contributor, 5:21 p.m. EDT September 7, 2016
The Warren County Midget (Youth) Football League (WCMFL) is requiring all of its Flag Football teams to provide protective headgear for their players, who are 5 to 8 years of age and typically in Kindergarten to second grade.
For this new initiative, the league, which includes teams in Hunterdon and Warren counties, searched the market for a product that demonstrated its effectiveness at shock absorption and impact protection. An essential goal for the leagues leaders was to choose and standardize a product they believed has true safety qualities for their players.
Through their research the WCMFL has decided to mandate the soft protective headgear by Gamebreaker, and they are the first youth flag league in New Jersey and the Northeast to mandate the use.
By 2017 every flag team must provide and use the protective headgear, and as a part of their commitment to see through the implementation league President Dan Eggemann has approved a one-time credit to each team in an effort to help offset the expenses associated with the mandated use of protective headgear.
This type of league-backed financial support is not the norm in youth sports, where many athletic clubs direct equipment costs straight to the participating families. According to Gamebreaker, Don Bosco Prep has also implemented their headgear for use in 7-on-7 drills.
On Sept. 1, the WCMFL Flag season opener took place between the Jr. Red Devils of Flemington visiting the Ramblers of Lambertville and featuring both teams outfitted by the newly mandated protective headgear by Gamebreaker.
Joining Flemington and Lambertville as key influencers within the league is Riegel Ridge, Washington Township and Pohatcong - each providing protective headgear for their players this year. While there is no guarantee that this or any equipment will prevent injury, it is certainly a welcome effort toward reducing such chances.
In the immediate area, teams with Pop Warner, American Youth Football (AYF) and other local teams do not provide or require the use of any protective gear in their flag programs.
In addition to protective headgear, the WCMFL has shown its safety leadership in other areas through long-time rules like eliminating kickoffs for teams younger than fifth grade. The league is committed to the sport and the families who participate in the programs.
FMF, home of the Jr Red Devils and Pioneers, has won the 2016 "Best Kids Sports League" for all of Hunterdon County beating out all other sports leagues. This includes beating out other football organizations as well as soccer leagues, lacrosse leagues, wrestling leagues, baseball leagues, etc...all across Hunterdon County.
We are excited to offer the FMF Legacy Path.
The path which will consist of engraved bricks that will be laid out around the FMF Complex club house and
ultimately create walkways to the future home of the snack shack and out to the fields/stands.