General Information

Updated Monday June 5, 2017 by White Plains Bernies Football.

The Bernies

  • Privately funded, not-for-profit youth tackle football organization started in 1958
  • Philosophy grounded in respect, sportsmanship, teamwork, and discipline
  • Coaching emphasis on safety, instruction, full participation, and FUN

The Leagues

  • Bernies Flag (1st & 2nd grade) participates in the Westchester Youth Football League
  • The 3rd & 4th grade and 5th & 6th grade tackle teams participate in the Scarsdale Youth Football League
  • The 7th & 8th grade tackle team participates in the Westchester United Football League
  • A formula of age and weight determines player / position eligibility
  • A player exceeding it’s grade classification limit may play in the next higher division
  • Ball carrier limits are 90 lbs, 115 lbs, and 140 lbs, respectively, for the three tackle divisions
  • League weigh-ins will be held in the evening during the 1st or 2nd week of September

Scrimmage / Games

  • The League will organize a scrimmage if sufficient interest, and games begin in mid September
  • Games are typically played Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • The Bernies anticipate at least 3 home games – 2 morning games and 1 evening game
  • League play ends at the beginning of November, with a modified playoff thereafter

Tackle Practice

  • The 1st permitted practice is the third Saturday in August
  • Practices will be held at Ralph Field or Highlands Middle School and typically last 2 hours
  • A player is expected to wear shorts, a light colored t-shirt, and rubber soled cleats. Once full contact begins, a player is expected to wear a t-shirt, shorts, and protective cup under the equipment and a light colored t-shirt or jersey over the shoulder pads
  • Watches and jewelry must not be worn to practice or games
  • The Bernies typically practice 2 or 3 days during the week with a long practice or a game on Saturday morning.
  • A player must be registered and participated in 3 practices PRIOR to practicing in equipment
  • Players are expected to be fully dressed and ready when practice begins
  • A note is required for any absence from practice
  • Players must attend practice to play in the next game

Flag Practice

  • Flag usually practices one day during the week, and on Saturday, with games replacing practice in mid September
  • Practices are usually held at Ralph Field and typically last about 90 minutes

Cheer Practice

  • Cheer typically practices 2 evenings a week at the gym at Ridgeway School

Equipment

  • Equipment will be distributed after the 2nd week of practice and only once per week thereafter
  • Each player is provided with a helmet, which is certified for use during the current season, mouthpiece, shoulder pads, pants, and game jersey
  • Game pants and game jerseys are to be worn to games only
  • Players are responsible for the cost to replace lost or damaged equipment, beyond normal wear.

Fundraising

  • The registration fee covers the league fee, supplemental insurance, and awards’ night
  • Donations are needed to purchase and recondition the players’ and practice equipment