Football Game Organization & Procedures
by Joyce E. Pennington

The simple task of meeting for the football game and entering and departing the field can present a world of confusion and disorganization if you have not laid good plans with your team. As a director, at the beginning of the football season when preparing for performances, you would do an informal rehearsal at the stadium of exactly the course of actions to be taken before, during and after the game. It is impossible for the new members to know what to do for that first game. This rehearsal can make the entire team feel much more confident if there is less confusion about all of the actual game procedures.

Here are a few tips to make each game event go smoother:

* CHECKLIST--Make a checklist of everything that each team member should remember to bring to each game. This can be posted at home on the refrigerator or in her room.

* TIME SCHEDULE-- give an exact meeting time and place for game departures on the bus or to meet at the stadium. Consider tardies as you would in class and render demerits or points off their grade. Do not enter the stands until all team members have arrived.

* ENTERING THE STADIUM-- Enter in their squad or rank order so that the team will enter the stands in an orderly fashion. You can even go so far as indicate which hand their drill team bag should be carried. Wait until all members are standing in their spot, then be seated together.

* PRE-HALFTIME-- When you leave the stands to stretch after the beginning of the 2nd quarter, make sure to leave the stands looking orderly. Have the girls place their bags under their seats and fold any blankets. Also, you should have a parent, manager or ROTC member to watch and guard their valuables left in the stands. Do not stretch where the audience can see. Find a place where you can stretch in private and conduct your last 'words of wisdom' and drill team circle in private. When taking their place on the field, have them stand to the side of the players and action until the last second has ticked off the clock, then line up for their entrance on the sidelines. You do not want any girls to be injured by any play still taking place on the field. A nice, uniform look would be to stand in a "tight" line (B to B). During the visiting team's performance, return to the tight line or formation to watch respectfully.

* HALFTIME-- Make sure that each girl knows her exact yard line and has taken the time to spot it from the stands as well as in her waiting position at the side of the field. This will insure perfect spacing every time. Many teams use a traditional piece of music to enter the field as well as a standardized method to enter and exit the field for every performance. This saves a great deal of extra time and preparation as well as generating a "trademark" for your team.

* POST HALFTIME-- The team should re-enter the stands in an orderly fashion in an "at ease" manner and go directly to their ranks. This is the time that you are proud of them no matter what and they will be awaiting your response.

* SECOND HALF--Refreshments should be served during the 3rd quarter and allow the girls a chance to relax although it is not advisable to allow them freedom to roam the stands during any part of the game. Part of their responsibility is to support the team and they have already been absent for part of the 2nd quarter to stretch. If it is your tradition and you are the home team, the officers may go to the visiting team and welcome them to your stadium. Some groups will offer cookies, treats or possibly a video of their halftime as a gift.

* POST GAME-- If your team is allowed to take the field for a victory line, make sure that you have rehearsed this ahead of time. The last thing should be a 'team meeting' to summarize their preparation needs for the following Monday as well as a synopsis of the game and halftime. Your feedback to the team is most important and this will also allow the stands to clear a little before your departure. If you are away, you should leave the stands clean and in order. If you are at home and the girls have their own transportation, they can be dismissed from the stands. Make sure that the girls know to change out of their uniform immediately before going anywhere but home. Pizza and ketchup stains can ruin a uniform in a hurry.



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