Next Level Sports

Next Level Roster Policy - Flag Football

Next Level Flag Roster Policy

There are many reasons why we believe Next Level Flag Football is a unique and powerful youth sports experience. One of these reasons is rooted in our Roster Policy. In analyzing youth sports, we have determined that there is no perfect solution to building rosters. All of the different ways of building rosters are always combined with some inherent problems. For us at NL Flag Football, we take two other main policies of our program, “We are a Kids First Organization,” and we “Build a Deep Rooted Community Experience,” to help us establish our Roster Philosophy.

In order to accomplish all of the above we:

1.     Roster our teams by classmates, then…

2.     Roster our teams by buddy lists

Guarantee Note: We cannot guarantee that you will be on a team with ALL of your friends, but it is highly likely you will be on a team with most of your classmates/buddies (late registrants and other situations do prohibit us from aspects of our Roster policy).

Registration Date Note: Registration Date does factor into who gets spots over others. If a team has 11 players on it and two families are vying for the same spot, we will place the family who registered first in that spot. Please don’t delay when registering.

Grade Based Registration: We are a grade-based organization, meaning we assemble teams by grade level and not age.  In certain situations, we allow younger players to play up but must get permission from Next Level Administrators (brothers/sisters, carpools).  We NEVER allow older players to play in younger grade levels. Failure to follow these rules could lead to removal of the league with no refund. We will be forceful with this in 2016 and beyond.

Schools/Classmates with more than 12: We will not have teams that have over 12 players for the upcoming season. In the event that a school has more than 12 registrants, we will fill the team by Registration Date. The 13th player from a single school will then be added to a new team. Please understand that in order to keep the integrity of the game, we won’t add more than 12 players per team.

For sites that are in their second year or beyond we:

1.     Allow families to choose whether or not they want to be placed on the same team, then;

2.     Roster teams by classmates

3.     Roster teams by buddy lists

Full Team Guarantee Note: We cannot guarantee that full teams will be carried over from year to year. If a team was constructed in a previous year that is made up more of buddies than classmates this team may be broken up to allow for more classmates to be together.

Known Roster Challenges: With our community based, classmate/buddy, roster process we enjoy many great benefits: communities come together to compete, excitement and joy of being with friends heightens the excitement, and classmates/buddies get to grow together playing the best sport in America: Football. This has been a proven building block over the last four years for Next Level Flag Football. Our strength, at times, can also be our weakness. What if a group of classmates is simply the best group out there…how do you avoid that?  Or what if a team is assembled more of buddies than classmates?

The simple answer would be to incorporate a Tryout then Draft methodology to building teams.  We have been asked about this over the years as a potential solution to “even” teams and our answer is always the same: we believe in our Roster Policy, and although it has holes, Tryouts followed by a Draft have more holes, in our opinion. Tryouts/Drafts also don’t guarantee competitive balance.

We simply don’t believe in timing youth athletes in the 40 yard dash, seeing if they can catch a long pass, or doing a fabricated defensive flag-pulling drill. Furthermore, the concept of a draft, following a try-out, is simply not in our ethos (we have all heard the exciting adult draft stories from other youth leagues).

As previously mentioned, in some instances where a group of buddies, as opposed to classmates, have congregated to form extremely dominant teams, we have/will have individual conversations about those teams potentially being spread across their true classmates to form a more competitive balance in a division.

In conclusion, we never want to lose sight about why we exist: to be a “Kids First Organization.” This starts for us with the kids having a chance to play with their classmates and buddies. We know, and understand, that a team that feels they have little to no shot of ever winning is also not an ideal situation. At Next Level, we take the challenge of maintaining our Kids First Policy, and creating a dynamic community at your site very seriously.

NOTE: If you played at another location, you will have priority over new players, but players returning to the same location will have priority over you.

Please let us know if you have any questions!