Flag Football FAQ
What sports does MSA oversee?
MSA has Cal Ripken baseball (league age 4-12 year olds), Babe Ruth baseball (league age 13-18 year olds), Babe Ruth girls softball (league 5-16 year olds), and co-ed flag football (4-18 year olds).
Where are MSA practices and games held?
MSA flag football practices and games are primarily held at Alberts Field in Mandarin, at the intersection of Orange Picker Road off San Jose Blvd and Brady Road. The address is 12073 Brady Road, Jacksonville, FL 32223. Based on field availability, there may be practices or games scheduled at one of our other parks – Palmetto Leaves Park or Flynn Park. The park phone number: (904) 268-5306. PLEASE NOTE: This phone is NOT monitored regularly. EMAILS are the preferred method of communication. Some age groups play within a coalition of nearby associations and may travel to other parks to play some games. Advanced Baseball and All Star teams will travel to other parks.
What will my player’s practice and game schedule be?
The first few weeks of each season are devoted solely to practice. Practices are generally held twice a week: once on a weeknight and once on Saturday. Your coach will announce practice days and times at your first team meeting. Once your team begins playing games, you’ll maintain a similar schedule of two games per week. Evening practices and games usually start around 6:00 to 6:30. Additional practices once the game schedule begins are at your coach’s discretion. Generally there are no games/practices on Wednesdays and Sundays.
When does registration take place?
Registration generally runs from late-June through the end of November. The schedule for registration will be posted on our home page.
How do I register?
MSA offers easy online registration at www.mandarinsports.org. If you prefer to pay with check or cash, we will be available at the park to take registrations in person on a limited basis. The schedule for in-park registrations will be posted on our home page.
Why do I have to set up an account on the website to register my player online?
In an effort to streamline the registration process, the website is designed to hold your player’s data from season to season. This can only happen by attaching this data to your secure account.
I missed the registration deadline. Can I still register?
Please contact our Flag Football Director if you have missed the normal registration deadline. We’ll make every effort to find a spot for your player, but please be aware there are no guarantees. Late registrations are subject to a late charge.
What is your refund policy?
Prior to team selection 100% of the amount paid minus an administrative fee of $5 will be refunded (please note multichild and other discounts may affect the amount refunded). Once teams have been selected, only 50% of your initial registration fee will be refunded. Late charges are not refundable. All refunds will be sent by check, and will require a couple weeks to process.
Where does my registration money go?
MSA provides your player with a jersey, flags, and mouthpiece.
A portion of your fees go to cover the costs of running and maintaining the fields and concession stand. We must also purchase equipment (footballs, trophies, markers, etc) and pay umpire fees. Administrative expenses include phone, internet, utilities, and website hosting. Finally, we provide liability and accident insurance coverage on all of our players. MSA is a non-profit organization. We do everything possible to contain costs while maintaining a safe, fun environment for all.
What equipment will I need to buy?
Each player should have his or her own cleats (no metal spikes). Some teams may purchase matching shorts.
Are team pictures included in the registration fee?
No. Team and individual pictures are taken on picture day at the beginning of the season. You may choose to purchase pictures and merchandise directly from the photographer. Your coach or team parent will tell you when pictures are scheduled and provide an order form.
How do I determine which league my child should play in?
MSA uses the cutoff date of December 31st. For example, if your player turns seven on December 30th, your player is league age 7. If your player turns seven on January 2nd, your player is league age 6. If you register online, your player will automatically be assigned to the proper league when you enter his/her birth date.
I don’t think my player is ready to advance to the next league. Can I hold him/her back for a season?
In short, all players must register and evaluate with their proper age group. Please notify your league director of your concerns at evaluation. The director will pay particular attention to your player’s evaluation to ensure they are safe to play.
This is a common question. However, MSA strongly encourages you to stick to the published date guidelines and keep your child with his or her own age group.
In general, we have found that children perform well when kept with their own age group. If you still have concerns or doubts about moving your child ahead, please contact the Flag Football Director to discuss. Your player will be required to register for their proper year group. Should the director/president determine it is not safe for your player to play in his/her age appropriate league, arrangements will be made to keep him/her down. The final decision to allow a player to stay back will be safety-based.
Holding a player back strictly for the purpose of scheduling or carpooling is strongly discouraged and could pose a safety threat to the players in the younger league.
My player is bored in his/her current league. Can he/she play up a league?
In short, all players must register and evaluate with their proper age group. Please contact the Flag Football Director prior to evaluations to determine the best course of action.
Again, the safety of the players is our top priority. Advancement will be at the discretion of the league directors and coaches involved. In no case will a player be allowed to move up more than one league.
Does my player have to try out?
Players are asked to participate in skills evaluation in front of the coaches. The evaluations aid the coaches in the draft process. All registered players will be placed on a team regardless of skill level or past football, flag or tackle, experience. Evaluation dates and times will be listed on the website. If your player is unable to make it to his/her posted evaluation time please contact the Flag Football Director.
Can I request a certain coach? Can I request that my player and his/her friend play together?
We will make every effort to accommodate requests. Please note teams are formed based on a draft in an effort to create equitable teams. We will honor your request if possible, but can’t make any guarantees.
Can I volunteer to be a coach / assistant coach / team parent?
Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering in one of these positions when you register your player, or contact your director via email. The City of Jacksonville and MSA require anyone who will work on the field to have a COJ Volunteer Badge each year. If you plan on coaching, being assistant coach and/or anticipate helping on the field during practice you must have a current year COJ Badge. Contact the COJ Parks and Recreation Department to schedule an appointment to apply for a badge. Once you receive your badge it must be worn at all times when interacting with players. PLEASE NOTE: You must be on a roster in order for the badge to be released to the park President, who in turn will deliver it to you.
If you have a badge from last year, fill out and return the Continuation Form located on the home page to the Flag Football Director at least 3 weeks before the season begins.
How are coaches selected and is there training involved?
Head and assistant coaches must have a badge as indicated above and be approved by the Board prior to the start of each season. The Board uses in part anonymous survey results submitted by Parents and Guardians in selecting the best coaches available for our program.
I can’t commit to coaching. Are there other ways to help?
Yes! MSA is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization. Everyone is encouraged to help out in any way they are able. Opportunities include but are not limited to the following:
Board Members: Positions include but are not limited to: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Athletic Director, League and Advanced Baseball Directors, Website, Registration, Equipment, Fundraising, Communications, Physical Plant, Public Relations, Uniforms, Trophies, Concession Stand and At Large. Please contact the Park President for more information.
Fundraising: Fundraising is a critical part of our park’s success. Each season there is at least one major fundraising project for recreation ball participation. Corporate and Individual sponsorships are always welcome!
Field Maintenance: Every year our park hosts a number of tournaments. Help is always needed for field maintenance.
Team Parent: Support your team and assist your coaches and parents by becoming a team parent. Responsibilities include coordinating picture day and fundraising, assigning snacks and organizing the end of the season party. Depending on the league/coach, this position may include dugout duty.
Concession Duty: Every team will be required to work the concession stand once during the season. Help your coach out by volunteering your services. The COJ volunteer badge is not necessary for concession stand duty.
Are there community service hour opportunities for my High School child?
Yes! Our Concession Stand regularly uses teenagers (16 and up) to work for community service hours. Please contact us for additional information.
Additionally, coaches may allow teenagers to earn hours by participating in practices as “junior coaches”. Contact the league directors or athletic director for placement.