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Please find below FAQs for both Football and Cheer

Football FAQs

Do I need previous football experience? 

No previous football experience is necessary.  One of the main focuses of our program is to introduce and teach the fundamentals of football to give young athletes the tools to be successful at the sport at the next level (High School).  A willingness to learn, compete and work hard is what we believe is needed.


 What are the age and weight limits? 

Athletes ages 7 to 14 can play football for the Bears.  Each player is placed on a squad based on a combination of their age and weight (As well as other factors including athletic skill, maturity level etc).  Regarding weight, there is not a maximum number that will eliminate a player from participating.  

Our Age and Weight scale is set by the East Bay Youth Football & Cheer Conference (EBYFC).  This is discussed among all participating organizations each year and may be adjusted year to year as needed.  The Age / Weight chart is posted on our website under the “Age/Weight Chart” tab. 


How are the players assessed for positions? Can I choose my child’s position? 

Players are assessed every moment during the first 4 weeks of practice.  Players are assessed based on numerous different factors including; Consistent effort, Athletic ability, ability to learn/understand plays, technique, progression, aggressiveness/ competitiveness.  Ultimately, the Head Coach of each team will place players in positions that best suit for their abilities at that time, and what role the player will contribute best to the team. Players are continually re-assessed throughout the season during every practice. 

Parents cannot choose their athlete’s position on the team; this is solely decided by the Head Coach.  However, if a player expresses a desire to “Tryout” at a certain position, the Head Coach may allow that player to tryout that position if it does not negatively impact the team. It does happen where players change positions as the season progresses.  We promote a family and “Team first” atmosphere amongst our staff and players. All players are expected to give maximum effort in whatever position they are assigned for the betterment of the team. 


How many kids are on a team? 

Our league (EBYFC) rules dictate that each team may have a maximum roster size of 40 players and must have a minimum of 15 players. 

For our Novice teams, minimum/maximum roster size is still being discussed. 


Do the coaches receive formal training? 

Our youth football coaches are parents and community members who volunteer to help.  Each coach is required to receive formal training and certification through USA Football.  All Coaches are “Heads Up” certified and CPR/First Aid certified. 

Additionally, every year we provide our coaches memberships to Glazier Clinics which gives them access to hundreds of hours of online training resources and allows them to attend the 3-day Clinic specifically for football coaches with numerous classes taught by High School and College Coaches. 

Throughout the year, the Football Director, in conjunction with California High School Coaches, conduct in-house training sessions for our coaches. 


What is the timeline for the season (practices and games)?

  • Our first practice begins in mid-July
  • The first 5 weeks of practices are Monday through Friday (5 practices a week) usually from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. 
  • After Practice Week 5, practices change and are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (3 practices a week) usually 6:30 – 8:30pm
  • Games are played on Saturdays (Which begins Week 6 of practices)
  • There are 8 regular season games
  • There are 3 additional playoff games which begins the week after the last regular season game, if teams qualify for playoffs based on their regular season win/loss record.  To advance to the next playoff game, the team must win.
  • Practice day, time or location may be subject to change based on field availability.


Where are games played? Practice? 

Our San Ramon Bears HOME games are played at either California High School (Located at 9870 Broadmoor Drive, San Ramon, CA 94583) or Dougherty Valley High School (Located at 10550 Albion Rd. San Ramon, CA 94582).  AWAY games are subject to what team we are competing against.  The furthest field generally takes no more than 45 minutes travelling from San Ramon. Most AWAY games are 30 minutes or less travel time. 

Practices are generally at one of the High Schools mentioned above, or at Rancho Park located at 1998 Rancho Park Loop, San Ramon, CA 94582.  This can be subject to change based on field availability.


 What are the rules pertaining to playing time? 

Our Coaches aim to provide each of our players with as much playing time as possible, without sacrificing the ability to field the most competitive team in each game.

The league has a “Minimum Play” rule for all teams.  Each player is required to play a minimum number of plays in each game.  That required number of plays changes based on number of active players on the roster for the game.  Depending on the roster size, the minimum plays are somewhere between 6 to 12 plays per game. 

For “Novice” teams, the minimum play amount increases, coupled with a rule that each player must play both Offense and Defense during the game.


Can he/she play other sports simultaneously? 

We do not have any rules that would prohibit Bears players from participating in other sports during the season. We have had athletes who played a Bears football game on Saturday morning then attended a baseball game or soccer game later that day. 

We do expect our players to attend every practice and game.  We do also understand that players may miss some practices and/or game(s) throughout the season due to multiple different circumstances. 

However, football is a complex, physical, team sport which requires numerous hours of practice on fundamental techniques and assignments to become proficient.  Missing an excessive number of practices can directly impact the player’s development and thus may affect how much that athlete may play in the game.  


When is the last day to sign up? 

We suggest signing up as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of our discounted registration prices and your player is not at a competitive disadvantage.  Registration opens in February and practice begins in July! 

Technically, teams can add new players up to Week 3 of Regular Season Games.  This however is not guaranteed as we may close registration prior to Week 3 at the Board of Directors discretion. 


How are the kids transitioned into pads? 

Each player must complete 10 hours of Conditioning Practices prior to practicing in their “Full pads” (Helmets, Shoulder Pads, Thigh Pads, Tail Pad, Hip Pads and Knee Pads) and beginning full contact football. 

Our 1st week of practice is all Conditioning Practices.  Players wear helmets, practice jerseys (No shoulder pads) athletic shorts (No thigh, tail pad, hip pads, or knee pads) and cleats.  These practices ensure players are physically ready to begin tackle football.  If a player misses any hours of conditioning practice, they are required to make up those conditioning hours prior to practicing in “Full pads.”  The players are slowly transitioned into full contact football with slower paced drills to ensure they learn the fundamental techniques before practicing “Full speed”.  Coaches are constantly assessing each player and providing extra training to those in need of it. 


Do I have to buy my own equipment? 

Your registration includes the following equipment for use during the season: 

  • Helmet
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Knee Pads
  • Game Uniforms (Jerseys and Pants)
  • Practice Uniforms (Jersey and Pants)
  • Gear Duffle Bag.

 Required equipment that you must purchase are: 

  • Mouthpiece
  • Football Cleats
  • A Girdle with Built in Thigh, Hip and Tail pad (5 pad Girdle).



Cheer FAQs

How does ordering uniforms work?

Historically, the Bears have ordered new uniforms each season. Once you have registered your cheer athlete, we will send you sizing information on the uniform chosen for that season. The Cheer Director will place the order for all registered cheer athletes.

That said, we—like the rest of the world—are feeling the effects of the global supply chain issues. Our program was not alone, as many other local programs faced uniform delays as well.

To try and address these global supply chain and delivery issues experienced in the last few years, we have accelerated the registration process to close by May 31. The intention of this accelerated timeline is to place the cheer uniform order in early June to ensure a delivery prior to the start of the in-season games. And we can only do so for those athletes that are registered with the program. As a non-profit organization, we do not have the latitude or resources to order uniforms or equipment for athletes that have not registered and committed to the season.


We are unsure of conflicts for a part of the season, is your hard deadline of 5/31 for end of registration or can others join late knowing the uniform risks and they agree?

Registration for youth sports is a commitment and we understand that our athletes may also participate in other sports. We reasonably work with those athletes and families that have conflicts with other sports throughout the season, so we hope that isn’t a limiting factor in joining the Bears.

That said, we have accelerated the registration process to close by May 31 to try and address global supply chain and delivery issues experienced in the last few years with uniforms. The intention is to place the cheer uniform order in early June to ensure a delivery prior to the start of the in-season games. As a non-profit organization, we do not have the latitude or resources to order uniforms or equipment for athletes that have not registered and committed to the season.

We also strive to operate as one unified and uniformed organization and want to ensure we are as inclusive as possible and therefore require all athletes to perform in uniform. If an athlete is registered after the uniform order is placed, they risk not receiving a uniform in time and may not be able to perform until their uniform arrives, potentially leading to unintended consequences and hurt feelings. Therefore, we recommend you register your cheer athlete by May 31.


What is competition? Difference between sideline only and with comp. And additional costs? Etc.

Sideline cheer is performed alongside San Ramon Bears youth football and incorporates elements of stunting, halftime routine, performance of cheers to help direct and energize the crowd.

Competition cheer is the opportunity for cheer squads to compete against each other at a competition. At a typical cheerleading competition, teams perform a 2:30 minute routine with music that includes choreography, stunts, jumps and tumbling. Teams are judged by a panel of cheerleading experts on difficulty and execution.


Sideline cheer, the EBYFC Cheer Showcase and one qualifying competition are included in the regular season registration fee. 

Participation in the competition season is an additional cost and continues beyond the regular Bears season. The typical competition season runs October through January and is an additional $350 for participation—not including travel costs. Travel costs are the responsibility of the athlete’s family. Actual competition is usually held in January of the following year.

Included in the competition fees are additional qualifying competitions (if necessary, should a team not qualify in the first qualifying competition) and national competitions fees, additional post season practice gym space, competition bows and team building/prep and coaches’ fees.

Any funds not used for competition season will be returned by the Bears.


How long is practice?

Practices run Monday through Friday from 6:30-8:30pm until school starts. Cheer practices will drop down to Tuesday through Thursday from 6:30-8:30pm the week that school starts. Times may vary based on field availability.


I'm not sure my child can handle the full-length practice for that many weeks.  Is leaving early or missing a practice, ok?

Registration for youth sports is a commitment and San Ramon Bears is a team sport. For the safety and quality of performance of the team, we rely on every athlete to reasonably attend practices and games, unless illness, schoolwork or other hardships prevent athletes from doing so AND they have communicated the absence with the Head Coach of their team.


Do you have to try-out?

Bears Cheer does not require athletes to try out. We also strive to operate as one unified and uniform organization and want to ensure we are as inclusive as possible.


Is tumbling experience required?

Tumbling experience is desired, but not required. Tumbling ability should not be a limiting factor when choosing to participate in Bears Cheer.


We do not want our child as a flyer or one who stunts off the ground, is this ok?

Yes, we respect parents’ preferences to not have their athlete perform as a flyer.


How do the Bears handle bullying?

The San Ramon Bears strives to create a fun, safe, learning atmosphere for our athletes. As an organization, we take any accusation of bullying seriously and will take swift action if/when behavior that is unbecoming of a San Ramon Bear athlete is displayed and substantiated.

It is our policy to engage directly with parents and involve the Bears leadership and coaches if any impropriety is demonstrated.