Early in seasons especially with young rookie players you will see some equipment violation penalties. These are usually for not having their mouthpiece in. You especially see it amongst the little guys age 9 and below. Most referees will issue a warning or remind a player, but eventually the player has to learn for himself. Like many of you, in the league my teams play in, they stop issuing warnings after game 1 and just start throwing hankies in games 2 and beyond.
You will see most of these penalties after a change of possession, on the kickoff, kick return or the first play after a change of possession on offense or defense. One SIMPLE and fool proof way to make sure your kids are safe AND you never get penalized for this is by using a very simple management technique. Once your kickoff, kick return, offense or defense is aligned yell out. “Everyone who has their mouthpiece in raise your hand.” The kids keep their hands raised until you say, “Put your hands down.” Simply look for that player who doesn’t have his hand up, the usual suspects are the usual culprits.
This simple reminder has saved me more than a few equipment violation penalties and more importantly kept the kids safe. In non-select youth football you always have a few kids that seem to lose their minds on game days, especially when they are getting in for their first series or come out after a score. We also use the same technique when we go from a non contact to a full contact drill in practice. You always need to know your players have that mouthpiece in when they go into full contact.
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