The Gainesville Haymarket Youth Football League (GHFYL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a character building program for both boys and girls of the area through fundamental instructions associated with youth tackle football.

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The mission of the track team is recognizing that athletics not only promotes physical well-being but also provides a healthy environment conducive towards development of strong, active and productive leaders in our society. While placing an emphasis on sportsmanship and safety, the organization strongly encourages the Coaches, Players, and Parents to act as positive role models.

When are practices and how long?
Spring and summer outdoor season practices are held 1-2 hours during designated times based on the availability of the schools.  We will start practicing April and May at Gainesville MS, then practicing June and July at Stonewall HS. Athletes are encouraged to make at least 2 practices a week.  Practice site and schedule changes will be made available at the beginning of each week. This will allow us to schedule practices around school activities which have priority on field/track usage.  During the summer when school is out, we will have more use of the tracks.
What can I expect at practice?
During each session, your child will do warm-up, stretching, runs, strength and core exercises and cool down.  Practice for field events will be on a rotating basis.  Our primary goal is to introduce and/or advance skills in the healthy sport of running by training your child physically, motivating them mentally and emotionally, developing and keeping their interest in running and fitness, but most of all HAVE FUN.   It is important that your child bring water to every practice, LABELED with THEIR NAME.

What is include in the registration cost:
The registration cost include:

  • Child's USATF membership card (this is mandatory to compete in the USATF qualifiers and championship).
  • All meet fee (excluding championship)
  • Track usage cost
  • Needed Track equipment

Additional Cost:
Each child will have to have a Grizzly Track uniform. The cost is $150 for: Signet (Top), Compression Shorts, Warm-up Suits and Team String Bag. Your child can use this uniform for multiple seasons until they grow out of it.
Who will I compete against and where?
Your biggest competitor is . . . yourself.  Run for your PR (Personal Best).
We will compete throughout the Washington Metro area clubs/athletes, and if possible, as members of the USATF and AAU against other member clubs in the USATF Potomac Valley Association and AAU.  Competition is fierce, especially at the USATF/AAU regional and championship meets.  Occasionally, at the local meets, the younger kids will compete in events with the older kids (distance running events for example) but the results will be sorted based on gender and their respective age groups/divisions for 2014 (see chart).

Age Division Year of Birth
Sub-Bantam (8) 2006
Bantam (9-10) 2005-2004
Sub-Youth (11-12) 2003-2002
Youth (13-14) 2001-2000
Intermediate (15-16) 1999-1998
Young Men/Women (17-18*) 1997-1996

*Athletes 18 years of age through the final day of the National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in the spring are eligible to compete in the Young Men/Women’s Division through that meet.
Transportation to the meets?
Each parent is responsible for getting their child to and from the meets.  Carpooling is recommended and directions will be provided prior to each meet.
How long are the meets?
Some local meets last no longer than 4-5 hours.  The more competitive meets could last most of the day. Depending on the number of kids participating and the events you are participating in will determine how long you have to stay.  A schedule of events will be made available prior to the meet date to help schedule your participation.  For example, if you are running in the 200m dash, which is usually near the end of the meet, you could come later in the day.  It’s best to be at the meet at least an hour before your event to warm up, etc. If you are competing in the hurdles (they are usually earlier) you may get to leave the meet early in the day.  Reminder: Most meets use a rolling schedule with only a start time.  Once an event is done, they move on to the next in the order described in the SOE.
What events will by child compete in?
Coaches will assess each athlete’s performances during practice and early local meets to help determine their best events.  Competition at the early meets is critical to help establish these assessments.  Divisions Sub-Bantam thru Sub-Youth are allowed to compete in a maximum of 3 events, including relays.  Youth thru Young divisions are allowed a maximum of 4 events including relays. 
What are the events in Track & Field?
Running events include:  100 Meter Dash, 200 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Run, 800 Meter Run, 1500/1600/3200 Meter Run, Hurdles, 4x100, 4X200 and 4x400 Relays.  Field Events include:  Long Jump, High Jump, Triple Jump, Turbo-Javelin, Shot Put, and Discus.
What type of running shoe should my kid(s) wear?
Although sprint spikes are not required for indoor competition they do give runners a slight advantage when they are used. There are a variety of sprint spikes available today and in some cases specific events warrant a special spike shoe.  Kids, however, need only a good running shoe and if possible a comparable sprint spike.  See the information below about the different types of shoes and spikes.
Shoe/Spike Types:
 There are nine basic types of Track Shoes:

  • Sprint spikes - Made for 100m to 400m sprints. They usually have no heel, very lightweight, and either a flexible, or stiff spike plate.
  • Hurdling - 100m, 110HH, and 400H. Most hurdlers either use a flexible sprint spike or a middle distance spike because they have a small cushioned heel.
  • Middle Distance - 800m to Mile. These shoes usually have a small cushioned heel and a small forefoot spike plate. They have a smaller footprint than distance spikes.
  • Distance - 3000m to 10,000m. These spikes usually have fewer spikes in them and smaller spike plates but a full length cushioning. The elite level spikes have very little anything to reduce weight. Steeplechasers also use a distance spike.
  • Pole Vault/Long Jump/Triple Jump - These spikes have a thin, full length midsole for cushioning and stability when planting. TJ shoes usually have a different heel since they have to handle the 3 plants of a triple jump. Pole vault shoes are generally labeled as either LJ or TJ since they have similar takeoff requirements.
  • High Jump - These spikes have rearfoot spikes as well as forefoot. They are designed to allow a firm plant for the takeoff foot. The Asics shoe is designed for right-approached jumpers only.
  • Javelin - Javelin boots are big and heavy. They have the support and both front and rear spikes to handle the approach and plant of a javelin thrower.
  • Throw - Shot/Discus - Two types of shoes are made, glide shoes and spin shoes. Some brands just have one choice, some separate them like Nike (SD and rotational) and Adidas (hammer/discus and shotput). Glide shoes usually have a textured bottom for grip. Rotational shoes have a smoother bottom for better spin.
  • Multi-Purpose - these are low-end middle distance spikes that have a full length midsole and a generic spike plate. They are meant for athletes that want an everyday spike to wear in practice. They can be used for almost any event except throws.

 Spike Types:
There are five basic types of replacement spikes:

  • Pyramid spikes - used for dirt or grass surfaces as well as muddy cross country. 1/4 inch should be enough for any surface except grass javelin runways.
  • Needle - Also called "slim". Needle spikes give traction on all weather tracks. 3/16 is the ideal size, any larger and they tend to stick into the track when you lift your foot.
  • Studs - Also called "blanks". They have no spike on them. They are used for indoor tracks, cross country and sometimes asphalt.
  • X-mas tree - Also called Compression spikes. These look like a christmas tree and are used for rubber and tartan surfaces. Use in place of longer needle spikes to avoid "sticking".
  • Tartan - These look like a dull needle spike. They are meant for rubber tracks only.

Always ask your coach regarding meet spike requirements!
High School Age Kids
High schoolers are not required to start attending practice until the High School track season is over.
What is USATF?
USA  Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.  They offer many competitive opportunities for both youth and adult Track and Field athletes.  Gainesville Grizzly will be a part of USATF and our club's focus is on the Youth Athletes Only.