Dan Misdea is a Metuchen resident and businessman who years ago was saddened to discover that local kids weren’t throwing the football in their yard as much as they used to. This sad realization ignited the idea to start the Six Man Flag Football League for the kids of Metuchen.
Together with the Metuchen Recreation Commission, the league has grown from 35 children the first year to more than 100. The leagues is open to third- through eighth-graders, male and female, who attend the local schools or live in town. The games are played Saturdays from September through late November.
This is an organized instructional league with strong emphasis on basic skills – passing, catching, kicking and running without the contact.
“We want to teach kids how to run a play without being worried about getting hit. It’s important that parents see the chances of injury are very slim. Because the purpose of the league is largely instructional, a number of rules are in place.
We want the kids to learn how to run passing plays. Otherwise, if you have one kid who’s really fast, they’ll just run it every play. We want them to learn how to snap, hold and kick without the pressure. The games have been really competitive at all the age levels. They go down to the wire a lot.
Sportsmanship is paramount, and that goes for the parents as well. If a player yells at a coach or another player, he or she is out of the game. The alarming trend of overbearing and obnoxious sports parents isn’t welcome. If a parent yells at a coach or a referee, his or her child’s team is penalized. The coaches and refs are out there as volunteers, and they don’t need that.
The feedback I get from parents is that the kids don’t just like it, they love it!” – Dan Misdea
Photos provided for MetuchenLiving by Christopher Morrison.