Youth football teams need extra preparation for each upcoming season.
With so many young players on the team - including many who are playing football for the first time - this extra preparation is necessary to get everyone up to speed.
This happens even in high school, where the quality of football starts to step up a significant from the lower levels.
High school coaches have a variety of different ways to overcome this, by crunching in extra work for the players wherever they can.
One of the ways to get extra preparation is through what's known as a jamboree.
This is something that only happens in high school football, where multiple teams come together to compete in simulated games to get ready for the season.
Below, we'll describe more about what a jamboree in football is, and how coaches hold them to get their kids ready to play.
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What is a Jamboree in Football?
A jamboree is something that only occurs at the high school level.
It's essentially an event where multiple high school football teams come together and play simulated games against every other team.
It's a way that all of these young teams can get a lot of work + preparation in over a very short period of time.
There are many different ways teams hold a jamboree, with small changes here and there to the overall format.
In general, though, every offense will face every other defense for all the teams.
This gives the players the greatest amount of "looks" at the different players and different alignments that all of the teams might bring.
Why are Jamborees Only Held in High School Football?
High school football players certainly need more seasoning, preparation, and coaching than players at the collegiate and professional levels.
Some of these players haven't ever played football before. And those who have played haven't faced this level of competition or speed of the game before.
In addition, high school football teams typically don't get nearly as much preseason work in before the season starts.
NFL teams work all off-season to prepare for the upcoming year, while college teams get at least a full month of full-team activities to prepare.
While many high school teams only get a few weeks before the season starts!
And once the season does start, they get limited practice time due to their age and the fact that players also go to school during these days.
Jamborees, then, are a great way to get a lot of pre-season preparation in over a short period of time.
It helps football players get up to speed quickly, while allowing coaches to get feedback from their colleagues on other teams as well.
While there's certainly a lot of competition during the day, it's also a lot of fun and a great way to build up football camaraderie among young players.
How to Hold a Jamboree
As mentioned above, there are a lot of different ways you can hold a jamboree.
The basic concept, though, is that every offense will face each defense of every other team involved, and vice versa.
This will give the maximum amount of exposure for all of the units involved.
There's always a set amount of time that each unit will face each other.
While the exact amount of time here will vary, the ultimate goal is for each team to play the equivalent of one full football game.
In high school football, this means they'll play 48 minutes total.
Coaches can break down this time based on the number of team involved.
If there are four teams, for example, then you could play four quarters of 12 minutes each before swapping out the teams.
More teams would mean shorter "quarters."
Benefits of a Jamboree
a. Efficient Way to Gain Experience
The first benefit is that it gets players a lot of work and exposure in a very short amount of time.
Instead of having to wait multiple weeks to get simulated game-speed action, they can get it all done in one day.
During a jamboree, players and coaches alike can work out any kinks in their approach and tactics.
It allows players to work on what they've learned during practice and put it into action in game-like action.
Having the jamboree run at full speed also helps players get into game shape.
As much as you can try to simulate that during practice, there's simply nothing like the real thing. And it's hard to get this "real thing" if your team's defense is facing your team's offense.
b. Coaches Get a Better Picture
Jamborees give coaches an opportunity to see all their players in real game action.
This allows them to see how they can help them improve their play, and also gives them a better idea which players might be standing out among others.
c. Character Building
Finally, jamborees allow players to build respect with players on other teams.
It also allows them to have a lot of fun with other players in a different way than just the normal practice routine.
A jamboree in football is a high school-specific event.
It's a great way for coaches to get their inexperienced players a lot of work in a short amount of time -- something that's often a major challenge at this stage of the game.
There are many different ways you can hold a jamboree in football, though the basic premise is that every offense faces every other defense.
Players will get great experience and have a lot of fun at jamborees, and coaches will get a lot of great experience, too.