LYNNFIELD — In many ways, Lynnfield Youth Football and Cheerleading is a successful program. Over the years, it has provided hundreds of local boys and girls in grades three through eight with an opportunity for healthy physical activity and competition.

But in recent years, there has been a growing undercurrent of discontent among some parents. That dissatisfaction recently surfaced publicly on social media, with a posting on Facebook of a series of e-mails that appeared to confirm the existence of tensions within the LYFC program.

A number of parents agreed to share their concerns with the Villager but asked that their names not be used because they still have children in the program.

A major concern, these parents say, is that the same small group of individuals has run the program for over a decade and has been unresponsive to requests for a larger and more inclusive board of directors. An expanded board elected by parents of kids in the program, they say, would improve transparency and give more people a voice in decision-making.

Parents maintain that most similar programs have much larger boards of directors. Opening the leadership to more people, parents maintain, would provide a way to voice and resolve some of their other concerns about the program.

A 2013 Form 990-EZ filed by Lynnfield Youth Football and Cheerleading indicates that LYFC is a 501(c)(3) organization listing six directors.

A check of other youth football programs’ websites around the Cape Ann League reveals that Danvers Youth Football has 12 directors. Masconomet Youth Football lists 13. North Reading, Amesbury and Ipswich each list nine directors and Newburyport shows eight directors. Several other programs in the league do not list directors on their websites.

Parents say that similar organizations have larger boards because running the programs is labor intensive and “many hands make light work.” They say they are puzzled by the resistance they’ve encountered.

“I have a hard time understanding why an organization would not want to expand its board,” one parent said.

“There are people who are willing to step in,” another parent maintained, adding that there “should be a rotation” of people serving on the board.

Parents also claim that despite paying some of the highest fees in the Cape Ann League, they have seen very little new equipment purchased in recent years. Having up-to-date equipment is a matter of safety for the kids, they say, especially in light of recent national news coverage of concussions and other common football injuries.

“We haven’t gotten any new uniforms or equipment for over six years,” one parent claims, adding that shoulder pads are not up to standards and helmets are 10 years old.

Another parent asserted that while Lynnfield Youth Football does refurbish a few helmets every year, programs in other towns are investing in the new anti-concussion helmets and taking steps to address other outdated equipment.

Parents say they would like to see some of the fees they pay re-invested in newer equipment.

“It has to go back to the kids,” one parent insisted.

Some parents also maintain that training provided for football coaches in the program is lacking, which they cite as another safety concern.

But the issue of coach training and safety is not limited to the football side of the program. Parents of girls in the cheerleading program expressed concern that girls are being instructed in dangerous stunts and gymnastics routines by high school students. They maintain that cheerleading is an athletic activity and that investing in proper training by qualified adult instructors is essential in order to avoid injuries.

“Cheering is a very dangerous sport,” one parent observed. “It’s all about stunting and gymnastics. Kids are thrown in the air and standing on each other.”

Cheering competitions require stunts and gymnastics as part of the routines. The parent insisted that the teaching of stunts should be done by a professional or a qualified adult.

They also question the wisdom of placing up to 25 younger kids under the care of one 16-year-old cheering coach.

“For the money we pay, the least we should get is adults,” the parent said.

Some parents insist that it all goes back to the fact that the same people have been running things for too long. A new or expanded board of directors, they maintain, would go a long way toward addressing some of the other problems they see with the program.

The Villager left multiple messages requesting comment from LYFC commissioner Wayne Shaffer. Those phone calls were not returned.