All the thrills that come with youth football are coming to a field near you — with everything except the tackling.
National Football League-sponsored youth flag football leagues — for boys and girls between the ages of 4 through 14 — will kick off on the second Sunday of September in several communities across southeast Michigan, including Canton, Livonia, Northville/Novi, South Lyon, Farmington and Ann Arbor.
The $130-$150 per-player entry fee (depending on the community) includes a seven-practice/six-game schedule. Games are played with a 5-on-5, non-contact, co-ed format. Team rosters will be limited to 10 or 11 players to maximize playing time.
“This is an exceptional program for first-time players who want to learn the fundamentals of football,” the nation-wide organization’s website states. “This is also a wonderful opportunity for players who want to continue enhancing their skills before taking the next leap to tackle football.”
To learn more about the leagues in your city or township and to register, click here.
Registration clock is ticking
The registration deadline is July 30, although players who are signed up after July 30 may still be allowed to play depending on the number of players registered.
Games will be played on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Practices take place one hour before game time.
The organization’s MOJO App provides team rosters and schedules, including meet-and-greet times, practices and games.
Participants will receive an NFL FLAG reversible jersey (all 32 NFL teams will be represented) and flag belt, which will be theirs to keep.
Pre-Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade divisions (Lombardi and Shula) will receive individual participation awards at the end of the season.
Playoffs for older leagues
Madden divisions (4th through 8th grade) will participate in playoff games on the last day of the season, with first- and second-place teams receiving awards.
The program relies on volunteer parents to coach and manage the teams.
“We encourage all parents interested in volunteering to do so during the registration process,” a spokesperson said.
Volunteer positions available include head coach, assistant coach and team manager. The organization will provide several resources along with a comprehensive coach meeting to ensure all coaches have a fun and successful season!
A meet and greet will take place Sept. 10 with games kicking off Sept. 17.
All jerseys, flag belts and merchandise purchased will be shipped directly to participants’ homes.