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ZYFL believes in a progressive/tiered approach to youth football. We strive to teach our younger players the basics of the game and increase their education, skills and love for football as they grow older. We begin at the Kindergarten level with Flag Football and continue with Flag through 2nd Grade. In 3rd Grade we transition to TackleBar. In TackleBar, we increase contact as well as our focus on safe and proper techniques while still avoiding taking players to the ground. In 4th Grade and up we move to full contact Tackle Football and continue helping players improve their skills through proper fundamentals, education and safe practices.
The mission of ZYFL is to help its players learn and enjoy the game of football, develop their athletic skills, and build character through hard work, fair competition, sportsmanship, and teamwork. In addition, ZYFL is dedicated to providing eligible players an equal opportunity to play football in a fair and competitive environment. ZYFL encourages tolerance and prohibits discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Flag, TackleBar and Recreation (Rec) Programs are designed to fulfill the mission without extensive travel to games and with a 25% less time commitment than other programs.
Quality Coaching – All Tackle Football (Rec, All-Stars and Travel) Coaches are required to complete the USA Football Level 1 Tackle Certification course. This certification serves as USA Football's base-level course for all youth tackle coaches and is set up to provide ZYFL coaches with the education to develop a coaching philosophy, understand the game and the positions on the field and teach the proper fundamentals and techniques. It is broken down into three elements, Blocking and Tackling Skills, Health & Safety, and Fundamentals of Coaching. ZYFL believes a quality youth sports experience begins with quality coaching.
Safety – Many elements go into planning a safe sports program. ZYFL designates a board level position in charge of player safety. Our Player Safety Coach is trained by a USA Football Master Trainer in preparation for implementing and overseeing the primary components of Heads Up Football: Coach education, proper equipment fitting, concussion recognition & response, heat & hydration preparedness, Heads Up Blocking, and Heads Up Tackling.
Competition and Preparation - ZYFL strives to achieve talent parity amongst its Flag, TackleBar and Rec teams. To facilitate this goal, all players must attend one of the Player Evaluation Sessions. Attendance to Coach Turnquist's Eagle Football camp will count as an evaluation. If you are unable to attend, there will be a non-camp evaluation scheduled in early July. More details will be made available through league emails and website at the start of the season.
To prepare players for Middle School and High School football, ZYFL coordinates its activities with the Zionsville Community Schools (ZCS) program. A common playbook based on ZCS offensive formations and plays is used throughout the TackleBar and Rec programs.
Playing Time - Every player on each team will have a starting position for no less than the first 12 plays per half (either offense or defense) of each game. A player may play fewer plays at the coach’s discretion if it is in the best interest of the athlete.
The Season - The Flag, TackleBar and Rec league seasons will run from a date to be posted (typically last week of July) through October (prior to ZCS Fall Break). Teams will practice twice per week and will play most of their games on Saturdays, with an occasional weekday game depending on scheduling needs. No games/practices on Labor Day weekend.
The Fields - Game locations for the 2020 season are TBD. Please check back here for updates. The primary practice field is Jennings Field located on the northwest corner of Bloor Lane and Hal Sharpe Road.
Summer Camp - ZYFL camp is directed and run by our High School coaching staff. The focus of the camp is to instill a love for one of the greatest team sports in the world and to teach players the proper and safest techniques they will need for all positions. This camp will also be used as an evaluation method in the drafting process for the youth coaches in the upcoming ZYFL season. Camp schedule for 2020 will be announced soon.