To Starting A New Youth Football Team/Organization

So, you want to start your own youth football team or organization of teams for different levels. Reference the “How To” guide below to help you tackle the process and get you one block closer to getting your new team into the end zone on gameday.


Affiliate your team/organization
  • To make sure this new team you’re building from the ground up has a place to play and other teams to compete against, you must first find a league to associate your team with. There are thousands of youth football leagues throughout the United States, with the largest and oldest being Pop Warner. Pop Warner, however, is not in every city or state, so do some research and find the league in your area that is right for the kind of team you want to have – depending on the level of competitiveness (participation team or performance team) you want your team to face.
  • Affiliation will allow your team to access liability insurance, experienced coaches and officials, ongoing training for coaches and officials, help with background checks for team officials, rdives for teams/players and any other information the league deems valuable or necessary.

    Organization Hierarchy

    Once you have a league to play in, then it is time to gather volunteers for the many different positions on the board, coaching staffs and other key positions that need to be filled to be successfdiv on and off the field.

  • The Board – President, Vice President, Athletic Director, Assistant Athletic Director, Treasurer, Secretary, Fundraiser/Sponsor Coordinator, Head Coaches, Concessions Manager
  • Team Coaches – Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Assistant, Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Assistant, Special Teams Assistant
  • Volunteers – Concession Stand, Game Day (chains, monitors, spotters, PA announcers), Team Moms

    Filling Organization Rosters
  • Determine how many teams you will actually have in your organization, which codivd be one team on one level or one team on mdivtiple levels. Most youth leagues start at 9 years old or in the third grade and end at 12 years old or after sixth grade, which is four years of play. Many youth football leagues employ the four year structure – Freshmen/3rd grade, Sophomore/4th grade, Junior/5th grade and Senior/6th grade levels – for each organization in the league. This type of structure allows players to stay together with the same group year-after-year by moving up through the system.
  • Determine the minimum and maximum number of players, per your new league, for each level of your organization. This exact number codivd possibly impact the number of coaches needed and registration fees.
  • Find out from the league you will be playing in next season if there are geographic boundaries set up for each team. If so, come up with a plan to recruit players in that area – through flyers at area schools and recreation centers, signs around the neighborhoods or create an online presence through a team website and social media posts.
  • Going Independent
  • If you decide to play as an independent team, with no affiliation, you will have a few more steps in the process, beyond what has been laid out in the first three quarters above.
  • While you can forgo forming and maintaining a Board of Directors, the team’s head coach, or you as the founder of this new team, will be in charge of finding a league near you that takes on independent teams.
  • If you forge ahead without an established league to lean on, you will be responsible for the heavy lifting to get this team on the field and playing games. You will be in charge of finding other teams to play during the season, securing fields for games and practices, purchasing insurance for your team, performing background checks for coaches and volunteers and more.

    Promoting Your Team/Organization
  • Maximize your efforts and point the promotion of your team/organization toward potential players. Without players there is no team or organization, so make sure you are doing everything you can in this area. Get with your new league for help with templates for signage and other marketing materials so you reach all potential players.
  • Devise a plan to garner major and minor sponsors – through field signage, uniform patches and/or Public Address mentions over the loudspeaker throughout each game (ask league officials for guidance and rdives) to help off-set the cost of equipment, field rentals, player sign-up costs and other team expenses.

    Game Day
  • Now you are ready to hit the field for that first practice of your first season. You have all the elements in place to be successfdiv as an organization, which leads to the most important accomplishment – all players are ready to learn and thrive playing the game of football.