Developmentally Appropriate Youth Football Modifications

  • Youth 6-14 years of age should play non-contact, flag football
  • Hold small-sided practices or games of 6 v 6 on one quarter of the
  • football field; use all four quarters for multiple games at the same time
  • Let the players create their own plays
  • Get everyone involved in a minimum of 12-15 plays
  • Teach only the basics of the positions and the basic skills
  • Avoid the “3Ls”: Lines, Lectures and Laps (1)

Examples of Modified Programs

NFL Flag Football

For kids ages 6-14; co-ed and non-contact

NFL Ultimate

This is a combination of football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, hockey and basketball


(1) Bigelow, B., Moroney, T. & Hall, L. (2001). Just Let the Kids Play: How to Stop Other Adults from Ruining Your Child’s Fun and Success in Youth Sports. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.

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