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HEADS-UP FOOTBALL: THE INITIATIVE

Lee Franconia Football League (LFFL) is a staunch supporter of the Heads-Up initiative spearheaded by the USA Football Association and the National Football League. Heads Up Football is a new approach USA Football and the NFL are embarking on to change the culture of America's favorite sport.

This comprehensive solution to player safety promotes concussion awareness and management, coaching education, proper equipment fitting and Heads Up Tackling as well as a set of recommended standards for parents, coaches and leagues.

Click here to learn more about how the game is evolving to protect your children while playing the sport they love!

 


 

 

MORE THAN 900 YOUTH LEAGUES
COMMIT TO SAFER FOOTBALL
THROUGH USA FOOTBALL’S
HEADS UP FOOTBALL PROGRAM

 

Nationwide program launched with $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation

More than 900 youth football leagues across the United States representing more than 200,000 players and 30,000 coaches nationwide have committed to the health and safety of their young players by adopting Heads Up Football, a new USA Football pilot program for the 2013 season dedicated to making the game better and safer.

The Heads Up Football program promotes a positive youth football experience and advances player safety by providing coaching education and teaching resources that benefit players, parents and coaches. Heads Up Football aims to take the head out of the game. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.


Heads Up Football is comprised of five primary elements:

 

Heads Up Tackling

· USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact.

Coaching certification

· All coaches within a youth program are trained to teach the game’s fundamentals by completing USA Football’s nationally accredited Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.

Concussion recognition and response

· Coaches learn and are assessed on CDC concussion recognition and response through USA Football’s Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.

· Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season at a leaguewide clinic and have them reinforced throughout the season.

Player Safety Coach

· Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football youth organization. This individual is trained by USA Football to implement Heads Up Football’s player safety protocols, including coaching certification, and conducts safety clinics for coaches, parents and players.

Equipment fitting

· Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.


Seventy-eight former NFL players also will participate in the program as Heads Up Football Ambassadors, working with youth leagues to reinforce the Heads Up message. Former NFL standouts CARL BANKS, TONY CASILLAS, RANDALL CUNNINGHAM and BARRY SANDERS are among those serving as Heads Up Football Ambassadors. They will work alongside youth leagues, attending select practices and games while endorsing Heads Up Football.

Youth coaches of participating leagues will be trained in Heads Up Football techniques before leading their teams this season. All head coaches and assistant coaches are required to complete USA Football’s accredited Level 1 Coaching Certification Course, which includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols; proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting; and Heads Up Tackling techniques, which aim to take the head out of the line of contact, and teach proper fundamentals.
Parents can help ensure their youth football players are participating in a better and safer brand of football by visiting www.usafootball.com. Youth leagues can register online today for Heads Up Football and to have their coaches certified.

“The health and safety of every youth player is USA Football’s No. 1 priority,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “These leagues show exceptional dedication to their players, parents and coaches. Each of them is committed to the highest standards of player safety and coaching education in all of youth sports.
“We are proud to have them and our Heads Up Football Ambassadors be part of this program.”
 

“As chairman of the NFL Foundation and as a parent of two young football players, I believe the Heads Up Football program is essential in making the game we all love safer for youth players,” said CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, Dallas Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer. “The program is also important for parents, providing resources for their kids to play the game safely and properly. The NFL Foundation is pleased to be supporting this important program.”

“I’m proud to be a part of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program,” said Sanders, a Hall of Fame running back with the Detroit Lions. “Football is a fun game which offers so many rewards and instills countless positives for our kids when the game is taught correctly and coaches are prepared to teach. Heads Up Football accomplishes this. The program is changing for the better how youth football is played.”

Heads Up Football is the future of the game. Through Heads Up Football, each youth league will nominate a Player Safety Coach to be trained by USA Football. Player Safety Coaches will implement and monitor Heads Up Football player safety protocols within the organization. They also work with league commissioners, coaches, parents and players throughout the season to provide on-site clinics and mentoring to employ coaching and player safety best practices. Parents are encouraged to be involved throughout the process, to ensure their youth players are learning Heads Up Football skills.

In addition to the NFL and NFL Foundation, organizations that support Heads Up Football include the NCAA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Federation of State High School Associations, American Football Coaches Association and Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Organizations that play youth football that have adopted or endorsed Heads Up Football include the United Youth Football League, National Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Jewish Community Centers Association. The goal is to encourage all 10,000 youth football leagues across the country to sign up for Heads Up Football.

Former NFL players serving as Heads Up Football Ambassadors:

STATE

ORGANIZATION (PARENT ORGANIZATION)

CITY

HEADS UP FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR

Alaska

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southcentral Alaska

Anchorage

Jake Plummer

Juneau Youth Football League

Juneau

Jake Plummer

Alabama

Princeton Youth Athletics

Birmingham

Al Del Greco

Arkansas

Arkansas AAU

Little Rock

Reggie Swinton

Bentonville Youth Football Association

Bentonville

Steve Conley

Arizona

Empowerment Through Sports Youth Football League

Gilbert

Bryan Gilmore

Williams Youth Football & Cheer (Northern Arizona Youth Football League)

Williams

Al Gross

California

Benicia Youth Football & Cheer

Benicia

Hardy Nickerson

Del Norte Nighthawks Youth Football & Cheer

San Diego

Eric Allen

Colorado

Denver PAL

Denver

Randy Gradishar

Connecticut

Vernon Vipers (Connecticut Youth Football & Cheerleading League)

Bloomfield

Tebucky Jones

Westport PAL Football (Fairfield County Football League)

Westport

Vince Workman

Delaware

Brandywine Warriors Football and Cheerleading (Bert Bell Memorial Football Conference)

Bellefonte

Erik Williams

Florida

Avon Park Youth Football (Mid Florida Football & Cheerleading Conference)

Avon Park

Tony Mayberry

Jacksonville PAL (Greater Jacksonville Pop Warner Football Conference)

Jacksonville

Pete Mitchell

Tamiami Colts (Xtream Youth Football League)

Miami

Troy Drayton

Georgia

Cascade Wolverines Youth Football (Metro Atlantic Youth Football League)

Atlanta

Coy Wire

Central Dekalb Jaguars Youth Football (North Metro Youth Football League)

Atlanta

Brian Finneran

Hawaii

Kauai Youth Football

Kauai

Ma’a Tanuvasa

Iowa

Little Roadrunner Football (Pride Of Iowa Youth Football League)

Truro

Garry Howe

Metro Youth Football Association

Cedar Rapids

Marv Cook

Idaho

Southeast Idaho Youth Football League

Pocatello

Jake Plummer

Illinois

Antioch Vikings Youth Football & Cheerleading (The Chicagoland Youth Football League)

Antioch

Otis Wilson

Carol Stream Youth Football (Bill George Youth Football League)

Elmhurst

Mike Richardson

Indiana

Center Grove Bantam Football League

Bargersville

Rosevelt Colvin

Franklin Township Youth Football

Indianapolis

Mike Prior

Kansas

Wyandotte County Youth Football & Cheer

Kansas City

Shawn Barber

YMCA of Topeka

Topeka

Anthony Davis

Kentucky

Bud Hudson Youth Football League

Hopkinsville

Marty Moore

Fort Thomas Junior Football League

Fort Thomas

Merril Hoge

Louisiana

Ascension Cougars Youth Football (Tri-Parish Youth Football League)

Gonzales

Brian Kinchen

Goretti Park (NORD)

New Orleans

Pat Swilling

Massachusetts

Westfield Youth Football (Suburban Amateur Football League)

Westfield

Vernon Crawford

Maryland

Mechanicsville Braves Football and Cheer (Metro League Sports Association)

Mechanicsville

LaMont Jordan

Owings Mills Wolfpack Youth Football Program (Greater Baltimore Youth Football League)

Baltimore

LaVar Arrington

Maine

Aroostook Huskies Football

Presque Isle

John Huard

Scarborough Football Club (Southern Maine Youth Football League)

Scarborough

John Huard

Michigan

Farmington Rockets Junior Football & Cheer (Oakland Macomb Youth Football Association)

Farmington

Barry Sanders

Lincoln Park Junior Rails (Downriver Junior Football League)

Lincoln Park

Eric Hipple

Minnesota

Centennial Youth Football Association

Circle Pines

John Swain

Mississippi

Iron Horse (TNT Youth Football & Cheer League)

McComb

Lester Holmes

Missouri

Twin City Youth Football Association

Festus

Marc Bulger

Montana

Missoula Youth Football

Missoula

Blaine McElmurry

North Carolina

Charlotte-Mecklenburg PAL (Little Panthers Pop Warner)

Charlotte

Eugene Robinson

North Carolina Youth Football Optimist League

Charlotte

Deveron Harper

Nebraska

Jr. Mavs Football (Heartland Youth Football League)

Omaha

Chris Bober

New Hampshire

Portsmouth Youth Football Association (Seacoast Junior Football League)

Portsmouth

Pat Hughes

New Jersey

Florham Park Falcons (West Essex Junior Football League)

Florham Park

Ray Lucas

Montclair Cobras Junior Football (Twin Valley Football Conference)

Montclair

Carl Banks

New Mexico

New Mexico Youth Football League

Albuquerque

Preston Dennard

NERF Las Cruces

Las Cruces

Roy Gerela

Nevada

Anthem Cougars Youth Football (Elite Youth Sports)

Las Vegas

Art Plunkett

Elite Green Valley Knights Youth Football (Elite Youth Sports)

Las Vegas

Randall Cunningham

New York

Commack Youth League (Suffolk County PAL)

Commack

Keith Bulluck

North Tonawanda Athletic Association (Niagara Youth Football League)

North Towawanda

Mark Kelso

Ohio

Columbus Vikings (Karl J. Fulton Pony League)

Columbus

David Fulcher

Mentor Youth Football Association

Mentor

Jamel White

Oklahoma

OKC Wolfpack (Oklahoma Elite Football League)

Oklahoma City

Kenny Blair

Oregon

Alberta Park Youth Football (PAL of Portland)

Portland

Drew Mahalic

Lakeridge Youth Football (Tualatin Valley Youth Football League)

Lake Oswego

Neil Lomax

Pennsylvania

Hopewell Midget Youth Football League (Western PA Youth Football)

Aliquippa

Jason Gildon

North Shore Stallions

Pittsburgh

Jeff Hartings

South Carolina

Blue Ridge Youth Association (Greenville County Recreation District)

Taylors

Antonio Goss

Mt. Pleasant Youth Association (Greenville County Recreation District)

Greenville

Patrick Sapp

South Dakota

Boys & Girls Club of Watertown Tackle Football

Watertown

Brian Hansen

South Dakota Junior Football

Sioux Falls

Neil Graff

Tennessee

Southeast Memphis Athletic Association

Memphis

Aaron Hayden

West Nashville Broncos Youth Football (Mid-State Youth Football League)

Nashville

Blaine Bishop

Texas

CY-Fair Sports Association

Cypress

Ricardo McDonald

Frisco Football League

Frisco

Tony Casillas

Utah

Herriman Mustangs (Ute Conference)

Herriman

Chad Lewis

Hunter Wolverines (Ute Conference)

West Valley City

Luther Elliss

Virginia

Central Loudoun Youth Football League

Leesburg

Brian Mitchell

Vermont

Colchester Football Boosters Association Incorporated (Northern Vermont Youth Football League)

Burlington

Karl Swanke

Fairfax Patriots Youth Football League (Northern Vermont Youth Football League)

Chittenden

Ralph Kurek

Washington

CD Panther Football and Cheer (South King County Junior Football League)

Seattle

Craig Terrill

Rainier Valley Football Association (South King County Junior Football League)

Seattle

Randall Morris

West Virginia

Follansbee Blue Wave

Follansbee

Jeff Hostetler

North Parkersburg Rambler's Football

Parkersburg

Oliver Luck

Wisconsin

Fox Valley Pop Warner Football

Appleton

Tim Terry

Green Bay Packers (Duck Creek Pop Warner)

Suamico

Ahman Green

 

USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique was developed with contributions from USA Football’s Tackle Advisory Committee, which includes Northwestern head coach PAT FITZGERALD, UCLA head coach JIM MORA, former NFL running back MERRIL HOGE, Miami Christopher Columbus High School head coach CHRIS MERRITT and sports psychologist DR. DAVID YUKELSON.

About USA Football: USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, leads the game’s development, inspires participation and ensures a better and safer experience for all youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions and awards more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002, USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.

USAFOOTBALL.com ORIGINAL STORY