We believe that successful communities are built on strong servant leadership. We also believe that football is a powerful tool to build future servant leaders. Teamwork, discipline, focus and resilience are just a few of the character qualities a positive football experience can develop. The Northeast Indiana Football Association (NIFA) is committed to providing every youth football player with that experience.


NIFA has established a partnership with PAL Fort Wayne Football for the 2024 season. Registration is currently open— simply click on the “Register Now” button to get started.

PAL 2024 Season Registration Prices

NFL Flag Football (1st-2nd grade) $65 per person*
Prep for Tackle (3rd-4th grade) $125 per person*
Tackle Football (5th-6th grade) $125 per person*

*Financial assistance is available through NIFA.  Learn more


NIFA begins by establishing relationships between area schools and local youth leagues. Together, schools and leagues will ensure that all players are given an equal opportunity to participate in football the right way. Every program will follow the same best practices for safety and development of athletes; provide professional learning and support to coaching staffs and mentors; as well as guide and encourage parent engagement.

Our goal is to provide the training, guidance and resources needed to achieve the highest levels of excellence, safety and equity.

  • Promote the importance of education and servant leadership
  • Develop the balance of humility, empathy and confidence servant leadership requires
  • Provide environment for healthy relationships and character development
  • Provide ongoing professional training for all coaching and staff
  • Provide consistent and up-to-date instruction for training and technique
  • Encourage integrity and sportsmanship for coaches, players and parents
  • Establish standardized, age-appropriate rules for play
  • Establish and enforce age-appropriate contact play
  • Require every program meets standards for equipment and facilities
  • Provide on-going training in technique
  • Focus on injury prevention for coaches and players.
  • Ensure that all programs have access to quality equipment
  • Ensure all coaching staff undergo ongoing professional training
  • Reduce barriers to adequate staffing levels for all programs
  • Ensure that all players have access to the same opportunities
  • Recruit sponsors to effectively fund equity effort


NIFA follows the Football Development Model (FDM), a comprehensive program of age-appropriate training and game play to safely prepare youth athletes for the demands of full-contact football.

NIFA has assembled seasonal goals and expectations for players, the coaching staff and parents.


  • Responsible, age-specific development of football skills, as well as life skills
  • Equal opportunity to learn and play football
  • Healthy mentorship and camaraderie
  • Fun, rewarding football experience


  • Well-defined standards of player progress and age-appropriate
    enforced safety protocols
  • Guidance to understand the different roles parents can play
  • Confidence in the value of the football experience
  • Enthusiasm for the game

Coaches and Staff

  • Professional training and certification in coaching and mentorship
  • Consistent, guided structure to teach fundamentals safely and correctly
  • Freedom to create schemes and strategies within the guided structure
  • Training and tools to create individualized player training plans
  • Resources to provide equitable training and equipment
Coach with youth football players


PAL Fort Wayne

NIFA is partnering with PAL Fort Wayne to create a youth football program supported by local high schools. With more than 64 years of experience in non-profit youth sports, PAL Fort Wayne enjoys strong relationships with elementary schools throughout our community. Through these relationships, NIFA and PAL have chosen a core of schools* to adopt or host a co-ed PAL team. For the 2024 season, additional elementary schools will be able to join a core school as co-hosts.

* Core schools were selected based on their existing infrastructure, including population size, ease of alignment and commitment to youth league participation. NIFA is restricting capacity during the pilot season to make post-season assessment and refinement more effective. Based on demand, additional schools and youth leagues will be invited into the NIFA Root System.

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NIFA relies on the generous support of area businesses and organizations to help with the cost of ensuring that every player receives the same levels of equipment, practice/playing conditions and training. We are honored to have these sponsors as a part of the NIFA team.

If you are interested in joining NIFA as a sponsor, contact

FWCS We Are Your Schools
Developing servant leaders through football