NIFA Root System

The NIFA Root System offers a developmental football experience and multiple game types for players from 1st grade through 6th grade. The root system is based on a brokered relationship between the existing youth leagues that have operated in Fort Wayne for many years and local school districts, as well as their elementary and middle school players. We utilize resources from local schools, USA Football’s Development Model (FDM), NFL Flag League and Tackle Bar Football to offer a progressive approach, steadily preparing all players for a full contact experience in 6th grade. Additionally, coaches are provided with professional development opportunities to help them deepen and improve in their football knowledge and equip them to mentor the players they serve.

Game Types to include:

  • 1st and 2nd grade – Flag football
  • 3rd and 4th grade – Flag football with a prep for contact curriculum
  • 5th grade – Limited contact football using the Tackle Bar harness
  • 6th grade – Rookie tackle football

Professional Development Resources

  • Inside Out Coaching – becoming a transformational coach
  • Health and Safety training
  • Sample practice schedules and skill/technique drill libraries
  • Mental Health and social and emotional development training