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Tackle Football FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the Lincoln Youth Football Association (LYF)?
LYF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of tackle football skills for students in 3rd–8th grades who reside in the Lincoln High School boundaries.

What is the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League (TVYFL)?
TVYFL is the organization that coordinates the play between the 31 individual youth football associations in the Portland metro area. They provide the rules, the schedules and the officials for the approximately 200 teams and 6000 players. As a member, LYF agrees to follow the bylaws of TVYFL. For more information, see the TVYFL web site.

What is the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)?
The NFHS is the authoritative body for the rules used by the TVYFL. For more information, see the NFHS web site.

What is the time commitment for a player?
Football does require a time commitment. There are 8–10 hours of practice per week in August, shifting to approximately six hours per week after school after the fall semester begins. Games are always on Saturdays with regular season running through October and play-off/championship games typically in early November.

Who can participate?
Any child in grades 3 through 8 who lives in, or attends a public or private school in, the Lincoln High School district boundaries. If unsure, check the PPS website to see if your residence falls under our boundary.

What if I’m outside of Lincoln HS boundaries?
If you go to school or live in the Lincoln Boundary you can play with us. TVYFL teams are organized by the high school which you would normally attend. Please go to the TVYFL web site to find the contact information for the team that supports youth in your area.

Players who do not live in an area served by a TVYFL association are still eligible to play and are more than welcome at LYF!

If for some reason you do not wish to play for the association to which you would normally be assigned, contact your association president to learn more about your waiver and transfer options.

Can girls play?

I have a medical condition or disability. Can I still play?
Your doctor must sign your medical release, and you will need to contact our President to discuss your specific details and any concerns you might have.

Do I have to start playing in the 3rd grade?
No. We have successful first time players at every grade level, including 8th.

What rules are used by the 3rd and 4th grade players?

The 3rd/4th grade players use the newly launched Rookie Tackle Rules. Rookie Tackle is a bridge game between flag football and traditional 11-player tackle that introduces younger players to their  first experience with contact – including the skills of blocking and tackling. Learn more by reviewing the USA Football Rookie tackle guidelines, or see the detailed TVYFL rules we follow.


When do I sign up?
We will be accepting online early registrations May 1st through May 31st. Cost to register is $295. Late registration is offered June 1 - July 31st. Late registration is $325. There is a sibling discount of $15 per sibling. Check our Registration Page for all pertinent information and policies.

If you wish to sign up after registration is closed, please email

LYF reserves the right to close registration at any time, with no advance notice.

I missed the sign-ups. Is it too late to register?
No, players can still register after the official sign-ups but your child may be put on a waiting list. A $20 late fee will be charged.

What if my child doesn’t like football after the first practice? Can I get a refund?
Refunds are allowed through July 31st, minus a $50 administration fee. After that date, no refunds will be issued.

When do I turn in my Medical Form?
Medical forms and player contracts are required prior to equipment pickup. No form, No equipment. You can be fitted for your equipment and your equipment will be held for you until forms are turned in.

Does my Medical Release form need to be signed by a doctor?

Do I need a physical?
Check with your doctor. If your last physical was recent enough, they may not require another one before signing your Medical Release.


Why is the equipment handout “mandatory”?
Unlike other sports, the proper fit of football equipment is imperative for your child’s safety. At equipment handout your child will be fitted for a helmet and shoulder pads. He or she will also be issued game/practice pants, mouth guard, and chin strap. (socks and jerseys are issued in August)

What equipment is provided?
Almost everything you need to play: helmet, mouth guard, all needed pads, game jerseys, integrated pants, and socks. You will be able to keep at the end of the season the mouth guard, socks, and the game jersey (with your name on it).

What equipment do I have to provide?
Football cleats, Mouthguard

Optional: Practice pants, gloves, athletic supporters, and additional mouth guards.

If you have braces, please consult your orthodontist for proper mouth protection.

Where do I get the equipment you don’t provide?
Football cleats and other equipment can be purchased at any sporting goods store such as Dick’s and Bashors.

What if there is a problem with my equipment?
Contact your coach. Many problems can be corrected using the tools and supplies that each team has.

My helmet hurts, can I get a different one?
It is extremely common for your helmet to hurt your head for the first couple of weeks. They must be tight fitting in order to protect the head, and this tightness can result in some discomfort. Every effort will be made during equipment handout to ensure a correct fit. We recommend that once you get your equipment, you wear your helmet around the house, before practices start, in order to break it in. And remember, when you wear it, pull it all the way down, hard.

When and where do I get my issued equipment?
Equipment handout will be handled by Lincoln Youth Football. Please see the schedule for equipment handout dates/times. In order to pick up your equipment, you must have registered and paid in full and have your Medical Release form signed by your doctor, player contract signed and dated. If you don’t have your medical release, you can be fitted and your equipment will be held for you until your release form is signed.

What if I can’t make it to the equipment handouts?
You will need to contact your coach.

What kind of cleats do I need?
According to TVYFL rules:

  • Bylaw 6.12.2 - Shoes must be of the molded cleat or internally threaded shoes where no post is extending from the shoe (instead, the cleat post screws internally into the shoe). Maximum size of cleat is ½ inch (measured from tip of cleat to base of shoe. NO metal or metal-tipped cleats are allowed. Metal rivets in the sole of the shoe, even when part of the original manufacturer’s design, are also not allowed.

How do I take care of my equipment?

  • Jerseys and pants: Wash in warm water. Do not bleach. Air dry or use low heat in a dryer.
  • Shoulder and other pads: Wipe off with a clean, damp cloth. Allow to air dry.
  • Helmet: Hand wash off dirt and clean interior pads with clean, damp cloth. Allow to air-dry.


How are different grades grouped?
Players are assigned to one of four divisions based on their school grade level: 8th grade - Varsity, 7th and 8th grades - Junior Varsity, 5th and 6th grades, and 3rd and 4th grades
In certain circumstances, a player may play up a division if LYF feels that doing so is in the best interest of the player.

How are players assigned to teams?
On a selected night, the head coaches meet to select/draft the teams. TVYFL rules and LYF policy dictates that all teams be evenly matched across talent and skill levels, with no “stacked” or “developmental” teams, and no “core” or “continuing” teams. Each team in a division will have the same number of players of a given grade level.

Can I request a specific coach?

Can I request friends I want to be on a team with?
If your brother (or sister) is in the same division, you can request to be on the same team. This will be taken into consideration, but is not guaranteed.

How do I find out what team I will play for?
You will be contacted by your coach.

How are coaches picked?
Applicants for head coaching positions are reviewed and selected by the LYF Coaching Committee and approved by the LYF board. Assistant coaches are selected by the head coach, usually from among the parents of their players. All coaches are subject to a background check.

How many teams are there?
For the 2022 season, there was one 3/4 team, one 5/6 team, one 7/8 team.

Do I have to try out?
No. As long as your registration is complete and paid, and you are not on a waiting list, you will be placed on a team.


When do practices start?
Monday August 7th, 2023

How long are practices?
Most practices are approximately 2 hours long.

How many practices are there per week?
During the month of August there are 5 practices a week. During the school year, there are three practices per week. Currently, practices during school are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.

What if I have to miss a practice?
Talk to your coach. Your coach will spell out their expectations and policy for absences.

What about the vacation I have scheduled?
Please tell your coach as soon as you can. When possible, try to schedule around the football season, especially August. Keep in mind, players must have 10 hours of conditioning without pads before they can put their full gear on and start hitting drills.


How long are the games?
Parents and players should plan on being at the game for 3 hours. Most games last nearly two hours plus the additional hour before the game to warm up and weigh in.

If the game ends in a tie, time is available, and the officials allow, there may be a “Kansas Plan” tie breaker to determine the winner.

How many games are there?
The 3/4 and 5/6 divisions each play 8 scheduled games.

The 7/8 division teams play 8 scheduled games. Those in the top 4 of their TVYFL league will move on to two playoff games, and those two winners will play a championship game.

In cases of tied records, there may be a “Kansas Plan” playoff during the week between the end of the season and the start of the playoff games.

Where are games played?
Our home turf is the new Lincoln High School football stadium. Away games are typically held at the high school associated with the opposing youth team.

Why do I have to get to the game so early?
Players are expected to get to the game site at least an hour before game time. This ensures that there is adequate time to warm up and weigh in. Being late for warm ups can increase your chance of injuries, while being late for weigh in can cause you to be disqualified from the game.

How much playing time will I get in a game?
TVYFL has a minimum 10 play rule. Each player is guaranteed a minimum of 10 active plays per game, which typically equates to one quarter of the game on either offense or defense. LYF stresses that this is a minimum requirement, and urges our coaches to get everyone in the game as often as possible.

What position will I play?
Most players will play both on offense and defense. And most players will play several positions during the season. This is very prevalent in 3rd/4th grade teams. Your coaches will observe and work with you to find the best locations for you.

What rules are used?
In general, we use the High School Football rules as defined by the NFHS. There are several modifications to these rules adopted by the TVYFL.

Where can I find the current TVYFL bylaws?
You can find the TVYFL rules here.

What is the Kansas Plan rule?

According to TVYFL:

  • Title 10.2: Any regular season game ending in a tie will be decided through a modified Kansas Plan commencing immediately after the game, with no break after the fourth quarter. The offense will be decided by a coin flip. Each team is allowed one time out per series of downs. Play begins at the 10 yard line and continues until the first team on offense scores, or turns the ball over on downs. The ball is then turned over to the other team until their series of downs has taken place. Each team gets one possession without a time limit. If after the modified Kansas plan the score is tied, the game remains tied.

Conditioning Practice Week

What if I miss the conditioning practice week?
The biggest downside to missing this week is that you will not be allowed to practice in full gear for the first week of your team’s practice. You will not be allowed to take part in any contact (hitting) drills until you've completed 10 hours of conditioning drills.

What do I need to bring to the conditioning practices?
You will need to bring your helmet, mouth guard, shorts, t-shirt and water.

Sponsored by DICK'S Sporting Goods

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DICK'S Sporting Goods is a proud sponsor of Lincoln  Youth Football, including our Lineman of the Week awards.

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