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If you are interested in being a coach please contact any member of the IYFA board.

Lightweight vs. Heavyweight Teams

At their discretion, IYFA may choose to establish lightweight teams for middle school players years (specifically 7th and 8th grade), for the following reasons:

Safety.  The size differential that naturally occurs during middle school years does not determine the future height and weight of players.  Until each player hits their growth spurt, the weight and height difference between players poses a threat to smaller players’ safety, no matter the skill level of the player.  

Better game experience and competitive matchups.  Lightweight teams play against other lightweight teams, creating a more balanced and competitive game situation for all players.  

More equitable playtime.  Although coaches make every effort for equal playing time, players below a designated weight may not get as much playing time on an integrated team, especially when coaches are positioning players with safety in mind.  

Player development and better quality of future Irondale teams.  Many players who play on lightweight teams in middle school go on to become strong contributors to high school and college teams.  Their ability to contribute when they are older is highly influenced by the amount of playtime and diversity of game experiences that they get when playing youth football.  Allowing lightweight players the opportunity to contribute in all positions results in more skilled players when they are older.  
Parents and guardians, please stress to your player that the lightweight and heavyweight team categories do not in any way reflect the skill level of the players.  They will be used when the demographics of the middle school player pool requires it in order to create the best player experiences and make the strongest Irondale youth football program possible.