American Youth Football
American Youth Football (AYF), established in 1996, is an international organization that promotes the development of youth through their association with adult leaders in American football. Rules and regulations ensure players are in a safe environment with a competitive balance between teams. The National Football League (NFL) has made AYF a national youth football partner. The President of American Youth Football is Joe Galat.
AYF allows local members to govern themselves while remaining non-intrusive. AYF has reached all 50 United States and six countries with more than 500,000 participants. AYF admits participants regardless of financial capabilities. AYF programs range from financial grants to leagues which need help, shoes sponsored by Nike, field development in conjunction with FieldTurf, and Rising Stars football camps which send inner-city kids.
Similar to other national youth football programs, American Youth Football requires its participants to perform adequately in the classroom before permitting them to play. Proof of satisfactory progress in school is required. American Youth Football participants who are high achievers in the classroom are eligible for special awards and scholarships.
With his time spent coaching and managing professional and college football teams, Galat volunteered some of his time to attend youth football league functions. When he became president of American Youth Football, Galat’s strategy was to change the rules and traditions of the game creating unlimited weight divisions, and restrict older children from playing younger children. Former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss is a spokesperson for AYF. He has established a non-profit organization to help needy youth football programs buy new uniforms and equipment.
Other former NFL players involved with American Youth Football include Tedy Bruschi, Adam Archuleta, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and Braylon Edwards, in addition to NFL coach Pete Carroll and TV personality and former NFL player Cris Collinsworth.
There are nine AYF regions:
- New England
- Desert Pacific
- Mountain Northwest
- Central Midwest
American tackle football is currently being played in Israel. For the first time, in 2007, Israeli players and teams played American football in a competitive league known as the IFL (Israeli Football League). The teams are in Jerusalem (stadium is named the Kraft Family Stadium after Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner), Petah Tikva, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba and The Sharon. American Youth Football has donated equipment. A rare view to one of an Israeli pee-wee team's training – The Na'an Partizans, under the leadership of the head-coach Erez Lustig.
- NFLHS.COM - Youth Football Fund: How the NFL Can Help
- AYF - American Youth Football & Cheer
- Rising Stars Football Camp Archived July 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Randy Moss teams up with American Youth Football
- Milestones, superlatives keep coming Moss’ way | New England Patriots | projo.com | The Providence Journal
- IFL - Kraf Family Israel Football League
- American Football in Israel Archived November 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.