YSF offers a variety of state tournaments for Spring 8 on 8 tackle football, that takes place annually from Feb through May each year. The program provides 5 games over a 5 week regular season along with a 2-4 week post season playoff format (depending on the size of the state tournament). Every team goes to the 1st round of the playoffs.
Either individual coaches and/or youth football organizations can enter their a single or multiple set of teams into the tournament. Any number of teams can be entered in any number of the divisions. The tournament accepts youth football teams from all across the states, from all types of leagues and associations regardless of affiliation.
YSF tournaments are NOT run like a traditional fall league but rather a tournament that has a season like a league, i.e. we accept team participation from any type of team. Teams can enter the tournament under their own league names and/or different names.
YSF is an independently operated organization that is unaffiliated with any other leagues or programs, and has been in operation since 2008 and has multiple teams in each state.
YSF manages the entire process from team registration through to the championship. The following items are covered: The tournament operations and management, player liability and 2nd Tier accident insurance, game jerseys, player participation medals and winners trophies, game fields and locations, referees, game schedules, field set up, striping and operations, weigh in and certification processes and a state playoff and championship. In short the tournament provides for all operational aspects and the coach gets to bring his team and just play.
The tournament provides a small participation trophy for every player. Team District/Regional/Conference/State Championship teams and the runner ups will also receive team trophies.
Coaches/Organizations are required to register their players independently using the tournament registration forms, and then submit rosters and payments to the league by stipulated dates. Each team’s players will be certified at or before their first games.
All Games are played on Saturdays and the tournament is typically from Mid February through end April. The season dates are detailed on a slide on the front page of each states websites.
The regular season is made up of 5 games for each team. These games are all played on a Saturday over a period of 5 weeks. (All teams go to the 1st round of the playoffs, so teams a guaranteed a 6 game season) Teams could have bye weeks, double headers etc.
During the regular season you will play teams from your local region as well as teams from outside your region. All teams are required to travel outside of their region for ONE week of the season, and during that week you will play a double header. This is done deliberately to allow teams to have a fun trip away and play teams from outside their normal area.
With multiple teams travelling across the state for their one week, this allows for travel teams to be in all the regional markets each week and the local teams will get to play an additional game against a “foreign” team at home. The tournament is a State wide program.
Due to there being so many teams in the tournaments all teams cannot play every team in their division.
The tournament provides for a unique rule whereby EVERY team goes to the first round of the playoffs regardless of their record. The playoff format is a standard “top seed plays last seed” format, in a knock out process until the last team is standing. For the playoffs…teams play in their district first, followed by their regions, conference and then state.
Currently the state champions for GA, AL, TN and AL play each other to a final winner and the YSF provides an opportunity for a SE National Championship where the best team in Florida plays the winner of the GA, AL. TN and SC game.
One of the fun features of the tournament is the fact that you will play teams that are outside of your typical Fall program areas. You will also play teams from different leagues.
Each team participating is required to travel to another region for ONE of their regular season weeks to play a double header (called a “Foreign” Game) against outside region teams. Because all teams travel at least one week, on your travel week you will likely play teams from anywhere in your state as they will also be travelling on that day to the same field locations. (Example – a Ft Myers team would travel to the Tampa field location and MAY play teams from Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona etc.) The remainder of your games are played in your region.
YSF has multiple states running a spring tournament and we offer financial programs to help teams to travel to other states to play them for one of their games.
The first two weeks of Playoff games are typically played in your own region until such time as the regional and conference championships, where the home field advantage principle applies.
The YSF tournaments are exciting because each week is like a jamboree where multiple teams play at each field. Coaches can then watch multiple games from their opposing competition.
YSF has over 28 fields that it uses for the tournament. All fields in the tournament are leased and controlled by the YSF organization. Some fields may be the “home” fields of some of the teams that are participating in the tournament however during the season all fields are controlled by the YSF staff and certification personnel are employed and monitored by YSF in an entirely unbiased manner.
Each region will have a central field (MAIN FIELD) where most of the games for that conference area will be played. In addition the tournament has local fields (REGIONAL FIELDS) where some local games are played. (For example Ft Myers has a MAIN FIELD, however Venice might have a Regional field). In addition the tournament places some PILOT fields in areas where a team may be remotely positioned, and in this case one or two games will be played at those facilities. The tournament in general tries to limit the amount of travel required by teams and in most cases in each season the game fields will be positioned as best as possible in each regional area that is participating. Game fields change from year to year based on teams participating.
Please note: The tournament reserves the right to change field formats and locations based on the amount of teams that sign up in a given area.
Division allocation is determined by the “league age” of a child. A child’s “league age” is determined by whatever the child’s age was on July 31st, of the year previous to the year that the tournament is being played in. (Example if the tournament is being played in 2023 then the age is determined by July 31st, 2022. Yes that is 2022 – Therefore players likely play under the same ages as they did in their just previously ended fall season)
- YSF is an unlimited weight program. All players no matter their weight can participate in any of the tournaments.
Divisional Ages (All unlimited weight)
6U 5 & 6 yrs
8U 7 & 8 yrs
10U 9 & 10 yrs
11U 10 & 10 yrs
12U 11 & 12 yrs
14U 13 & 14 yrs
Note – Players may play in their designated divisions as well as up ONE division from their age group only. i.e. a 10 year old may play on 12U but NOT on 14U.
No there is no additional deposit over and above the players fees.
However, YSF requires a “schedule deposit” to be made 6 weeks prior to the start of the tournament to ensure a teams’ spot on the schedule. This schedule deposit is NOT an EXTRA amount, it is a PORTION of your players fees. If you are entering 1-2 teams the deposit is $800 per team, 3+ teams the deposit is $600 per team.
Coaches can achieve this deposit by; collecting a partial amount of each of their players fees, or they can pay this amount themselves and then refund themselves when the players start to pay their fees, or organizations can pay this deposit on behalf of their teams and then credit the organization back when players pay their fees.
YSF provides some Early Bird programs that are very worthwhile and can be used for both fundraising and scholarship opportunities for the clubs. For full details on Early Payment Programs CLICK HERE
The tournament does NOT require hard copy Team Folders, we run a very sophisticated “state of the art” software program called League Magic that handles all management and certification processes on line for the ease of our teams. If you are interested in using this sports management software program for your fall program Call Sandy Beckett 813 728 6747 email for information. League Magic Website
The certification process for the tournament is fairly stringent to ensure fairness on all sides of the state. Individual teams may require some of their own additional forms for registration, however the following items are required by the tournament and needed for entry into the League Magic program. For a more detailed explanation of the Certification Process Click Here
- An Original Birth Certificate AND Student ID (or other ID) must be shown to certify the players. These originals are then returned to the players following player certification.
- Registration Fee
- A player photograph that is uploaded to the player page on League Magic System
- Medical Waiver Form – This is retained by the tournament Certification team at the players certification date (This document can be signed online by going to the Documents Library)
- Liability Release Form – This is retained by the tournament Certification team at the players certification date (This document can be signed online by going to the Documents Library)
- The tournament provides a Player Application Form to assist coaches. (This form is not a requirement)
Generally the way in which clubs that are restricted by “no pre-season practicing” overcome this issue is by entering the tournament under a different club name. The season for most of the State tournaments ends by May 1st, and typically youth fall programs only start spring training by July, and High School practices only beginning by May 1st. Many teams that already participate in the tournaments are affiliated with other programs during the fall, and in many cases these teams play under a different name. Many organizations will allow coaches running teams in the tournament to lease their equipment from their fall program for a fee, and thereby generate a fund raising opportunity for the fall programs.
Some organizations that are restricted from violations to their fall program charters and/or by-laws will simply run two different programs through their same organizations, one for the fall and one for the spring.
If you have any questions on this process please call Sandy Beckett on 813-728-6747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are no practice limitations for the tournament. While coaches of teams may practice as much (or as little) as they like in advance, the YSF insurance policy only cover teams from the first formal practice of the season which is JANUARY 15th each season. Practices prior to this date are not covered under the liability/accident insurance for the League.
The tournament does not provide equipment, in most cases teams borrow or lease their fall program’s equipment.
Teams can use their own game jerseys. However YSF also provides two choices for jerseys. A basic single color ($15 each) or custom made game jersey if needed. META Sports Gear is the official uniform equipment company of YSF Group and we can provide fully customizable uniforms for teams that wish to purchase these. Call Chris Smith 863 241 1861 email for information. META Sports Gear Website
Coaches and Teams are responsible for the printing of their own jersey numbers if they chose the basic jersey option. Players MUST have a number on their jerseys to participate. (Player names can be placed on jerseys, however this is NOT mandatory.) Players must remain in their same jersey number from the week 3 scheduled games to the end of the season. Teams are required to provide the remainder of the players football equipment requirements through their own clubs or by other means. Many teams arrange a lease type program where the spring football players lease their equipment for a small fee from the fall program, or clubs in some cases charge a small additional fee on top of the tournament fees to pay for equipment usage.
Once a state tournament becomes large enough YSF offers both a competitive and regular program.
The Florida tournament currently has a regular (Division 2) and Competitive (Division 1) tournament. Teams can choose to enter either one. While this program is an 8 on 8 tackle football, the games in both tournaments are full contact football. There are some rule differences from regular 11 on 11 football, but in general the games are the same as regular season football competitions.
Additionally following the regular season games some of the D2 tournament teams are relegated to a D3 round robin playoffs. However the D3 playoffs ends at the Conference level and does NOT advance to the State Championships. D1 and D2 teams go at the State.
To review the rules Click Here
All games are played on Saturdays typically starting with the younger divisions and ending with the older divisions. As a general guideline games start around 10am and are played through to 8pm with the younger division starting early.
Each team is advised to have a maximum of twenty two to twenty four players on their roster, however there are no rules governing a roster size.
There are no minimum player play rules or minimum/maximum practice rules.
Practice times and locations are determined by the coaches of each team. There are NO limitations to the number of practices allowed. However typically squads will practice 1 – 2 times per week from 6.30pm – 8.30pm, and begin practice approximately 4 – 6 weeks prior to the start of the season.
To see full documentation on the Certification process Click Here
While the tournament does have a slightly different approach to certifications and check ins from other leagues because we run a sophisticated total on line sysytem, we are extremely strict on our certification requirements. Original birth certificates and player/parents ID’s are a requirement. Teams will be checked in every week against the players documentation to ensure only certified players are playing in the games. For full certification process rules Click Here.
The rules for 8 on 8 are essentially the same as regular football, in terms of the basic game and penalties etc. For a full set of rules please Click here. For a simplified set of rules of differences Click Here. However the following basic differences apply:
The game is played with 8 on 8 players on the field.
There are two 22 minute halves with a continuous clock.
Only 3 referees in the game during the regular season and 1st 2 rounds of the playoffs (depending on divisions).
There are no field goals, punting or kick offs.
The field size is 80 yards by 40 yards.
Each team is allowed two, thirty second timeouts per game. Any unused timeouts can carry over to the second half.
There is a mandatory two minute warning at the end of each half, with all privileges of a time out for both teams.
There are slight differences in the offensive and defensive minimum and maximum lineman rules
YSF allows each of the coaches/organizations to determine their own team names. However we discourage the use of NFL team names without regional or geographic additions (i.e. “Atlanta Falcons” would discouraged but “Meadow creek Falcons” is fine). The tournament will assign a code to each team for the purposes of game schedules. In cases where individual leagues do not allow teams to play in the Spring program with the same name as their Fall program league names, teams are advised to change their names accordingly.
Many teams operate their fall and spring programs as seperate entities, in order to avoid the challenge of breaking “pre-season” practice by-laws. Currently the tournament has teams from just about every association or affiliation.
Depending on the length of time that your particular state’s tournament has been in operation will determine the amount of teams that will be in each geographic area. The density of teams varies by state
The Florida Tournament has over 220 teams and has been in operation since 2008 therefore has multiple teams in every county. Georgia and Alabama has operated since 2016-17 season. Tennessee and South Carolina are newer tournaments.
However if your child is interested in joining a team in your area you can fill out the contact form on the YSF website filling in the “I am a parent” section and you will receive an email instructing you how that state tournament handles “parents looking for a team”. Click Here
Yes we do. Click Here for this document. This document describes the entire responsibility of coaches for running and managing a team, as well as all the requirements for all paperwork and certifications, including all the forms necessary.
There will be no player additions to a team’s roster after the start of the third week of games of the regular season.
No additional teams can be added up to and including midnight three weeks prior to the first game of the season. This is to assist in the scheduling process.
The final schedule will be provided to all coaches two weeks prior to the first regular season game and posted into the Team Management Console on all coaches pages.
The tournament receives emails through our web site, from individual players wanting to participate. These players can be allocated to teams (who have openings) in their geographic area. If you have a team and have some openings you can call Sandy Beckett on 813 728 6747 and we will allocate some players to your team. It is our experience that if you have a core set of players you will find additional players wanting to join your team fairly quickly as you practice. Also with the advent of social network programs kids get the word out fairly quickly.
Yes all games in all conferences are officiated by certified referees that are registered to the YSF managed referee association. For info on YSF Referees
These referees are provided, paid for and scheduled by the tournament. Teams in all locations play under the same rules as each other to ensure a non biased state championship driven competition. Coaches and organizations who participate in the tournament play in a “worry free” environment. Teams do not have to worry about the organization of referees, fields, trophies, jerseys, management of games etc. The league handles all this for the teams.
Yes. Organizations/Coaches can enter as many or as few teams as they wish. Many organizations enter the tournament with a team from each of their Fall program age divisions, and due to the limited size of teams on 8 on 8, some enter more than one team in each division.
Note – There are 2 concurrent “competitive” and “regular” tournaments in the Florida tournament. In Florida some organizations enter teams in each one. In the event that an organization has too many players the league recommends that organizations split the teams into a competitive and a regular team. Organizations that have “split their talent” between two teams have typically not fared well in the competitive program.
If you enter multiple teams from one organization these two teams will not play each other during the regular season, unless you wish them to do so and all a given organizations teams will ALWAYS play at the same facilities. Some coaches that participate are not associated with any organization and simply enter the tournament as independent coaches. For help on this please call Sandy Beckett on 813-728-6747 or email@example.com.
If you are concerned about violating your organizations charter by using their same name, you can simply change the name that your organization participates under and therefore not violate any of your organizational by-laws.
There is absolutely no cost to a coach or organization for entering a team/s. The only costs that are applicable are the registration fees for each player registered from your team/organization.
Due to the costs of the tournament and the length of time the tournament has been operating the fees charged for the tournament vary by the state.
State Tournaments fees vary depending on the state. However the costs are approximately between $120-$170 per player. Total team costs would be Cost of Fees x Total players on team. Contact your state tournament to determine accurate yearly costs.
The league provides a “Coaches What to Do” packet of information that explains the entire coaches responsibility for entering a team. The league provides and pays for the following items, out of the fees paid: Liability Insurance, Small Participation trophies and Winners Trophies, Game Fields, Referees, Game Schedules, Field Set up and Operations, Play-off Schedules, State Championship Event.
YSF provides all teams that participate in the tournament an Accident and Liability Insurance coverage.
The Liability coverage is a basic protection for the organizations and teams participating against a lawsuit for negligence of a variety of types. This liability essentially covers players, fans, coaches, organizations and board members associated with the liability coverage. We provide a field coverage insurance liability waiver certificate (often called an “Additional Insured Certificate”) for practice facilities used during the season by participating organizations. Please email if this certificate is needed for your group to practice at a given facility.
The Accident coverage provides for accident insurance for limited injuries sustained by players and coaches in the normal course of any game within the tournament purview. This is a standard youth football 2nd Tier accident coverage program. Therefore the players/coaches personal insurance will be the primary and the YSF accident coverage will pick up any medical costs unpaid by the personal insurance coverage, following the necessary deductible criteria. If a player does not have their own family medical insurance coverage then the players MUST take on all accident liability themselves, YSF will not be able to cover that player under their accident policy. The Accident policy requires a family health insurance plan to be the primary coverage. Please note the coverage provides a 2nd tier accident program and should not be relied on as a source of health coverage. For any further clarifications please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Players are required to sign an LIABILITY RELEASE FORM as well as a MEDICAL RELEASE FORM form to participate; The Liability Release is a form required by the YSF insurance companies that ensures parents and participants are aware of the dangers associated with football, and in turn protecting the league from unreasonable law suits. The Medical Release is a document that parents sign to release the league and their representatives to take an injured player to a medical facility in the rare event of a football related accident, and as the pre-requisite to ensuring a primary coverage health policy is in place.
Please Note: Football is a dangerous sport and the league protects itself under a liability release form that disallows themselves from any lawsuit activity. Parents participating in the tournament MUST understand that the league will provide a variety of safety measures and guidelines to protect their participants in whatever way they can, but the inherent activity of contact football is aggressive and dangerous in format and should be undertaken with this view in mind.
Please Click Here for a brochure.
YSF does NOT have a system whereby Regional or State Directors oversee, control or manage regions. The tournament is based upon coaches entering their individual teams into the tournament, managing the rules and paperwork requirements themselves and competing under fair and equitable rules. Some organizations may manage their teams as a whole and then have one individual representing the organization dealing with YSF management. However this is NOT required.
To request any information on your state tournament Click Here
YSF currently provides 2 types of tournaments that have the exact same benefits and programs in the Florida Tournament only. All other state tournaments do NOT have D2
Division 1 – The Division 1 tournament has a 5 game regular season over 5 weeks, followed by a 4 week playoff schedule through to a State Championship. Every team that enters the tournament makes it to the 1st round of the playoffs. This is done deliberately as we have 100’s of teams and cannot guarantee teams strength of schedules. The D1 playoffs is a knock out tournament, with teams playing in their own conferences initially (East and West) until a Conference Champion is crowned (East Coast Champion & West Coast Champion). The State Championship is between the East Coast Conference Champion and the West coast Conference Champion. The playoff format is typical. i.e. Regular season determines seeds, and the top seed plays the bottom seed, second top plays second bottom etc.
Division 2 – The Division 2 tournament has a 5 game regular season over 5 weeks, followed by a 4 week playoff schedule through to a State Championship. Every team that enters the tournament makes it to the 1st round of the playoffs. This is done deliberately as we have 100’s of teams and cannot guarantee teams strength of schedules. The D2 playoffs is a knock out tournament, with teams playing in their own conferences initially (East and West) until a Conference Champion is crowned (East Coast Champion & West Coast Champion). The State Championship is between the East Coast Conference Champion and the West coast Conference Champion. The playoff format is typical. i.e. Regular season determines seeds, and the top seed plays the bottom seed, second top plays second bottom etc.
The D2 playoffs teams that may have faired poorly over the regular season are provided the option to enter the D3 Post Season Bowl tournament to end their season competing with more like quality teams. Please note: There is no D2 tournament for 6U or 15U.
Some organizations have a ruling that does not allow their teams to practice in the off season, or that teams may not use patches (POP Warner) or teams may not participate in programs outside of their leagues. While YSF does not deliberately go out of their way to encourage teams to break their fall program association rules, most organizations simply either change the team name under which they participate in the spring tournament and/or have a lease agreement by which the spring program players pay a lease fee to rent their organizations equipment. Many teams even operate an entirely different sub-division of their league organization that runs their spring programs. Thereby having a fall and spring football program. We do not stipulate what a given team or set of teams calls themselves. Some programs name each of their spring teams with a different name. YSF is generic to fall programs. Multiple different fall associations and leagues participate in the tournament.
Yes. Your organization can charge your players that are participating on your teams whatever fees you like in order to participate. Due to the costs of the tournament and the length of time the tournament has been operating the fees charged for the tournament vary by the state. States that have a newer tournament may have slight differences of what they offer that makes pricing vary.
Many organizations charge their players more adding a fee for the lease of their equipment to their spring program players and/or some additional fees to cover for admin/travel, fundraising expenses etc. The specified fee is payable to the YSF organization based on their payment guidelines. Organizations entering multiple teams may collect the fees internally and then pay YSF as a whole or have parents /coaches handle their players/teams individually.
State Tournament Fees vary between $120 – 160 per player. Fees are player based, and calculated based on the number of players on your team x the fees.
The Cheerleading Program runs concurrent to the football tournament. This cheer program is a little different from the standard fall programs. For Info on Cheer Program
Click Here to read the Cheer Program Frequently asked questions
Click Here to read the Cheer Coaches What to Do Document
The tournament does not provide equipment, in most cases teams borrow or lease their fall program’s equipment.