Tackle Football FAQ

Following are frequently asked questions about tackle football. For more information, please contact the VP of Football.

Players must be between 7-14 years old by August 1st of the current year. Players are placed on a team based on age, weight, and ability.

  • Striper Ruler – For safety reasons and to promote proper fundamental and developmental skills, players weighing over the following criteria will have a stripe on their helmet.  This means that a player with a stripe will play between the tackle and will not carry the ball.
  • Players must weigh in each week before a game, wearing a minimum of socks, underwear, athletic supporter, game pants with knee pads, and game jersey. All players are allowed half a pound per week for growth allowance.

Panthers is a 100% volunteer run program.   Depending on your level of comfort, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.  You can help at any of the following levels:

  • Board Member
  • Head Coach
  • Assistant Coach
  • Team Admin
  • Spirit Wear Sales Committee
  • Event Planning Committee

If you would like to get your feet wet, please Contact Us.

Additionally, each team will be required to provide the following at each Home Game:

  • Chain Gang (consists of 3 individuals with the best seats to watch the game)
  • Scoreboard Keeper
  • Announcer

If your child’s team is the first game of the day, parent assistance will be needed to help setup the field.

If your child’s team is the last game of the day, parent assistance will be needed to help take down the field and put the equipment away.

The Panthers play regular season games against teams affiliated with the Bill George Football League.  Some of the towns include Lombard, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Bartlett, Elk Grove, and West Chicago; for additional information and directions,  please visit our BGYFL page.

The season typically starts the first Monday in August of the current year.   Teams will play either 8-9 games with 4/5 games being Home games and the remainder being away.  Our 8U team will compete in a Bowl Game at the end of the season. The remaining teams based on their records may have an opportunity to participate in the playoffs which conclude with a Superbowl that is typically held in early Nov.

Practice typically begin the first week of August and run Monday-Friday until school starts.  These practices are held at O’Neill Middle School (635 59th St., Downers Grove) from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM.  

Players should wear their helmets, a t-shirt, shorts, athletic supporter, mouth guard, and cleats for the first few days of practice.  Afterwards, they will need to wear their helmets, mouth guard, rib vest, shoulder pads, practice jersey, athletic supporter, practice pants, and cleats.  Please bring a large jug of water.  Insect repellent is also recommended.

Once school starts, practice moves to three days per week. You will be notified of practice days and location by your head coach.

Tackle football players are placed on a team based primarily on age, weight, and ability.  Our current levels are 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, JV, and Varsity. The Bill George Youth Football League, of which we are a member, has three divisions – Gold D1, Gold D2, and Silver. Teams may be split based on the number of players per level, at which time they will go through an evaluation process.  This process and the assignment of each player to a specific team will be dependent upon a variety of factors, including athletic and football ability, experience, and the needs of each team.  The decisions will be made by the coaches at their specific levels and are deemed final. We cannot honor any requests for a certain coach or teammate.

Panthers is a non-profit organization.  In addition to providing the following football equipment as demonstrated in the chart below, registration help cover league fees, administrative costs, park field usage costs including lights, insurance cost, and allow us to replace older football equipment on a rotating basis.

Aside from having to purchase the following mandatory items:

  • Athletic/Protective Cup
  • Cleats
  • Socks

Many teams will contribute money towards team centric events that occur throughout the season such as yard signs for homecoming, goodie bags for the cheerleaders during homecoming week, pink socks for Breast Cancer Awareness month, etc.  This will be communicated by either the Head Coach or Team Admin.

In order to keep registration costs down, players will be required to sell ONE mandatory fundraiser which is distributed during one of our Walk In Registrations.  They will have until equipment pickup to turn in the fundraiser at that time.  Players will not be allowed to pick up their equipment until their fundraiser is turned in.

Refunds requested before football equipment has been issued will be refunded the paid registration fee, minus $35, and minus any discounts given at the time of registration.  For refunds requested after football equipment has been issued, 50% of the paid registration fee will be refunded upon return of all equipment. 

**No requests for registration fee refunds will be accepted after the second Monday in August for any reason.  There are no refunds for the Panthers pre-season camp.**