Flag Football FAQ

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

Players must be between 5-7 years old by August 1st of the current year.

  • Striper Ruler – For safety reasons athletes who exceed specific age + weight requirements (noted below) are not allowed to throw, catch or run the ball, but instead will be trained as lineman.  These athletes will have a red stripe placed on their helmet, designating them as lineman.
    • 5-6 year olds weighing over 71 pounds 
    • 7 year olds weighing between 64-70 pounds
    • Any 7 year old weighing more than 70 pounds is ineligible to play flag football (but is welcome to join our 8U tackle team)
    • Regardless of weight, all 5-6 year olds are eligible to play flag football (i.e., there is no maximum weight)
    • Players will be weighed before the start of each game to ensure they meet the weight requirements.  Players must weigh in wearing the following equipment (socks, game pants with pads, and game jersey). Each week a half-pound is added to the weight limit to allow for athlete growth (i.e., the weight limit for week 2 is 71.5 pounds).

Panthers is a 100% volunteer run program.   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 
  • Event Planning
  • Fundraising

If you would like to get involved, please Contact Us.

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

  • Chain Gang (consists of 3 individuals to hold: two yard markers and the down marker)
  • Scoreboard
  • Announcer

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

If your athlete’s team is the last game of the day, parent volunteers 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, Bartlett, Park Ridge, Oswego and Geneva; for additional information and directions, please visit our BGYFL page.

The season typically starts the first week in August.  Teams will play either 8-9 games with 4-5 games being Home games and the remainder being away games.  Downers Grove typically hosts a Flag Bowl at the end of the season. There are no playoffs for Flag Football.

Flag Football practices three times per week until the start of the school year.  Practice typically begins the first week of August and runs Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at O’Neill Middle School (635 59th St., Downers Grove).  Once school starts, Flag Football will practice two days per week. You will be notified of practice days and location by your head coach.

Players should wear their helmets, a t-shirt, shorts, athletic supporter, mouth guard, and cleats to practice.  Please bring a large jug of water.


Panthers is a non-profit organization.  In addition to providing the following football equipment (see chart below) registration fees help cover league fees, uniforms, helmets, referees, park field usage costs including lights, insurance cost, and other equipment.Each athlete will also receive $100 in raffle tickets, paid as part of their registration fee.  Families keep all proceeds from raffle ticket sales.

The following equipment is required to play Flag Football:

  • Athletic/Protective Cup
  • Cleats
  • Socks

Many teams choose to contribute money towards team events / activities that occur throughout the season such as yard signs for homecoming, pink socks for Breast Cancer Awareness month, etc.  This will be communicated by either the Head Coach or Team Admin.

Athletes will be required to participate in one mandatory raffle ticket fundraiser totaling $100 which is included in the registration fee.  Families keep the proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets.  Completed raffle ticket stubs should be returned to the treasurer to be included in the drawing.

Refunds requested in writing before June 10th are eligible for a full refund of the registration fee paid (less the cost of raffle tickets and net of any discounts), provided all equipment and uniforms and are returned within two weeks of the refund request.

 Refunds requested in writing between June 11th and July 15th are eligible for a refund of up to 50% of the registration fee paid (less the cost of raffle tickets and net of any discounts), provided all equipment and uniforms and are returned within two weeks of the refund request.  Only those athletes whose registrations had been paid in full at the time of the refund request are eligible for a 50% refund.  Athletes whose registrations were not paid in full at the time of the refund request will receive a prorated refund (e.g., less than 50%). 

No refunds will be provided after July 15th for any reason, including injury.  There are no refunds for Panther pre-season camps for any reason (including injury or illness).

To request a refund, please send an email to Jen Larson at treasurer@pantherjrfootball.org 

After the first week of practice, Flag Football players will be divided into equal teams by the head coaches using a “draft” format.  Athletes do not get to choose which team they are on, or which head coach they play for.