Lake Zurich Flames Youth Football And Cheerleading
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TACKLE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.         

How old does my child have to be to play tackle football?  The Flames tackle football program requires that your child be 6 years old by August 1.

Where do I get equipment rental information?  All the equipment required to play tackle football is provided by the Flames. You will bring a $375.00 deposit check to equipment handout that will be returned/destroyed when your cleaned equipment is returned. We provide a helmet, shoulder pads, rib guards, knee pads, socks, practice and game pants, as well as your game jersey. You are responsible to purchase an athletic cup, girdle for under the pants, cleats, and a practice jersey. Moore Orthodontics typically donates one mouth guard per player, but you are welcome to buy your own or additional ones. 

What level will my child play?  Your child will be assigned a level based on three criteria:  Age, Weight, & Skill Level.
The Flames place the highest importance on your child's safety and ensuring the highest degree of success. While we all understand and appreciate the importance of playing with friends and schoolmates, the best football experience comes from playing safely and getting the best opportunities for each player's skill levels.  

What is the difference between Big 10 and Pac 10?  When we have levels with multiple teams, they will be split into Big 10 and Pac 10. All players are evaluated for the best fit. However, Big 10 players are typically experienced and more skilled. Pac 10 players are less experienced and more developing in their skills. The TCYFL does everything it can to make sure both experiences are competitive and appropraitely matched across communities. If a level only has one team, they are automatically in the Big 10 divison. Teams will be annouced on Monday, August 5th. 

What position will my child play?  During the second week of football conditioning/practice, coaches will evaluate the players to assign them to the appropriate team (Pac 10 or Big 10) and begin to make some determination of what positions they would be best suited to play. While many kids want to play a particular positon, they will have plenty of opportunities to play several positions and to learn to play the game of football. In the end, each position is critical to fielding a competitive team and the coaches will work to ensure each player is playing a position where they have the greatest chance to achieve both team and personal success and fun.

When is practice?  Practice will start Monday, July 22nd. We will practice 5 nights a week from 6:00-8:00pm until opening weekend.  After that, practice will go down to 3 nights a week until the end of October (early November depending on post season schedules). Practice scheduling is up to each individual head coach. Times might vary due to weather, daylight or scheduling issues for a coaches' real job. All our coaches are volunteers so we allow them flexibility in scheduling their practices. Please see the Pre-season 2024 tab for a more detailed summer practice schedule. 

When are games?  Opening weekend will be the weekend of August 24th/25th. We have a 9 week regular game schedule. Playoffs are the weekends of 10/26 and 11/2, with the Super Bowl Championship the weekend of 11/9. Games are played on Saturday OR Sundays depending on field availability. Game times can vary from week to week, especially when on the road. Due to the complexity of organizing and scheduling games, game day and times are typically announced a few weeks in advance.  Game times and locations will be communicated out by coaches and/or team managers. 

Also, plan for the Annual Huntley Scrimmage Fest on Saturday, August 17th. We will have all tackle teams participating. The actual schedule does not come out until closer to the event. 

Will we travel to games?  Yes. The Lake Zurich Flames are proud to be part of the TCYFL and its many towns. Depending on your schedule, you could travel to any of the participating TCYFL towns for away games. Click here for more information: http://tcyfl.net/playnow/

We have a family vacation planned for late July/August, how will this affect my child's playing time or evaluations?  Football takes a lot of preparation and practice to ensure the team is working together and make sure the players receive the proper physical and mental strength to help avoid injury. It is best if you can work your vacations around the football schedule, but we understand this cannot always happen so please work with your coach or level head on keeping them informed on any planned vacations during this time. Every tackle football player must complete a minimum of 6 hours of conditioning prior to wearing full pads and participating in any contact drills. If your vacation falls during the first week of football, your child will need to make up this conditioning. Teams are typically drafted after the first 2 weeks, so it is important your player is evaluated properly and put on the appropriate team. If you will be missing a portion of summer practice, please notify Regina Hope at reginahope@lzflames.org.

What is the appropriate age to begin tackle football?  If your child has interest in football, then now is the right time. The Flames welcomes 1st graders and 2nd graders to play tackle football at the Bantam level. A large majority of first time tackle participants begin in 3rd grade. The beginner youth tackle program (Bantam) is a very developmental and gentle start to the youth tackle experience. The beginner level of youth tackle football (Bantam) heavily emphasizes safety, proper technique and learning basic fundamentals of the sport. Many parents of children with various skills and abilities have found the Bantam level to be the perfect avenue to have their child get acclimated to tackle football. Parents and their athletes come away from the first time tackle experience (Bantam) feeling that the level of contact and the "intensity" of the game is acceptable and even less than they had initially anticipated. Parents have also reported that children learning proper technique and safety at a young age (8-9 yrs old) has given their kids an advantage and kept them safer as they progressed through the years in tackle football as opposed to beginning the tackle experience at an older age (11-12 yrs old). Please consider registering your athlete for tackle football at an earlier age (8-9 years old) as opposed to waiting until they reach middle school (11-12 years old).