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Frequently Asked Questions

SYFA Flag-Specific FAQ

When does flag football registration start?
Registration starts on April 15th every year.
Can my child play up a level?
We highly encourage you to play your child at their grade level. We have found over the years that at this age most children may want to play with his/her friends. To play up a level does require SYFA board approval.
Can girls play?
Absolutely! In fact some of our best athletes at the youth levels have been girls. If they enjoy football and want to try it, flag football is a great introduction for both boys and girls. Did you ever play coed flag football in high school or college?
What equipment do I need to purchase?
A non-clear mouth guard  is required for all practices and games. An athletic cup and cleats are highly recommended. Players get to get to keep their game jersey!!!
Can I coach? How do I sign up?
Volunteer coaches are critical to the continued success of SYFA and development of future leaders. You can register by following this link 
How are teams formed?
Teams are formed based on a “mini” evaluation lead by SYFA Coach’s and Board Members
Can I request a certain coach or be on same team with a friend?
SYFA’s priority with team selection is always parity - to form balanced teams and promote a competitive, level playing field for all teams. We understand issues such as carpooling, so you may make special requests and we will do our best to honor them, BUT not at the expense of teams’ imbalance.
What is the schedule for the season?
Schedules will be posted in early August for all levels on the Schedules page on our website. Typically, this is the general schedule:
1ST GRADE FLAG - Saturdays 9:00 AM (also Mondays 6:00 PM in August only).
2ND GRADE FLAG - Saturdays 10:30 AM (also Tuesdays 6:00 PM in August only).
3RD GRADE FLAG - Saturdays 12:00 PM (also Thursdays 6:00 PM in August only).
First game is on updated the calendar.
The season runs up to the Saturday before the MEA break, which is typically mid-October. This gives us a 10-week season most years.
How long are practices and games? Who do we play?
90 minutes are allocated for a combination of team practice and game. In August, this could be a full two hours. Until the first game, the time is for practice and possibly a few scrimmages. Once games start, typically teams will practice 30 minutes before each game. Each game will consist of 60 minutes running time with a 5 minute half time. Each team will have equal possessions during each half. This is to account for some teams slow huddle time. Games are played between teams in the same grade level. This is in-house, so all games are with other SYFA teams.
Where are games and practices held?
Currently, most if not all games and practices are held at Tahpah Park on fields 5-8. Depending on the number of teams, we may need to schedule events at 17th Avenue Fields, Pearson Elementary School fields and possibly at the Community Center, especially for those August Monday night practices. Locations will be shown on the season schedule.
Where are the rules, by-laws?
Flag football playing rules and the SYFA by-laws, as well as much more information on the program, are posted on the website at
What should they learn at the flag football level?
The intention of flag football is to develop players’ football skills, rules, terminology and positions without contact. The no-contact rule will be strictly enforced. This is a development / instructional league with a secondary emphasis on competition. The goal is to provide players with coordination skills and the understanding of the game before the contact element of football is introduced.
Can my child participate in the beef jerky fundraiser?
Yes! We ask all levels of SYFA to help raise money to keep the program affordable for all. Participation in the fundraiser is optional for all, but it is fun and easy for the kids to sell, and we offer some great prizes to individuals and teams that do participate!
Am I required to do volunteer hours?
At this time, we do NOT require volunteer hours from participant families.

SYFA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): During & Post Season

Where are events (practices and games) held?


Most events are held at Tahpah Park (see maps on the website for more info) and 17th Ave. Sports Complex. Some teams may wish to practice on fields at other locations. These must be cleared with the board first so we can communicate this to the city for availability and painting field lines. The vast majority of games are played at Tahpah Park.


Some Saturday travel level games will be played at the Shakopee Middle School and some Saturday flag games will be played at either Pearson Elementary or another location determined prior to the season. 


When are practices and games?


Team practices begin the Monday or Tuesday following the player draft, depending on grade level. Your coach should contact you regarding the first practice date, time, and location.


Tackle games will begin in late August. Flag games usually start up in late August. We try to schedule 6-8 games for the tackle levels and as many flag games as the schedule will permit. Saturdays are always games after Labor Day. To fit in 6 tackle games, some night games are required in addition to the Saturday mornings. 


The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade travel teams will play other communities in the South Suburban Youth Football League (SSYFL) - Bloomington, Farmington, Lakeville South, Lakeville North, Burnsville, and Eagan. They will play approximately 9 regular season games in this league plus a possible playoff week prior to MEA. This is a travel league, so about half of the games are at home and half played away in other surrounding communities. 6th-8th grade games normally begin after Labor Day and are held on Tuesday nights at 6:00PM or 7:30PM and Saturdays, usually between 9:00AM and 3:00PM.


How long is the season?


All levels' season generally begins the second week in August. The flag seasons runs up to the weekend prior to MEA.  The in-house 4th and 5th grade tackle seasons will usually end the weekend following the first week back from MEA break (i.e. two weeks longer than the flag season, but games and practices are not scheduled during MEA break) Playoffs begin following MEA. The traveling levels’ season will run about the same length as in-house tackle.


Are there practices or games during MEA week?


No. Coaches may schedule extra optional practices during MEA.


When will team and individual photos be taken?


Photo night is normally scheduled for the first Wednesday and Thursday after Labor Day, with teams scheduled for one of the two nights. A photo schedule will be posted on the website by mid-August. Team panoramic photos will be taken for all tackle and travel levels, 4th – 8th grades.


Are physicals required to play SYFA?


A physical is not required but it IS recommended.


My child’s helmet seems so tight and he complains of headaches after he takes it off. Is his helmet too small?


It is normal for a football helmet to have a tight fit. A loose helmet can be unsafe and can make it easier to sustain a concussion or other injuries. (NOTE that helmets are not designed to prevent concussions, but to reduce the chances of sustaining a fracture). Our coaches do a great job of properly fitting helmets during equipment checkout. If you have concerns, you should ask your coach to see what he thinks, but you may want to give the helmet fit a week. If your child is still having issues after a week, please see your coach.


What is the equipment return process?


A week after the Saber Bowl championship game, we will schedule a time for all parents to return equipment to the football equipment bay behind Schleper Stadium at Tahpah Park. Families must clean the equipment before returning it! – remove pant pads, wash all pants, spray the helmet inside and shoulder pads with Lysol, and try to clean the outside surface of the helmet, including all decals. Game jerseys are yours to keep. Note that travel players can keep the one jersey they were told they could keep at the start of the season.


Do coaches get paid?


No, all SYFA coaches grades 1st-8th and board members are unpaid volunteers.


Do coaches get training?


We hold a coach’s clinic in late July for all registered coaches. This clinic is put on by the board and includes an overview of SYFA’s philosophy, a review of our rules, positional skills and drills, practice planning tips, sample playbooks, and a talk with the head official and possibly EMT personnel. All coaches must agree to have a complete background screening done and must take training on identifying and understanding head injuries such as concussions.


How can I help out? Coaching, grade commissioner, board member, team manager, assist with events, etc


Shakopee Youth Football is always looking for volunteers. The more volunteers we have, the less overall work for everyone involved and the more beneficial it is to the program. You will find that the more involved you are with the program, the more your son or daughter will get out of it, plus you will get more enjoyment out of it!


We have a number of areas that could use volunteer help. Everything from head or assistant coaching to being a grade commissioner, being team manager (helps out with team things in the background, manages the team's website page, etc), assisting with association fundraising or event planning, and even becoming a board member. If you are interested, please contact a board member or email us via the Board/Booster page on this website.


How can my business be a sponsor of Shakopee youth football?


Businesses can sponsor a team and get their company name on jerseys! Be a website sponsor and have your company logo/name listed on every page of our website. You can donate goods for Jamboree prizes. You can even sponsor specific equipment purchases such as new helmets or pads.


Please see the SYFA Sponsors tab at the top of this page for more information on how you can help grow Shakopee football and get your business name out in front of hundreds of local families.


When is SYFA's Annual Meeting?




We hold our annual meeting around the second Wednesday in December, where board members are nominated and elected, the season is reviewed, and feedback is taken from association members. Location is Turtles' conference center in downtown Shakopee. See the SYFA By-Laws for more information on the administrative side of SYFA. Association members (all participating families) are welcome to attend any SYFA board meeting and are encouraged to at least attend the annual meeting.



SYFA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I register?

Registration is done online via our website. A link to the registration will be provided on our home page under the Registration link on the left side. An email account is required to register online and payment is made by credit card. Tip: Most public libraries offer free internet access to complete the registration if you do not have internet access from home.

 What is the participation fee?

Like many youth sports associations, SYFA is a non-profit organization and tries it's best to keep registration costs low. Fees cover officials, field costs from the city and equipment.

The fees are as follows:

All flag levels:     $110.

3rd/4th grade tackle: $200

5th-8th grade tackle: $275

Why is registration so early when the season starts in August?

We need to finalize our numbers well in advance of the season so that jerseys and equipment can be ordered in time for games etc.

Can I still sign my child up to play after the deadline ?

Yes, jersey sizes and equipment may be limited.

Is there a formal refund policy?

Yes, per our By-laws: A registered player who decides to or cannot participate and notifies the SYFA prior to August 1st will receive a full refund of their registration fee, less a $15 processing fee. A player who must drop out of the program during the month of August due to injury will also receive a full refund, less a $15 processing fee. All SYFA equipment must be returned prior to a refund being issued.

Special circumstances may arise during August that can be reviewed by the SYFA board for a possible refund. No full or partial refunds will be issued after August 31st.

Any refund will be less a $15 processing fee.

Can I request my child play on a particular team?

SYFA’s priority with team selection is always parity - to form balanced teams and promote a competitive, level playing field for all teams. We understand issues such as carpooling, so you may make special requests and we will do our best to honor them, BUT not at the expense of teams’ imbalance.

Do I need to purchase any equipment?

SYFA supplies all tackle players with a helmet, shoulder pads, football pants, and pant pads. Please keep this equipment in good condition as it is the property of Shakopee Youth Football on loan to you. Be sure to regularly wash the pants, removing pant pads beforehand (exceptions are the Nike integrated pants).

Cleats are highly suggested. Football, baseball, or soccer cleats should work. Metal cleats or spikes are not allowed! The association operates a Cleat Exchange where we have a limited number of used cleats at the equipment bay. We will have this out for the Gear Days. Please make use of this option if you have a need for cleats. There is no charge for the cleats. Also, if you would like to donate a pair of cleats, please drop them off at Gear Day.

Players should also always wear an athletic supporter/cup and a mouthguard. We do not sell cups, but mouthguards will be for sale at all Gear Days. We have the basic black mouthguard for $1 and may stock Shock Doctor red mouthguards for $10.

Pants at the 7th and 8th grade levels do not have snaps to attach the pant pads, similar to the school program in grades 9-12. Therefore, a football girdle is necessary and must be purchased separately. You can find a football girdle at the following sporting goods stores: Dick’s, Amazon, or Valley Sports.

Game jerseys are supplied by SYFA. In-House tackle and flag levels: you may keep the game jersey following the season. Travel levels: you may keep the ONE jersey that the association designates as the keeper jersey for that year. All other association equipment must be returned in clean, working condition following the season.

Game jerseys should not be used for practice, especially at the travel levels. SYFA recommends that players use game jerseys for a previous year if possible or purchase a practice jersey from Dicks. SYFA may have a limited number of practice jerseys that can be purchased at Gear Day.

Is there an equipment deposit?

Yes, there is a $300 equipment deposit that you need to submit before you can pickup equipment. Please plan to bring a check for this amount when you come to Gear Day. We will NOT cash the check, but rather hold it until the equipment is turned in. At that time, the check will be destroyed or returned to you if you request.

When and where is equipment pickup?

Two (2) dates are set aside for Gear Days (equipment pickup for tackle levels 4th-8th grades).  Equipment pickup will be held Shakopee Engineering building (500 Gorman St., across the street from the Shakopee Police Department). See the SYFA News & Info page on the website for more details on specific dates and times per level.

Does my child need to be present for Gear Day?

Yes, to ensure a proper fit, each player must be present.

We will miss all Gear Days. Is there another time we can get equipment?

Please make EVERY effort to make one of the Gear Days. If you cannot make either of the two dates/times, you will need to email to potentially arrange a time to pick up equipment. There are NO guarantees on being able to coordinate a time/date based on the Equipment Directors schedule. Any requests will need to be after the initial Gear Day, as we will not be set up before then.

When are player evaluations?

Travel level evaluations will be held at the high school football practice field behind the Shakopee High School. Player should dress in full pads for tackle level evals.

In-house tackle evals - {See Calendar}. Players should dress in full pads for tackle level evals.

Flag and In-House level evaluations will be held at Tahpah's Main Field.

For all flag levels, they will be held on {see calendar} at Tahpah's Main Field (far southeast corner of Tahpah Park - see our website's Maps page). Players should dress in cleats and shorts, as teams can hold a short practice following evals.

See the At-A-Glance calendar on the SYFA Program Info page for more details on which grade levels will evaluate on which nights.

We will miss evaluations. Is there a makeup date?

No. Evaluations in these cases will need to be made based on past experience and player size. Your child will still be placed on a team, and we will do our best to form teams with parity in mind.

How are teams selected?

Players are ranked based on their weight and evaluations.

In-house & Travel Tackle: Players are put in weight classes and ranked by evaluation scores. Teams are drafted by board approved coaches in a serpentine draft.

Flag: players are divided up by level, then by size. Players then run the 40 yard dash and are assigned teams based on their finish rank in the dash, with teams being created in a serpentine fashion with each completion of dashes.

The purpose of doing this is to create teams made up of similarly sized and skilled players. Player selection is done on the Saturday following evaluations. For more information and detail, see our playing rules document.

When will we know what team we are on?

Teams will be announced by posting on the SYFA website for 2019.

When will the schedule be posted? What is the general schedule?

The basic season schedule should come out around the time of Gear Day, however you will not know which team you are on until the players have been placed on teams. So keep in mind that, in general, these are the days each level will have practices/games on:

1ST GRADE FLAG - Saturdays 9:00 AM (also Mondays 6:00 PM in August only).

2ND GRADE FLAG - Saturdays 10:30 AM (also Tuesdays 6:00 PM in August only).

3RD GRADE FLAG - Saturdays 12:00 PM (also Thursdays 6:00 PM in August only).

4TH GRADE TACKLE – Mon/Wed 5:30 or 7:00 PM and Sat 9:00/10:30/noon.

5TH GRADE TACKLE - Tues/Thurs 5:30 or 7:00 PM and Sat 9:00/10:30/noon.

6TH GRADE TACKLE – Mon/Tues/Thurs 5:30 or 7:00 PM and Sat various times.

7TH GRADE TACKLE – Mon/Tues/Thurs 5:30 or 7:00 PM and Sat various times.

8TH GRADE TACKLE – Mon/Tues/Thurs 5:30 or 7:00 PM and Sat various times.

NOTE: All tackle level August practices are two hours and run from 6:00-8:00PM. Once school starts after Labor Day, practices will be 90 minutes and will be “stacked”, i.e. one after the other. Some teams will practice at 5:30, some at 7:00. Teams will ALWAYS practice either at 5:30 or 7:00 so as to avoid confusion on practice start times.