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By Jocelyn Rowley

Registration opens for NYS Flag Football


Registration for Niwot Youth Sports fall flag football season is now underway according to NYS Football Director Pat Longseth.

The league is looking for boys and girls ages five to 12 who are interested in developing their football skills in a no-pad, non-contact environment. The $99 registration fee includes an NFL reversible, team identified color jersey, flags and mouth guard. Players can register at niwotyouthsports.org.

Returning participants will see some changes to the program. Under Longseth, who is in his first year as director of the program, NYS flag football has joined We Sport U, an NFL Flag affiliated league that has been hosting youth flag football for more than 20 years. With teams based exclusively in Longmont, Longseth said the move to We Sport U should provide Niwot flag football families with a more rewarding experience.

Among the most notable changes are game scheduling and locations. Because all We Sport U teams are from the Longmont area, all eight regular games will be played on Sundays at the same central location— Longs Peak Middle School. There is one additional week of playoff games at the end of the season.

There are also two new age divisions: Pre-K/K, which is open to kids who haven’t yet reached first grade and will focus more on football instruction than competition; and a division for older kids (6th-8th graders) who want to play football but who don’t want to join a tackle league.

Longseth, a Niwot High graduate who played for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology before becoming an assistant football coach at Niwot in the early 2000s, acknowledged that the change from Saturdays to Sundays “might be a little bit of a problem” but hopes that the elimination of a lot of driving will help ease the transition. He also pointed to some other advantages offered by We Sport U.

“The games will be ref’d by former coaches or players,” he explained, further noting that the paid officials will have more training than in years past. “The refs also participate in making sure there’s equal play, and kids are getting equal time.”

Overall, Longseth said, he expects the new league to provide a more formal structure, with an emphasis on fair play and safety.

“We aligned with the league that most closely met the Niwot Youth Sports values and expectations,” explained Longseth, a veteran of NYS himself. “We expect it to be a little bit more formal, a little bit better ref’d, and just an overall better experience for all of the kids.”

Teams will practice one or two times per week beginning in early September, with games starting on September 24.

The football program is also looking for volunteer coaches, team parents and team sponsors. If you are interested, please contact Patrick Longseth at patrick.longseth@gmail.com or see the web site, http://www.niwotyouthsports.com, for more information.


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