Optimist Football has operated a tackle football program since our founding in 1949 and we've come a long way from those 44 boys playing in Boise's Northend to now roughly 1,800 participants annually.

The Optimist season runs during the fall from August through October. Registration for the season begins in the spring, for more information see the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Safety is important to our program it is why we require annual background screening for our coaches and volunteers in conjunction with annual education and certification for coaching staffs. We also have partnered with St. Luke's Sports Medicine to provide certified athletic trainers for our game site medical services. Optimist Football is also a member of USA Football's Heads Up Football program which teaches safer techniques to participants helping to reduce head injuries.

Below you can find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Q: What does it cost?

A: In 2015 season the fees are $100through the last sign up in May. After last sign up in May there is a $10 late fee. (If you don't have medical insurance the fee is $110)

Q: What ages can play tackle?

A: Optimist tackle program is open to ages 8 through 12 year olds.

Q: Do you have spring football?

A: No, Optimist Football season is in the fall. It runs from August through October.

Q: When does practice start?

A: Practice typically starts in early August. Check back in March for a calendar for the 2016 season.

Q: How many nights a week will practice be?

A: Teams are allowed to practice a maximum of 5 nights per week during the first 3 weeks of the season. Each practice during that time cannot exceed 2 hours. Starting in the fourth week practices are reduced to a maximum of 4 nights a week and 1.5 hours a night.

Q: Where will my child practice?

A: Practice is held at a nearby school or park. Your coach will inform you of the location and time.

Q: How many games will they play?

A: Each team will play seven games in addition to the Jamboree. All teams in the Senior League will play an additional eighth game at the end of the season. The two Junior teams with the best record and have won their respective conferences also get an eighth championship game.

Q: Where will games be played?

A: Games are played on Saturdays and most games will be played at the Optimist Youth Sports Complex but some travel maybe required to one of the other clubs that participates in our program. You will receive a game schedule before the season starts so you can plan accordingly.

Q: What equipment will I need purchase?

A: We will supply you with helmet and game jersey. You will need to supply: shoulder pads, white football pants, colored mouth guard that attaches to the helmet, shoes, and practice jersey.

Q: Where can I purchase the gear my child will need?

A: You can find it any sporting goods store in the valley.

Q: Can I purchase my own helmet?

A: No. Optimist requires that all participants use the helmet we will supply you at the beginning of the season.

Optimist Youth Football tackle leagues are based upon age and weight.

Age cut-off for OYF players is midnight on September 1st of the current year.

League/Age Group* Maximum Allowed Weight at Registration Maximum Allowed Weight at Jamboree

Rookie League
(8 year old)

100 lbs 110 lbs

Freshman League
(9 year old)

115 lbs 125 lbs

Sophomore League
(10 year old)

130 lbs 140 lbs

Junior League
(11 year old)

145 lbs 155 lbs

Senior League
(12 year old)

160 lbs 170 lbs

* Player's exceeding the maximum weight for his/her age will have the option to advance to a higher age league but they must meet the weight requirement for that league. No player can advance more than two age brackets - no exceptions.

What You Need To Know About Registering:

Please read everything

2017 Season

Online registration open April 1st. Registration fees for all participants will now be $125 (includes:  cheer, flag, and tackle).

Weigh in(football)/Uniform fitting(cheer) Dates, Times & Locations:

  • Saturday, May 6th - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm @ Capital High School
  • Thursday, May 11th - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm @ Bishop Kelly High School
  • Saturday, May 20th - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm @ Mountain View High School
  • Tuesday, May 23rd - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm @ Capital High School
  • Late Sign-Up: Saturday, June 17th - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm @ Optimist Youth Sports Complex (an additional $10 fee will be assessed for participants signing up this date)

Please make sure to bring two (2) copies of the registration confirmation email that you are sent upon finishing.

2017 Sign Ups Dates (parents must bring participant to one of the dates):

  • Saturday, May 6th - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm @ Capital High School
  • Thursday, May 11th - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm @ Bishop Kelly High School
  • Saturday, May 20th - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm @ Mountain View High School
  • Tuesday, May 23rd - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm @ Capital High School
  • Late Sign-Up: Saturday, June 17th - 9:00 am to 1:00 pm @ Optimist Youth Sports Complex (an additional $10 fee will be assessed for participants signing up this date)


* New participants to the program must also show a valid birth certificate.

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