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. Alphonsus 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 2020 fees are $150 through the last sign up in June. After last sign up in June there is a $25 late fee. (If you don't have medical insurance the fee is $165)

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 April for a calendar for the 2018 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: Tackle games are played on Saturdays and flag games played on week nights. While many games will be played at the Optimist Youth Sports Complex, 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)

170 lbs 180 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:

ONLINE REGISTRATIONS FOR THE 2020 FALL OYF SEASON ARE NOW ON A "SPACE AVAILABLE" BASIS Regular registrations for Boise/Meridian/Eagle Flex and Tackle football are now closed, but space is available is some of our leagues. Please email the league director shown below to inquire about availability. Those registering for tackle may come to the complex to weigh in on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 12:30 to 4:30 PM throughout July. This also applies to all tackle participants who have not weighed in to date. Those registering for Flex and Cheer will need to coordinate a time to be fitted through your league director. Flex - flag@optimistyouthfootball.com (Flex league now closed. Email to inquire about availability) Rookie Tackle (8 Yr Old) - rookie@optimistyouthfootball.com (Rookie league closed.) Freshman Tackle (9 Yr Old) - freshman@optimistyouthfootball.com (Space on some teams still available) Sophomore Tackle (10 Yr Old) - sophomore@optimistyouthfootball.com (Sophomore League Closed) Junior Tackle (11 Yr Old) - junior@optimistyouthfootball.com (Junior League Closed) Senior Tackle (12 Yr Old) - senior@optimistyouthfootball.com (Senior League has Availability in Selected areas. Email the Senior League prior to registering for information on available areas.) Our office at 9889 W Hill Rd. Parkway will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Those who have registered for Tackle Football may complete their registration by weighing in during office hours in July or by attending one of the above dates. Go to register.optimistyouthfootball.com

2020 Season

Online registration open April 1st. Registration fees for all participants will now be $150 for tackle and $125 for flex football and cheer. Registrations will be online only through May 31st.

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

Due to the current situation, dates and times for weigh-ins and fittings will be posted as soon as available.

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

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




Flag Football