Rookie Tackle


General Information

The Frisco Football League ROOKIE Tackle Football program is a recreational football program that is open to all children ages 7-8 and is designed to be an introduction to tackle football.

  • 7v7 or 8v8 Format
  • 7 & 8 Age Divisions
  • Registration includes uniform package, 8 games, playoffs
  • Play on current FFL game fields
  • Opportunity to run skills combine and compete for top performer shirts based on actual age


Want to Coach? Have Questions?


Rookie Tackle Director: Tony Ortiz

Manages the Rookie Tackle Program. Responsible for the training of all Rookie Tackle Coaches.




Rookie Tackle is a small-sided form of the game that introduces young players to tackle football.  It consists of six, seven or eight players per side on a 40-yard-by-35-yard field with a clear focus on skill development and fun. As part of USA Football’s vision for long-term athlete development, it serves as a bridge between flag football and 11-player, full field tackle football.  

Rookie Tackle modifies rule and field dimensions. Coaches, commissioners, officials and parents are educated on its game adjustments, mechanics and skills. This is designed to advance the physical literacy of young athletes to foster active and healthy development. Similar to baseball’s progression of tee-ball to “coach pitch” to “player pitch,” it provides a developmentally appropriate approach to football.  
This player pathway concept is in alignment with the American Development Model (ADM). The United States Olympic Committee, in partnership with the National Governing Bodies, created the ADM framework in 2014 to help Americans realize their full athletic potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle. 
Through the guidance of this framework, USA Football’s goal is to strengthen a player pathway for the sport. Athletes may potentially progress through flag football, Rookie Tackle and 11-player tackle football, building a foundation for success as they enter high school football and beyond.  
Key Aspects of Rookie Tackle Game Play:  
  • Six, seven or eight players on the field per team 
  • 40-yard-by-35-yard playing field size, scaled for a youth athlete’s age and skill level 
  • Maximizes field space by playing two games simultaneously on a regulation-sized field 
  • Players learn multiple positions and skills; position-specialization is not introduced 
  • Smaller teams foster more playing time and opportunities for improvement, success 
  • Players on offensive and defensive lines begin every play in a two-point stance  
  • Removal of special teams encourage more plays from scrimmage and skill development  
  • More focused, individualized coaching attention by virtue of a smaller roster 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rookie Tackle? 

Rookie Tackle is designed to be a fun, small-sided game that introduces tackle football to younger players. This is a player pathway concept in alignment with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s American Development Model (ADM). Similar to tee-ball to “coach pitch” to player pitch in baseball, Rookie Tackle is designed to be a bridge between flag football and 11-player tackle football.

What is the American Development Model, and why did USA Football adopt its framework? 

The American Development Model (ADM), created by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), is a forward-thinking
framework for skill development, fitness and long-term enjoyment of sport. USA Football credits USA Hockey 
for its effort to pioneer this concept and work with the USOC to allow other sports organizations to benefit from it. 
USA Football is applying the ADM to our sport. Rookie Tackle is one piece of this model. 

Does this affect 11-player tackle football? 

It compliments 11-player tackle. Rookie Tackle is a bridge game, part of a pathway to 11-player tackle. It offers young athletes another entry point to tackle football, increases physical activity and social benefits and teaches the game’s fundamental skills in a forward-thinking way.

What age bracket is Rookie Tackle designed for? 

We have a wide variety of ages across the pilot leagues. These leagues are independent of USA Football and will 
determine what best suits their athletes and teams. The pilot leagues are utilizing Rookie Tackle as an introduction to 
tackle football. 

How might this benefit youth football? 

Like “coach pitch” baseball, cross-ice hockey or 5-a-side soccer, Rookie Tackle offers another fun entry point to the 
sport, focused on a pathway for better skill development. Smaller field dimensions maximize field space and smaller 
roster sizes afford coaches more time to teach players one-on-one and enhance skill development. 

How will this help develop young athletes in the sport? 

Players learn multiple positions and skills. Position-specialization is not introduced in Rookie Tackle. Fewer players on 
a team’s roster invites more playing time and opportunities for improvement and success. A higher coach-to-player 
ratio also lends itself toward increased one-on-one, dedicated teaching opportunities.  

Does Rookie Tackle make football safer? 

Safety is always our top priority. USA Football promotes safer football through our Heads Up Football program, which 
educates coaches on the fundamentals of shoulder tackling, blocking and proper equipment fitting. In addition, they 
are educated on concussion recognition and response, sudden cardiac arrest and heat emergency preparedness. 
Rookie Tackle offers an additional entry point for kids, allowing a new way to experience and learn tackle football 


              Frisco Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (214) 472-8100        Dick's Sporting Goods

Sam The Photo Smith

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2024 by Frisco Football League
Back To Top