Youth, middle school and high school football programs can apply for football equipment and uniform grants from USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States. The online application resides at usafootball.com.
Based on merit and need, USA Football awards $1 million annually in football equipment and uniform grants to assist and further strengthen America's grassroots football community. USA Football's grant program has assisted the youth and high school football programs since 2006 and will have awarded more than $5 million worth of football equipment by the end of 2012. The program is made possible through the NFL Youth Football Fund.
Youth leagues that are 501(c)(3) compliant and schools may submit applications through 11:59 p.m. ET on May 18 at http://www2.usafootball.com/grants. Applications must be submitted online.
More than 3 million children age 6-14 and 1.1 million high school students play organized tackle football, placing it among the country's most popular youth and scholastic participatory sports.
Each selected youth league and middle school program receives a $1,000 package that offers a variety of football equipment and uniform options. High schools receive similar packages valued at $1,500. Grants are fulfilled by Riddell, the official helmet and protective equipment partner of USA Football, and Rawlings, the official uniform partner of USA Football.
USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFLPA. The NFL Youth Football Fund is a nonprofit foundation created by the NFL and the NFL Players Association to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and ensure the health of grassroots football.
Effective in 2012, any helmet 10 years old or older will not be reconditioned or recertified by a National Athletic Equipment Reconditioning Association (NAERA) member. Youth leagues and schools may employ USA Football grants to follow NAERA's new football helmet reconditioning protocols.
"USA Football is committed to player safety," USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. "Our equipment grants help youth leagues and scholastic programs continue to make positive differences in young people's lives through America's favorite sport. Even with successful fundraisers, some organizations may find challenges in properly equipping their teams. We're proud to help ensure great football experiences with support from the NFL Youth Football Fund."
Independent nonprofit USA Football offers innovative programs and development resources to further strengthen America's football community. USA Football members – players, coaches, youth league commissioners and game officials – reside in all 50 states and 49 foreign countries.
About the NFL Youth Football Fund: Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund seeks to use football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and ensure the health of amateur football participation. Through the YFF's youth football initiatives and support programs, young athletes are provided with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors. For more information, visit http://www.nflyff.org.
About USA Football: USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts more than 100 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. Indianapolis-based USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football (www.usafootball.com) is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.