Kid Stuff Recreation

No Contact, But Lots of Fun: A New 7-on-7 Football League

youth football league seekings players, coaches

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

Suffering NFL withdrawal? Check out the National Youth Football Organization’s first 7-on-7 non-contact football league, which kicked off in early February. This sport mimics tackle football without linemen and running plays, according to organizer Sarah Zilk.

“The unique part of 7-on-7 is that it allows players to prepare mentally and physically for the game without the fear of a concussion,” she said. Boys and girls aged 6 through 18 and within 70 miles of Chippewa Falls are encouraged to join the league, which will follow city and county health guidelines, and currently only has one field at Casper Park – so there will only be two teams there at one time.

“Everyone is looking for something fun and active for kids to do,” Zilk said. Minneapolis and Green Bay are the next closest cities to offer 7-on-7 leagues.

“This will be a learning experience for everyone as we start this season,” Zilk said. The teams still need coaches (experienced or not) and are looking for sponsorships to help pay for equipment and offer discounts for families with multiple players or kiddos whose families can’t afford the fees.

In the future, Zilk hopes to create day camps for the league. “We thought this would be great in the Chippewa Valley to help our community grow together,” Zilk said, “and something fun for kids and teens to do.”

Registration is open through March 15 at www.playnyfo.com/chippewa.