The NFL and its 32 teams recognize August as USA Football Month, saluting USA Football as the sport’s leader in coaching education and player development on high school and youth levels.
USA Football Month is celebrated throughout the NFL preseason. USA Football’s Heads Up Football® program, endorsed by experts in medicine, child advocacy and athletes, continues to establish important standards rooted in education. The program is credited for improving how coaches are trained, players are taught, parents are informed and safety is addressed.
More than 5,500 youth football leagues and 750 high schools spanning all 50 states, representing nearly 1 million young players, have registered for Heads Up Football this season. The USA Football program incorporates in-person training with USA Football’s nationally accredited coaching education courses.
Fans will see, hear and learn about USA Football Month in the NFL through a number of ways, including:
- Heads Up Football helmet stickers worn by NFL players throughout the preseason
- Heads Up Football-branded on-field stencils and end zone banners in NFL stadiums
- NFL teams donating nearly 130,000 preseason game tickets to players in Heads Up Football leagues
- USA Football messages promoting better and safer play during national preseason telecasts
- Youth football scrimmages in NFL stadiums prior to or during halftime of preseason games
- USA Football-branded in-stadium scoreboard video messages
- “Heads Up Football Across America” feature stories on NFL Network and NFLEvolution.com
- NFL team-customized USA Football Month digital banner displays on every team’s website
- USA Football Month messages in NFL teams’ game programs
More than 2.5 million children ages 6-14 play organized tackle football in the United States and 2.34 million children age 5-14 play organized flag football. The game stands as the most popular participation sport of high school boys with 1.12 million players in the 2012-13 school year and continues to lead all boys sports in participation dating back to 1969 when the National Federation of State High School Associations began tracking such figures. Football is the only sport played by high school boys to have ever drawn more than 1 million student-athletes and has remained above 1 million players since the 1998-99 school year.
“Nothing is more important to USA Football and the NFL than the health and safety of every young athlete who loves this game and the friendships and values that come with playing it,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “USA Football’s work is based in education that is changing for the better how America’s favorite sport is coached coupled with player safety protocols endorsed by leading medical experts. We are proud of our partnership with the NFL and we value the continued support of USA Football Month given by the league and its teams.”
“This has been a year of tremendous growth for USA Football and its programs, especially Heads Up Football, which now includes all Pop Warner leagues,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “USA Football Month celebrates all of youth football – the players, the coaches, the parents, and the communities which support thousands of youth football leagues throughout the country. It doesn’t get better than this.”