AYF youth football for New Jersey serving , hunterdon county NJ, sussex county NJ, mercer county NJ, middlesex county NJ, warren county NJ; american youth football, partner with Jersey Shore AYF & Garden State AYF, formerly Jr Skyland Football Conference

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Why the Patriot Division?

Playing time is probably the biggest source of frustration and anger among sports parents and players, which is saying a lot. Kids want to play! They don’t like to sit on the bench. Moreover, most of the benefits of playing a sport are tied to competing in games. Kids who sit benefit less from sports than kids who play.

Patriot Divison Philosophy: Get Kids into Games

It is our viewpoint that good coaching is when you get ALL your kids into games: Period.
They must be creative about how they get kids into games, but good coaches get ALL their kids into games!

Kids who play, learn the game, kids who sit do not

Don't play in a minimumm play league - the Patriot Divsiion is a maximum playtime league. 

We keep our squads small in numbers, thus allowing for greater child participation and a higher level of learning. Teams are kept between 15 to 22 players. Players must start on one side of the ball, offense or defense. So everyone plays at least half the game.

See the full set of rules HERE

Coaching for Effort

Our coaches work to set specific goals for each player. These goals are both obtainable but challenging. Goals which view success in terms of surpassing ones own performance standards rather than exceeding the performance of others. In this way all players, the skilled and the less skilled continue working to improve performance and can measure their current skill level relative to their previous performance. When winning is defined in terms of effort rather than outcome, all participants in a competition will have the opportunity to be hailed as winners, not just the fortunate fifty percent who come out on the right end of the game score.

If there were only one life lesson from sports it should be that hard work is a key to success. We might not win today, but if we give it our best effort, sooner or later, we’ll be successful. Good coaches must reward effort as much as talent. The message: Effort will be rewarded with greater playing time, independent of ability. The message to a team when a less-skilled player gives it their all gets into games on a regular basis is impossible to overstate. Less-Skilled players realize that they can get into games if they work hard. They don’t have to be as good as the best players on the team; they just have to outwork them! This is incredibly motivating to your less-skilled players and it is a wake-up call for your stronger players who will find their playing time limited if they don't up their effort level.

The Patriot Divison Structure:

Our leagues guiding principles include teaching football in an environment conducive to learning and making it fun for the participants and their families. All our kids are given equal opportunity to thrive and become successful both as a team and individuals. The Patriot Football League (PFL) was founded in 2005 with the ideals of creating a youth football experience where kids can learn the fundamental skills of football in a rewarding and enjoyable environment.

Patriot Division members, coaches, players and volunteers are expected to meet rigorous standards, both academically and in personal conduct.


Flag Divison is for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Graders.  At this level there are no league standings of wins or losses. We just want players to learn about the game and have fun.

Pee Wee Division is for 3rd and 4th graders .  Offense has a playbook and can only run a handful of plays and everyone will be running only a few different defenses. This allows continuity for the kids so they can work on their skills.  Here we keep score but there are no standings or playoffs.

Biddy Division is for 5th and 6th graders. This level has an expanded offensive playbook.  We introduce special teams and a limited amount of blitzing on defense from standard formations.  Standings are kept and modified post-season playoffs are held.

Midget Division is for 7th and 8th graders. This level mirrors as close as possible to High School rules.  There are more advanced plays and defenses and all special teams.  There are standings, playoffs and champions.