The Crawfordsville Youth Football program (CYF) is committed to ensuring a positive youth football experience and advancing player safety this fall by providing league-wide coaching education and teaching resources that benefit players, parents and coaches through USA Football's Heads Up Football® program.

USA Football is the official youth development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. CYF includes grades 3rd-6th comprised of more than 90 players and 15 coaches throughout Crawfordsville.

All CYF coaches will be trained in Heads Up Football® techniques before leading their teams this season. CYF head coaches and assistant coaches will complete USA Football's accredited Level 1 Coach Certification Course, which includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols; proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting; heat and hydration information from the Korey Stringer Institute; and Heads Up TacklingSM techniques, which aim to take the head out of the line of contact.

Through Heads Up Football®, a Player Safety Coach will be trained by USA Football to implement, evaluate and monitor Heads Up Football® player safety protocols within the organization. Player Safety Coaches work with league commissioners, coaches, parents and players throughout the season to provide on-site clinics and mentoring to ensure that coaching and player safety best practices are used.

"Our goal is to teach these kids the fundamentals of this great game in the safest manner possible," said Rori Chaney, CYF Director. "And we will have fun doing it!"

CYF was recently announced to receive $1,000 toward purchasing Riddell equipment through the Jim Irsay/USA Football Grant. Before the Colts take on the Saints in their August 23rd pre-season game, Chaney will be on the field for a pre-game ceremony to recognize the ten youth and high school programs who are recipients of this year's grant.

Adopted in 2014 by CYF and by youth leagues on a national level, Heads Up Football requires six primary elements:

Heads Up TacklingSM: USA Football's Heads Up TacklingSM technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact.

Concussion recognition and response: Coaches learn and are assessed on CDC concussion recognition and response through USA Football's Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.

Coaches, parents and players are taught concussion-related protocols at the start of the season at a league-wide clinic and have them reinforced throughout the season.

Coaching education: All coaches within a youth program are trained to teach the game's fundamentals by completing USA Football's nationally accredited Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.

Equipment fitting: Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting.

Heat and hydration: Coaches, parents and players learn heat and hydration safety measures provided by the University of Connecticut's Korey Stringer Institute.

Player Safety Coach: Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football® youth organization. This individual ensures compliance with Heads Up Football's player safety protocols, including coaching certification and conducting safety clinics for coaches, parents and players.