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Non Tackle Football

An Introduction to Football

In 2020, we are offering a non-tackle format for grades 2, 3 and 4.  Minnetonka Football is an advocate for USA Football’s Development Model.  "At its center, the Football Development Model stands for having fun, developing a base of athleticism and learning skills step-by-step. Learning developmentally and age-appropriate skills allows one to compete, which is something kids love and differentiates sport from exercise."  Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA & Football Development Model Council Chair.    

Program Goals: Age Based Stages. Provide players an introduction to football through instructions of rules, skills and safety which are core to Tonka Football's values.  TFA's goal is to teach kids the fundamentals of football, learn basic plays and most importantly have fun while playing a sport that fosters invaluable life lessons.  Offering sports based on age is common. In fact, baseball, basketball, soccer, and hockey are examples that come to mind. One of the benefits in our model is a more comprehensive structure to teaching and playing football in a progression that is age-appropriate and by the game that is being played.   

Our program follows the model and embraces age-appropriate instruction and will ensure our athletes experience the game the right way, in an environment suited for their stage of development. These age-based stages help us teach the game in the proper progression.

USA Football's Development Model


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Everything You Need to Know

Who: Incoming 2nd, 3rd and 4th Graders (2020/21 school year)

Where: Practices will be held at a Minnetonka Schools property and games will be held at the Minnetonka High School field and facilities.

When: For 2nd & 4th grade games will be held on Saturday mornings or afternoons.  For 3rd grade games will be held on Saturdays as as well as during the week 'under the lights'.  Game times are TBD and will be scheduled as soon as the # of teams are determined. 

Program Highlights:

Tonka Football Family - Program is aligned with Tonka Youth and the Tonka Senior High School football programs.

Organized - standard rule and structure for all teams.

Practices -

For 2nd grade held on same day and time (Wednesday). 

3rd grade practices will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and / or Thursdays.

4th grade games and practices (flag football only) will be held on the same day.

Games - 

For 2nd grade the season will consist of 5 or 6 games, all against other TFA teams. Saturday morning or afternoon. 

For 3rd grade the season will consist of 8 games and will be held against other Minnetonka teams.

4th grade games and will be held on Saturday mornings whenever possible. 

Play with your friends - all teams formed by elementary school whenever possible.  # of participants will ultimately dictate and will be first come, first served until a roster is full.  Register as early as possible.

Coaches - All certified by Trusted Coaches - includes concussion training, and background check.


- 2nd grade: Flag football 7 vs 7.

- 3rd grade:  Flag football with helmet and shoulder pads. 7 vs. 7.  This is non-tackle, limited contact football - no tackling whatsoever.   This is flag football with a helmet and shoulder pads.  Helmets will be provided and shoulder pads will need to be purchased.  See the equipment tab on this site under 'Home' for more information.

- 4th grade is the only grade that has both tackle and flag football.   4th graders may play tackle, flag or both.

Flag football 7 vs. 7.  Flag football provides many opportunities for skills development. This will be intramural and more in line with a 'rec' format.

Tackle format.  4th graders can play 9-man tackle football against other teams from the LMAA if they choose.  TFA teams are formed by elementary school.   Practices are usually 3 to 4 times per week.  Teams can have 1 or 2 games played per week.  Games may be any day of the week except Wednesdays and Sundays.

Jersey - all participants will receive a Tonka Football jersey.

4th Grade Football

New in 2020, 4th graders will be have the opportunity to play tackle football, flag football or both.  Flag Football is designed for kids who want to play football but may not be ready for tackle football just yet. AND, as who choose to play tackle football can also join Flag 7-on-7 to play with their friends. Schedules will not overlap.

Click On the Icon Above to Learn More About USA Football's Development Model