The Palatine Amateur Football Association, also known as PAFA, is an organized, full-contact youth travel football program for children in grades three through eight. In order to participate in the 2014 season, players must be ages 8 to 14 as of Sept. 1, 2014.
Teams are formed based on age, weight, and experience. The PAFA teams play other communities in the Northwest Youth Football League (NWYFL) including the Arlington Heights Cowboys, the Elk Grove Village Chiefs, the Mount Prospect Lions and the Schaumburg Vikings.
The PAFA program has long been known for its coaching and player development. However, it is the camaraderie among the players and a wide variety of family events throughout the season that set the program apart.
During the summer, the players march in the Palatine Jaycees Hometown Fest parade during the July Fourth festivities, throwing footballs to the crowds along the route. The annual kick off is a program-wide practice event held at Ost Field in Palatine. Players of all ages get their season started in an energetic group atmosphere, and parents are introduced to the program, its leaders, and each other.
One week before games begin in the fall, the organization hosts PAFA in the Park, a family event that celebrates a long month of August practices with live entertainment. During the month of October, in conjunction with the PAFA Spirit program, the teams pay tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness month with their annual Pink Out event. Spirit squads and football players all wear pink items with their uniforms to encourage support for breast cancer research.
One of the biggest celebrations during the season takes place on Homecoming weekend. All PAFA teams play home games, many families "parade" around the field in decorated cars, and spirit signs are placed on the fields for the players. Many of the teams stay after their own games to cheer on players in other divisions, and mothers are recognized at halftime for the part they play as members of the PAFA community. Team parties for the entire family also follow many of the games.
After the last game of the year, banquets are held to celebrate the players and their seasons, once again illustrating the sense of team and community that is prevalent throughout the program.
Registration for PAFA is now available in person at park district facilities, by mail, by fax or online at www.palatineparks.org using code 9045-9. New participants and those who did not play in 2013 must register in person with a copy of the child's birth certificate. An early bird discount of $25 is offered for registrations received through April 4.
For more information, visit www.palatinepanthers.com.
PAFA is an affiliate of the Palatine Park District. The mission of Palatine Park District is to provide a variety of safe, enjoyable and affordable parks and recreation facilities and activities that will enhance the quality of life by promoting good health and well-being for all residents and visitors of the Palatine Park District.
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