The Elmwood Park Rush Youth Football & Cheer Organization is very excited to communicate that we’ve been accepted as a new Member Community within The Chicagoland Youth Football League, which is known by many as TCYFL; and has also decided to become a new member of Illinois Recreational Cheer Association, which is known as IRCA.

The Chicagoland Youth Football League, which was formed in 1998, is one of the fastest growing & largest independent youth football leagues in the country! Being independent allows TCYFL to still operate as a family, keeping faithful to its motto of “One Team One Family”.

Based on TCYFL’s consistent philosophies, mission, leadership, and MOST importantly, electing to NOT make the “Spotlight of the Cheer & Football Program” focused on making it to a “National Event”, TCYFL has grown to having 49 Member Communities as they start the 2016 season; and IRCA has over 100.

Not only is that an incredible number of organizations that have elected to join TCYFL, in the past few years, TCYFL is more than double in size than any of the other leagues available in our area, like PopWarner, American Youth Football (AYF) and Untied Youth Football (UYF), which, in the opinion of many, have all highlighted/focused on making it to a National Event.

To be honest, not only have most families voiced cost concerns related to the expensive trip of the National Event just before Christmas, but it’s tainting the importance of putting “Education First”, as rightfully so, many parents have said that they don’t want to take their children out of school for an entire week during an important point of the school year.

Based on the concerns from our parents over the last two seasons within UYF, the Rush Board took actions by evaluating all the leagues available in our area. During our diligence, we found that TCYFL was the best alignment to our Mission Statement of “The foundation of our program is to give children within our reach an avenue for extra curriculum activity that builds character, discipline, teamwork, healthy alternatives and better student athletes”. Our non-for-profit program is structured as an educational platform for football and cheerleading. Although winning is a bi-product of our results, it’s not part of our mission statement. The bottom line is, our program is about “Building Healthy Bodies and Minds of the young girls and boys within our local communities.”

We have found TCYFL definitely places a priority on teaching kids that football is a game where you should have fun and make friends. Being the largest in the country also comes with some perks. It has given TCYFL recognition by both the NFL and USA Football, and they both have worked closely with TCYFL to help it stay at the cutting edge of safety. USA Football has even recognized the greatness of TCYFL by working with them to develop the Youth Football Rules Book, and even made TCYFL president Geoff Meyer an ambassador to the NFL. TCYFL is such a leader of safety in youth football that other local football leagues have followed and implemented ideas that TCYFL began using years earlier.

Size matters! TCYFL benefits by having 49 member communities with over 12,000 youth football players fielding over 500 teams. This ensures there will always be a place for everyone, whether you are a large town or a new league just starting out. TCYFL has multiple levels of play (Big 10, Mac 10, Pac 10), 9 different divisions of play, 3 different playoff divisions, and flexible weight exceptions which guarantee there is a place for every child to play regardless of age, weight, or skill level! This is something that no other football league in the Chicagoland area can offer your child, and it also ensures that every town is treated fairly, and competitively. This diversity also ensures that you won’t play teams from your own town or other towns in the same season over and over again AS the Rush has been forced to do over the past 4 years. TCYFL’s culture is one of inclusion not exclusion, which is why they continue to add new Member Communities each and every year.

TCYFL also knows that you don’t get this big without the support of those around you which is why they came up with TCYFL Cares, a program developed to give back to those in need. TCYFL believes in giving back to the communities that have helped turn it into the great success that it is today. TCYFL Cares also teaches our youth an important life lesson, the importance of helping out others when they are in need.

As we researched all our options, we found that the combination of TCYFL & IRCA is the single best preparation for high school football & cheer in the area. You may think that is an opinion, and it may be, but it is one that is shared by a lot of high schools in the Chicagoland Area. We all want what is best for our kids; the best learning environments, the best schools. Why not be a part of the best youth football league and cheerleading association, TCYFL & IRCA?!

Please note that, when getting more information about the Member Communities within TCYFL, we found that 36 of the 49 organizations also have a Cheerleading Programs supporting their Football Teams. Not only do they support their Football Teams, most of them also belong to IRCA. The objective of the IRCA is to support its member communities by promoting cheerleading through standardized rules and regulations. Additionally, the IRCA shall provide resources to educate its members, to promote safety and to enhance the fundamentals of cheer and pom in a fun, safe and educational format based on the participant’s age and experience.

The IRCA is comprised of selected communities or local organizations or communities (referred to as “Member Communities”) principally located within the State of Illinois but, open to any State organization that meets these objectives.

Lastly, the IRCA will develop and promote a Sectional, Regional and State Championship, which is normally held at the WELL KNOWN Sears Center located in Hoffmann Estates, which is open to any organization/association that meets the guidelines of the Rules & Regulations. The State Championship follows competitive rules in order to determine placement and recognition of a team’s hard work, athleticism and showmanship to earn recognition as the State of Illinois’ top performer.

Not only have we chosen to be part of the TCYFL & IRCA families, but we’re VERY honored, humble and grateful that, as neighboring communities, Des Plaines Warriors, Berwyn Mustangs and Westmont Wildcats have decided to move over to TCYFL with the Rush!

Also note that it’s been mentioned that the Westchester Raiders, Elgin Jr. Royal and Lansing Loins will not be returning this season. If that is true, our previous Chicagoland Conference, which had 32 organizations just a few years ago, will only be left with 10-to-11 organizations this season that have four or more teams.

In closing, not only are we VERY excited about all the GREAT new opportunities that TCYFL & IRCA have to offer the Rush, we have a lot of GREAT exciting things coming up this spring/summer… Like,… Cheer Tumbling Camps, Players Camps, 7-on-7 Football and Coaches Clinics!

Stay Tuned for Registration Dates & More to Come Soon!

The best part is that there is no more traveling an hour+ to play the same team multiple times within our short eight week season!!!!