The first meeting to organize a tackle football program for 5th through 7th grade was held on February 23, 1960. After several meetings and a tremendous amount of work on the part of many individuals, a charter was secured from the State of Illinois for Pee Wee Football, Inc. of Champaign-Urbana, a not-for-profit corporation. At that point, a drive was launched to secure the sum of $6,000 needed for uniforms, equipment and insurance. Through the contributions of local businesses, labor unions, and private individuals, this goal was quickly reached. Equipment was purchased, practices were held and the first games were played in September of 1960.
The league began with four teams in 1960, expanded to five teams in 1967 and to six teams in 1970. In 1977, the league experienced further expansion by adding 8th graders to the teams and including Urbana players to the mix. At that point, the teams were divided into Junior Varsity (5th and 6th graders) and Varsity (7th and 8th graders). Also in that year, the organization became known as the Champaign–Urbana Youth Football League.
Football games have been held at various fields over the years until 1999, when league supporters and the Champaign Park District came together to create CIYFL’s home football field at Zahnd Park. For many seasons, the CIYFL had graciously been given the opportunity to play the final games of the season at the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium.
The next surge of growth began in 2002 with the addition of a Mahomet JV team and a final name change to Central Illinois Youth Football League. The next season an additional Mahomet Varsity team was added along with Rantoul’s JV and Varsity teams joining as an out-of-district member of CIYFL.
In 2008, the league further expanded with the addition of a Pee Wee (3rd and 4th graders) division adding six additional teams which to date continues to increase in numbers.
To date, all Board Members, Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches are strictly on a volunteer basis.
Interested in being a part of the CIYFL future? email@example.com