◇Established in 2002 as an independent, not-for-profit organization, the league is backed financially by the National Football League (NFL) and NFL Players Association through the NFL Youth Football Fund. The organization does not oversee league and team operations, but instead focuses on the expansion and development of American football in the U.S.
◇In the youth football discipline, Pop Warner Football, with nearly 190,000 participants nationwide, is most popular. The Amateur Athletic Union and the American Youth Union also manage numerous football activities.
◇Currently, there are 13,727 football teams and 1,071,77 players registered with the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). The federation also administers 6-man (199 schools with 4,587 players), 8-man (649 schools with 15,182 players) and 9-man (257 schools with 5,971 players) football operations.
◇In the college arena, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) oversee football. Currently, there are 620 NCAA and 90 NAIA sanctioned schools with an estimated 70,000 players.
◇League play in the U.S. begins at the end of August or in early September. Although there are some exceptions, high school games are generally played on Friday nights, college games on Saturday, and professional games on Sunday. Operation of college football ends in early January.