Launch of the Northeast Indiana Football Association, aimed at building character


FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – There’s a new opportunity for area kids as the Northeast Indiana Football Association (NIFA) gets ready to roll for the fall 2021 season.


NIFA is a nonprofit organization founded in part by Jason Baker, a Wayne High School graduate and former NFL punter.

On the NIFA website, the organization lists the following goals:

“We believe that successful communities are built on strong service leadership. We also believe that football is a powerful tool in developing future servant leaders. Teamwork, discipline, focus and resilience are just some of the qualities of character that a positive football experience can develop. The Northeast Indiana Football Association (NIFA) is committed to providing this experience to every young football player.

The NIFA will partner with the Fort Wayne Police Athletic League and work with area schools to host individual teams.

Flag football is available for children in grades 1 to 3 for $ 25 per player. Tackle football is $ 90 per family and available for children ages 9 to 12. Financial assistance is available.

The first training sessions of the 2021 season are scheduled for August 4.

The following is a press release from NIFA:

July 27, 2021, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA – Believing that thriving communities depend on strong service leadership, a new nonprofit is working to improve and expand the opportunities available to young football players across Fort Wayne and Allen County.

Founded in part by Jason Baker, a native of Fort Wayne and former NFL player, the Northeast Indiana Football Association (NIFA) is dedicated to developing youth football in the region and making a positive impact on the community through the development of servant leaders. Baker hired several area football programs and organizations to help design and develop NIFA.

“This is a ‘for us, by us’ organization – designed in partnership with those it will serve and benefit,” said Baker. “We believe that football is a powerful tool in building stronger leaders and better communities, through qualities of character like teamwork, discipline, focus and resilience that come from a football experience. positive. This organization is committed to providing every young football player with this type of experience. “

NIFA’s first initiative is the Root System, a limited pilot program for the 2021 season developed in partnership with PAL Fort Wayne, East Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne Community Schools and Homestead High School. Through the program, NIFA and PAL Fort Wayne work with schools in each school system to “host” individual PAL teams.

Each school program will follow NIFA best practices for athlete safety and development; providing professional learning and support to coaches and mentors; as well as guiding and encouraging parental involvement. NIFA follows the Football Development Model (FDM), a comprehensive age-appropriate training and play program to safely prepare young athletes for the demands of direct contact football.

“Our goal is to provide the training, guidance and resources necessary to achieve the highest levels of excellence, safety and fairness,” added Baker. “Together, schools and leagues will ensure that all players have an equal chance to participate in football in the right way.”

In addition to the Root System, NIFA will eventually offer programs for participants up to grade 12. These will be carried out in coordination or in partnership with the NFL Foundation, NFL Youth Football and USA Football as well as with local and regional organizations and foundations.

Registration is now open for the 2021 PAL Fort Wayne flag and tackle seasons, and financial assistance is available for those in need. Visit to learn more and to register for the 2021 season.


About Betty J. Snyder

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