Lawrence Youth Football Inc. will expand its program this fall to include second-graders.
Brett Toelkes, president of the city's Little League football program, said the decision was made for two reasons.
"We had a lot of people asking us about adding second- graders," he said, "and we wanted to keep third-graders from playing against fifth-graders."
In the past, each Little League franchise had two clubs -- an A-team composed mainly of sixth-graders, and a B-team composed mostly of third- through fifth-graders.
Now each of the six clubs will have an A-team composed mostly of sixth graders, a B-team made up mostly of fourth- and fifth-graders, and a C-team of second- and third-graders.
"We felt it would be OK to have second-graders if we paired them with third-graders," Toelkes said, "and we've felt that third-graders playing with fifth-graders was a distraction."
LYF Inc., now in its 41st year, has four teams from Lawrence -- Hurricanes, Cougars, Gorillas and Jaguars -- as well as teams from Baldwin (Bulldogs) and Eudora (Raiders).
LYF Inc. also sponsors a seventh-grade league composed of teams from the four city junior highs, and teams from the Manhattan and Olathe North school districts.
In another move, LYF Inc. has increased the weight limit of players who can carry the football from 110 to 125 pounds.
Sign-up sites and dates will be published in the Journal-World soon after school starts Aug. 11. All LYF Inc. games are played on Sunday afternoons at Youth Sports Inc. fields.