The first meeting to organize a tackle football program for youth, fifth through seventh grades, 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 funds 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 then to six teams in 1970. In 1977, the league experienced further expansion with the addition of eighth graders and including Urbana players to the mix. At that point, the teams were divided into Jr. Varsity (5th & 6th graders) and Varsity (7th & 8th graders). Also in that year, the organization became known as the Champaign -Urbana Youth Football League.

Games had been held at various football 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. The CIYFL has also graciously been given the opportunity to play the final championship games of the season at the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium.

The next surge of expansion started in 2002 with the addition of a Mahomet Jr. Varsity team and a final name change to Central Illinois Youth Football League. In 2003, a Mahomet Varsity team was added, along with both a Jr. Varsity and Varsity team in Rantoul joining as an out-of-district member.

In 2008, the league further expanded with the addition of a Pee Wee (3rd & 4th graders) division adding six additional teams which to date continues to increase in participants.

The league currently includes affiliate members in Danville (two), Rantoul and St. Joseph. To date, all Board Members, Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches have continued to be strictly on a volunteer basis.