When I was a kid, I played one year of football. I was probably about 10, and I was a small kid. I quickly learned that having much larger kids run you over was not fun, even if you had pads on.
When I got to college, I was introduced to flag football, which is football for people who don’t like to be crushed by larger people. Being small and quick is advantageous, as the way to down a player in flag football is to grab a flag off of a belt, not knock the person into a different week.