Flag football has a lot to offer, from co-ed leagues to competitive tournaments. Here are five important benefits for kids playing flag football:
1. No Contact: Flag football is a non-contact sport, meaning there’s no tackling, diving, blocking, screening or fumbles allowed. Therefore, players aren’t required to wear any heavy equipment, such as helmets and shoulder pads. This creates an approachable atmosphere where kids can learn how to play and develop their skills without the aspect of physical contact.
2. Accessibility: Flag football is an incredibly inclusive sport and opens the doors to many players, including female athletes. In fact, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) plans to launch the first college sanctioned women’s flag football league in the spring of 2021.
3. Learn the fundamentals: There’s a common myth that flag football doesn’t prepare kids for tackle football—and that simply isn’t true. The basic fundamentals taught in flag football directly transfer to tackle, including catching, throwing, formations, routes, and defensive skills. For example, the way defensive players are required to square up their body and align their head and knees is the exact positioning needed to physically tackle an opponent.
4. Easy commitment: With most leagues only meeting once per week, many families happily squeeze flag football into their packed schedules. Typically, teams practice for about 45 minutes before their game, and then the game itself is usually an hour or less. Of course, some high-level competitive leagues offer more playing time, if that’s something you’re looking for.
5. It’s fun!: Plain and simple, flag football is loads of fun. With fewer players on the field, there’s more engagement and a faster speed of play. Games are quick, competitive and every drive counts, especially in tournaments. It’s the version of football you loved playing in your backyard—why ever stop?