TWG 2022 Birmingham Partners with NFL, Adds Flag Football

The first edition of The World Games on American soil since 1981 has added a familiar sport to its lineup. The World Games 2022 Birmingham, in partnership with the International World Games Association (IWGA), National Football League (NFL), and International Federation of American Football (IFAF) today announced that flag football will join the existing lineup of 32 unique, multi-disciplinary sports.

Hosted at Birmingham’s historic Legion Field, Flag Football @TWG2022 Presented by the NFL will feature eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams from around the world. As the current reigning world champions, the United States men’s and women’s teams both pre-qualify for The World Games 2022. The remaining teams will be selected through the IFAF qualifying process.

"The addition of flag football to the World Games brings tremendous global value as the NFL looks to expand the NFL FLAG brand worldwide. With support from NFL Global Ambassador and NFL FLAG Chairman Russell Wilson, we’ve committed to creating more opportunities for athletes around the world to play flag, and we look forward to teaming up with the City of Birmingham and the World Games Committee to share the NFL FLAG experience with even more athletes and fans." - Izell Reese, Executive Director of NFL FLAG

Unprecedented Growth Leads NAIA to Greenlight Women’s Flag Football to Emerging Sport Status

In just over a month since the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) made an announcement that women’s flag football would be its newest sport, it has grown exponentially and was recently voted as the newest sport to receive “emerging” status by the NAIA National Administrative Council (NAC).

The start of women’s flag football, a joint effort with the NAIA and the National Football League (NFL), has been historically fast within the NAIA and member institutions were quick to pledge their schools to become among the first to begin a team at their institution. This high level of interest allowed the NAIA governing bodies to grant the sport emerging status recently, which will put it on track to continue to grow toward becoming a full championship sport over the course of the next several years.

NAIA introduces Women’s Flag Football as new collegiate sport

NFL FLAG has teamed up with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to establish women's flag football as an official varsity sport by 2021. With our support, the NAIA will lead the charge to create the first women’s flag football competition governed by a collegiate athletics association.

Increasing female participation in flag football is a top priority for NFL FLAG. This announcement paves the way for female student-athletes to keep playing the sport they love and potentially receive scholarships to continue their education and compete at the next level. 

NAIA introduces Women’s Flag Football as new collegiate sport

NFL FLAG Chairman Russell Wilson talks global expansion on Dan Patrick Show

Seattle Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson joins the Dan Patrick Show to talk about creating opportunities for kids around the world to experience and learn the sport of flag football.


Seattle Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson has been named Chairman of NFL FLAG. The global partnership will focus on strengthening NFL FLAG domestically and expanding the league internationally.

In his new role, Wilson will work closely with Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) President and former NFL safety Izell Reese to support league development and growth worldwide for both boys and girls. RCX is the official operating partner of NFL FLAG and produces some of the country’s premier youth sports events.

“Russell is a living example of the positive impact sports can have on young athletes,” said Reese. “He exhibits the qualities we want to instill in our youth on and off the field and shares NFL FLAG’s commitment to making sports accessible to all athletes.” 


RC Experiences is officially overseeing NFL FLAG leagues and tournament play beginning with the operation of the 2020 NFL FLAG Championships.

“One of our primary goals at the NFL is to continue to evolve and grow the game of football,” said Roman Oben, NFL Vice President of Youth and High School Football Strategy. “RC Experiences will play a vital role in providing the premier flag football experience, while growing NFL FLAG participation across the country."


With 93 NFL games as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos under his belt, Executive Director of NFL FLAG Izell Reese knows how flag football can instill teamwork, comradery and leadership in kids at a young age. 

Watch Izell talk about the benefits of flag football and how NFL FLAG is growing across the U.S. on the NFL Network show, Good Morning Football.