Despite the long-standing popularity of youth tackle football leagues over the past several decades, participation in flag football is now increasing as concerns over injuries, player health and safety, equal playing time, and other issues which plague traditional youth tackle football leagues have heightened parent and player interest in flag football. With the increase of concussions and head injuries in tackle football, NFL Flag Football San Diego gives your child a much safer way to play football. However, because youth tackle football has always dominated the youth football space, there are some commonly held misconceptions about flag football that need to be dispelled for any parents concerned that flag football will not offer their children a truly viable alternative to traditional youth tackle leagues.
Every child grows at a different pace. Some children may grow very quickly and reach near maximum height and weight in seventh or eighth grade, while others may experience growth spurts throughout high school. If your child is smaller for his age, you may be concerned about whether he or she is ready for traditional tackle football given that many kids who participate in traditional tackle leagues are big for their age. This is a real concern for parents, as studies have shown that youth tackle football players are at serious risk of suffering an injury. According to a study published in The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine in October 2017 conducted by University of Iowa researchers, players in youth tackle football are more than 1.1 times as likely to suffer an injury as flag football participants. Indeed, the injury rate in youth tackle leagues has generated so much concern that the American Academy of Pediatrics, a nationwide association of pediatricians, issued a formal Policy Statement in 2015 on tackling in recommending that the use of non-tackling leagues be significantly expanded.
In flag football, players are not subjected to many of the same physical stresses as in tackle football. Age cut-offs are set and strictly enforced by NFL Flag San Diego to ensure that all players are competing against children the same age and thus closer to the same size than may be the case in some youth tackle football leagues. Therefore, your son will not be colliding helmet to helmet with a child that is twice the size and three years older.
One of the other common misconceptions about flag football is that it does not adequately prepare your child if they later go on to play tackle football in high school because it does not always let a child specialize and develop skills unique to one position. Whereas players in a youth tackle league may be slated for a particular position from day one and may never have the chance to try another position, flag football offers the chance to try many different positions. One of the advantages of being a football player is that there are so many positions. Each one matches a certain body type and a certain skill set, giving players many options. Indeed, many professional players played different positions in college than they do in the NFL. For instance, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who threw a touchdown pass on a trick play to seal the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory in Super Bowl XL in 2005, played quarterback in college at Indiana University. Current New England Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman did the same, having played as a record-setting quarterback at Kent State before being drafted in 2009 by the Patriots. Although players may not be guaranteed time at every single position, because players are guaranteed to play the majority of every game no matter whether they play in NFL Flag San Diego’s recreational or competitive division, more playing time means more opportunities for a player to develop skills, no matter what position he or she may end up playing later on. This benefits each player’s development as they determines what position is the best fit.
If you are in the San Diego area and your son or daughter is interested in football, then consider NFL Flag San Diego. Offering both competitive and recreational divisions in multiple different age-group divisions, our league guarantees every player a significant amount of playing time with comprehensive rules to ensure player safety. If you have any questions or your child is considering participating, contact NFL Flag San Diego at (760) 237-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today.