A recent article in the San Pedro Daily Breeze demonstrates the growing popularity of flag football among female youth athletes in both the Southern California area as well as nationwide. The article profiles the Los Angeles area NFL Pick 6 league in San Pedro in Los Angeles County. The Pick 6 league not only features co-ed teams, female coaches and female referees but an entire team of female third- and fourth-graders for the first time in the league’s four-year history. That team, the Cowboys, finished in the middle of the league standings in their first year in the league last year. The Pick 6 league has seen a rapid increase in the number of female participants in its league since its inception. The league only had three female players in its first year, whereas in its most recent season 27 female athletes are participating.
At NFL Flag San Diego, we encourage the participation of female athletes and we have seen a similar rise in the participation of young female athletes, as both parents and young athletes discover that football is not just for boys. We welcome the inclusion of athletes of both genders in all our leagues and have made a concerted effort to increase the number of our female participants. Football has been regarded too often as a sport that only boys play and we aim to change that. Female athletes often bring skills to the table that the young boys may struggle to match, and flag football offers advantages, like no tackling, that may have given some parents concerns in the past about letting their daughters participate.
Increasing numbers of female participants in youth flag football are coming out across California and the country, demonstrating they have the speed, agility and intangibles to not only compete with, but beat, the boys on the field. Flag football is one of the fastest growing youth sports and this increase in popularity is not only in California, nor is it confined to youth sports. According to a 2016 study by USA Football (the partner of NFL Flag leagues like NFL Flag San Diego nationwide), flag football saw an increase in participation of 8.7 percent in children of both genders, a much larger increase than other youth sports like soccer or baseball. This has been consistent across California as well as the entire country. According to a report from Athletic Business regarding female participation in flag football at the high school level in Florida, there are now more than 260 high schools in Florida offering girls flag football programs. Although this is a far cry from the number of male high schools offering male football teams, the growth has been explosive, from only 157 teams and 4,000 athletes in 2008 to 6,000 athletes and 260 teams statewide today. Flag football is therefore the sport of the future for female athletes at all levels of competition, from youth sports all the way to high school.
If you are in the San Diego area and your daughter (or son!) is interested in participating in one of California’s top flag football leagues, then consider NFL Flag San Diego. Offering both competitive and recreational divisions in a variety of different age-group divisions, our league guarantees every player a significant amount of playing time and gives players the chance to make friends, be a part of a small, tight-knit team, and meet current and former National Football League players. While requiring a minimum time commitment with practices only once per week and games once per week, NFL Flag San Diego offers year-round opportunities for children from kindergarten through tenth grade to participate in flag football. Youth flag football is one of today’s fastest growing youth sports and opportunities for young women to participate in flag football are expanding not only at the youth level, but also at the high school level. If you have any questions, contact NFL Flag San Diego at (760) 237-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today.