Football has always been a sport that in past generations was associated solely with participation by male athletes at all levels of the game, even youth football. That perception is slowly beginning to change, however, as more and more young female athletes become involved in the game through their local youth flag football leagues. With the explosion of interest and popularity in youth flag football that has emerged in recent years, to the point where participation in youth flag football now exceeds that in youth tackle football, it is a very encouraging sign that so many young female athletes are choosing to pursue flag football instead of the many other athletic opportunities available to them today.
At NFL Flag San Diego, we have worked tirelessly to encourage participation among the female athletes of Southern California in our youth flag football leagues during our now five years in operation in the greater San Diego area. Football has been regarded too often as a sport that only boys play and we aim to change that. 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. Flag football is not just for youth male athletes and some of our most successful teams are comprised by a majority of female athletes. With each passing year, we see a larger and larger percentage of participants in our leagues that are female. This is a very positive sign for both our league and for the participation of female athletes in youth sports more generally. 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 in traditional youth tackle football.
While making flag football an increasingly important part of its focus on ensuring that children are receiving enough physical activity every day, given the nationwide childhood obesity epidemic that has struck the country in the past several decades, through its Play 60 initiative, the NFL has also put a particular emphasis on increasing the number of female flag football players in its youth leagues around the country. As a part of this emphasis, the NFL is sponsoring leagues across the country like NFL Flag San Diego and providing monetary and other support to Boys & Girls Clubs and similar organizations to offer their own youth flag football leagues for both genders; additionally, individual NFL teams in every major city that has an NFL franchise are taking similar steps on a local level.
In a sign of how important the NFL considers the growing participation of female youth athletes in flag football to be, the league recently showcased an extremely successful group of young athletes from suburban Atlanta. According to a story from Gwinnett Prep Sports, the Gwinnett Girls in the Game rally was presented by Atlanta’s Super Bowl Host Committee as part of the lead-up to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta this coming February 2019. It highlighted five games at area high schools between teams from a 19-team all-female high school flag football league in suburban Atlanta, which is a first of its kind and is sponsored by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Youth sports and youth engagement are a part of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee’s “five pillars” it has set for the community initiatives it wants to pursue to accompany the upcoming Super Bowl and this showcase was a part of those efforts.
The league is sponsored by the Gwinnett County Public Schools outside Atlanta. Collins Hill High School athletic director, Scarlett Straughan, who is also the league’s commissioner, informed reporters that each of the 19 teams in the league had at least 20 team members and that some schools had so many prospective team members express interest that they could have fielded multiple teams. The league is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and was the original brainchild of Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay, whose sister Michele starred as the quarterback of a youth flag football team coached by their father in Southern California when he was growing up.
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. With the full resources of the NFL and its particular emphasis on increasing the participation of young girls in the various NFL-sponsored and associated leagues through the country behind us, your daughter is sure to have a wonderful experience. 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, as evidenced by the Atlanta league. Although we have reached the conclusion of an extremely successful fall 2018 league for NFL Flag San Diego, registration is currently open for both our winter 2019 and spring 2019 leagues. No matter whether your son or daughter wishes to participate in the winter or spring league, you can sign them up for either league now. Do not hesitate, as spots fill quickly. If you have any questions, contact NFL Flag San Diego at (760) 237-8278 or email@example.com for more information today.