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What is Flag Football?

What is Flag Football

There is no doubt that American football is a thrilling sport. However, it also entails a fairly high level of risk due to injuries since it is a contact sport.


Flag football retains the elements that make conventional football great while reducing contact between players and thus mitigating the risk of injury.


Flag football was originally developed during the 30s in the US. However, it is now played in all parts of the world. There is a good chance it will be an Olympic sport quite soon.


How to Play Flag Football

Think of flag football as a version of American football that removes strong physical contact and tackling between players.


One fundamental rule of flag football is that it does not permit tackling. So how to stop opposition players?


The ball carrier has flags on their belt. There is one flag on each side. If you succeed in pulling a flag from the opposition ball carrier, the game halts. In conventional American football, there is a limit on physical contact.


In Europe, the International Federation of American Football or the IFAF oversees the regulations in flag football. In essence, the rules of this game are quite similar to American football. However, there are a few key differences. The main objective remains the same. 4 chances are available to go across the midfield. After the midfield is crossed, a further four chances are available to win a touchdown.


Flag Football Types

There are a couple of variants in flag football. In the US, players have three flags, placed on both sides of the waist and towards the back. In Europe, players carry two flags. There are five players on each side. Each team can have up to 11 players.


Bart Iaccarino, an organizer of Champions Bowl 2019 and a team manager, says that teams are limited to just five players on each side since it provides several advantages. With smaller teams, it is much easier to find indoor sports facilities that will be able to accommodate flag football. As a result, the sport will gain greater recognition and thus be played by more sports fans. This will lead to the creation of more teams.


An advantage of flag football is that mixed teams are possible. Hence, women are allowed to play in flag football leagues alongside men. A league also exists that allows women only.


Flag Football Origins

Although flag football took off in popularity during the 40s in the US, records are available to show that it was played earlier.


Flag football became popular on American military bases because soldiers needed to play a sport that would minimize the risk of injuries.


Flag football replaced rough tackling with the much more benign flag pulling, thereby mitigating the risk of injury while making the new sport just as exciting as American football.


Flag football, in particular, is becoming much more popular among girls and boys aged 6 to 12 years old. The sport is growing rapidly in this demographic; it has also exceeded the numbers who play conventional American football.


One reason why flag football is becoming an increasingly widespread sport for youth players is that it is safer and thus gentler on their rapidly growing bodies. Conventional American football is known to cause serious brain injuries. Brain injuries can lead to greater cognitive impairment and medical complications in growing children. This phenomenon is a source of concern, especially for youth players, since they are more adversely affected by such injuries.


What are the Advantages of Flag Football?

Flag football has several advantages compared to conventional American football. Here are some of them.

  1. Making the teamis simpler. The game can be played with just seven players on each side. Contrast this with American football, which requires over 11 players per team.
  2. The cost of a flag football kit is lower compared to American footballhelmets. Each player needs to buy flags and belts. Due to its lower cost, flag football is a more inclusive team sport.
  3. Girls and boys find this sport more appealing since it is safer. It greatly reduces the risk of traumatic brain injuries.
  4. Mixed teams can play with each other.
  5. There is less discrimination in flag football since persons of all physical constitutions can find a role in the team.


Owing to these factors, it is no wonder that flag football popularity is surging. It will soon become a highly watched international sport in the not too distant future.


Who is it For?

The beauty of flag football is that it is highly inclusive. Hence, kids and women can play the game. Moreover, it is easy to play, so so many kids prefer this sport.


You don’t need overwhelming strength or a powerful physique for playing flag football. Just about anyone can join in the fun. If you find yourself motivated and like to play as part of a team, then flag football is for you.


Flag football can provide cardiovascular benefits without the risks associated with American football.


Flag Football Kit


This deluxe flag football kit can equip both teams with items like five yellow flag football belts, five blue flag football belts, goal-line cones and Velcro flags. This set has all that you need to get started with flag football.


Our Final Thoughts

Flag football is derived from American football, the main difference being that it minimizes hard impacts, tackling and contact between players. As a result, it is a safer version of the popular sport and is thus growing in popularity across the globe.


Sports fans may soon find that flag football is allowed as an Olympic sport.