The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport 1

The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport

The Olympics are unlike any other wearing competition on the planet. For 16 days, over 300 activities representing 35 sports activities and each of us on this planet compete to take home their prized medals, and I have appeared ahead to looking the Summer Olympics every 4 years considering that as far returned as I can bear in mind. But there may usually be something lacking. One of the United States’ most famous sports, and a pinnacle 10 sport throughout the arena, looks as though address and flag football can be Olympic sports activities via the yr 2024, which has difficult boundaries for that to end up a reality. First, we’re going to stroll through a few reasons why the road to getting American Football protected into the Olympics has no longer been an easy adventure. We observed why we consider flag football to be the logical solution and choice as a future Olympic sport.


According to an editorial via NFL.Com, the biggest logistical troubles going through the game of American Football being covered inside the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the huge numbers of participants on every team, the “gender equality” codecs in which both ladies and men take part in each recreation, and the compressed 3-week timetable could be difficult with an extra bodily recreation like football and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to entry is excessive because it is a fee to equip all gamers with pads and equipment. Therefore, it has also been gradual to undertake in many overseas international locations, especially of the poorer variety.

 Olympic Sport

Knowing all this, it isn’t easy to look at how either recreation might be a terrific fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is lots like Soccer in that very little is wanted to play the sport in terms of tools and practice at its base stage and has a large global following. This among different motives has lately allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics beginning in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less traditional “sevens” layout that’s quicker paced with fewer human beings, which could assist carve a similar path for American Football, or flag soccer extra especially.

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Even an increasing number of high college, college, and pro groups are starting to lessen the wide variety of touch practices, nonetheless sporting the likes of tender-padded headgear and shoulder pads for added protection. But what if we may want to limit the touch players see before excessive school and center college simultaneously as also addressing a number of the concerns for the game associated with it being absolutely commonplace into the Olympics? There are several talks recently revolving around the safety of address football, and no longer just inside the NFL in which concussions are a chief issue. Starting as a way back because of the teen’s soccer degree, the latest proof has surfaced, assisting the idea that even short of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can show up in comparable brain injuries later in life for children examined among a long time of eight-thirteen. Many researchers suggest kids should not be playing football at all, suggesting that youngsters’ heads are “a larger a part of their body, and their necks aren’t as sturdy as adults’ necks. So children may be in more danger of head and brain accidents than adults.”


As of 2015, research display that flag soccer is the fastest growing children recreation inside the United States, substantially outpacing the boom of conventional address football. Many high schools are making the switch to flag football over address, getting different colleges of their regions to follow fit developing organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially identified varsity recreation in many states, and with women, especially flag soccer is a way to permit less complicated participation versus the physical nature of tackle. And he is now not the handiest one. Recently Drew Brees was interviewed by using Peter King for NBC’s pregame display and had some strong words on why he believes flag soccer is the solution. “I feel like flag football can shop football’ Brees stated.

Brees coaches his son’s flag football group and performed flag soccer himself thru junior excessive, never gambling tackle soccer until excessive school. “I experience like (flag football) is a tremendous introductory approach for a variety of kids into soccer,” Brees cited. “Otherwise, I sense it is very smooth to move in and feature a terrible revel in early on and then no longer need ever to play it again. I sensed like when you placed the pads on, there are so many other factors to the sport, and you’re at the mercy of the instruct in quite a few cases. And to be honest, I do not assume sufficient coaches are well-versed enough regarding the authentic fundamentals of the game, specifically whilst the pads cross on at the youth stage.” Many different pro athletes and coaches have expressed comparable sentiments, singing praises for the sport of flag soccer, and the rise in reputation of the game echoes that.

Flag football isn’t always a fluke or only a recreational development device that feeds into address football; it is a complete-fledged movement with its own identification and reason, and it is time we diagnosed that difference. Internationally it is gaining popularity as well, a great deal quicker, it seems, than traditional American football. The barrier to entry is a good deal better with the need for full pads and equipment. In Mexico as an example, flag football is booming in recognition, where most don’t forget it to be the #2 game of football and final fast, with an envisioned 2.Five million youngsters collaborating just at the fundamental school degree. International teams are starting to make the trip to some of the greater popular American flag football tournaments, with illustrations from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and greater a commonplace prevalence.

Everywhere your appearance, participation, and interest in the sports flag football are exploding.

To a person’s degree, it was a record yr for the sport of flag soccer. New main tournaments are popping up internationally, seeing many teams competing across all age groups, codecs, and styles. Cash prizes have been at an all-time high, predicted to eclipse over $a hundred 000 in team giveaways within the next calendar yr. Sponsors have started taking notice as well, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull, and different main brands seeing the value and growth from flag soccer as a way to attain their target market in huge numbers correctly.

Women’s participation is at an all-time high, mirroring its reputation at the children’s level and is the preferred format of play for American football in maximum Central to South American nations. So how does this all lead lower back to the Olympics and getting American football blanketed as a legitimate recreation? First, let’s overview a record of where the game stands today with the International Olympic Committee or IOC.

Historically, To be included in the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport, you need to have an International Federation and feature held a World Championship competition. This ought to take area at least 6 years earlier than scheduled Olympic video games. The International Federation of American Football, typically focused on tackle football but includes flag in its tournament lineup, met this general and changed into authorized in 2012, and received provisional reputation in 2014.

This could pave the manner for American soccer to be blanketed as a reliable game and flag soccer as in all likelihood a discipline of said recreation; however, the IFAF has since faced setbacks due to alleged scandal, occasion mismanagement, and misappropriation of the budget that cannot bode nicely for the sports activities inclusion brief time period. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC adopted a new, extra bendy rule set permitting applications to be up for evaluation after every Olympics beginning in 2020, clearing a direction for all sports to provide their case for being covered by prevailing a simple majority vote. So the possibility is there for American soccer to be blanketed in the maximum prestigious carrying event around the world, but how do we conquer the obstacles presented by using the shape of the sport to shape the mildew of a hit Olympic carrying event?


For every address, football doesn’t shape the mold as a logical preference for the IOC; there is flag soccer. Here are the pinnacle four motives flag soccer need to be considered to be blanketed as the next Olympic recreation.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

As we have already set up, flag football is a much more secure alternative than address football. Fewer hits and collisions equal fewer injuries, and flag soccer is already a established fulfillment model. It’s being praised for maintaining the game for destiny generations. But when it comes to the Summer Olympic Games, safety is simply one issue of the bodily demands of the game, considering you have got less than a three-week window to match in all ranges of opposition and the yr-round interest needed to exercise and qualify. Imagine playing 6-7 full contact football video games with a limited roster, all within a span of ~sixteen days, not to say different feasible qualifying occasions during the yr. For flag soccer, it’s no longer uncommon to play 6-7 video games in a weekend or sometimes even an afternoon, so the game is extra than ready for this style of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As stated above, this is a prime issue whilst determining whether or not a recreation is fit to be taken into consideration. While conventional American fashion address soccer is extraordinarily popular internationally, flag football appeals to greater countries. It’s a lower barrier to entry than cost and gadget cross, does not require full-length and striped football fields to take part, and is simpler to maintain larger match competitions and leagues to encourage nearby interest.

3. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which layout might be used (our bet is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires far fewer participants than conventional address soccer. Part of this is due to it being a less physically annoying recreation and the want for much fewer substitutions. Another component is desiring fewer specialist gamers, including kickers, punters, special teams, offensive lineman, and so forth. Where every conventional tackle soccer crew might probably bring 50+ competition, flag soccer might want probable 15 gamers at maximum, reducing that number to much less than a 3rd. This is critical due to the fact the Olympics cap their general individuals to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It also again lets in greater international locations to compete, in particular poorer international locations, where fielding a smaller and much less financially traumatic group coupled with the motives above makes the extra experience.

4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a first-rate emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the primary time all sports activities blanketed competing ladies of their category. Today, any new sport added to the Olympic Games has to include both male and lady individuals. There may be just now not almost enough interest from women participators for it to make sense to address soccer. While few lady gamers, or even a few female tackle soccer leagues and organizations, simply would not fit the mold, especially with the alternative problems relating to physicality and barrier to access. For flag soccer, this isn’t a hassle as specified above, with woman participation booming internationally.


So how do we take the next steps to ride the momentum of flag football directly into the after be had Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped begin the procedure of getting the sport of American Football in the front of the IOC in the latest years; however, with their public problems and apparently no motion considering that 2014 extra wishes to be accomplished to keep shifting ahead. We know that flag soccer is being taken seriously at all levels for actually the first time in records, with the most important agencies making moves to get more into the flag football space and the advent of larger and more worldwide activities to fuel the sport. We agree that either on it is very own, or as a field of address soccer, flag football WILL be blanketed in the Olympics at a few degrees inside the next 10-twenty years. If that passed off, what do you believe you studied that could reinforce the recognition and legitimacy of the game of flag soccer long time? Let us recognize within the comments beneath!

Ricardo L. Dominguez

Tv geek. Professional twitter buff. Incurable zombie aficionado. Bacon fanatic. Internet expert. Alcohol specialist.Fixie owner, father of 3, ukulelist, Mad Men fan and Guest speaker. Working at the fulcrum of simplicity and programing to create great work for living breathing human beings. Concept is the foundation of everything else.