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 represent 35 sports activities, and each of us on this planet competes to take home our prized medals. I have looked ahead to the next Olympics every four years, considering that as far back as I can remember. But there may usually be something lacking. One of the United States’ most famous sports, and a pinnacle ten sport throughout the arena, it looks as though address and flag football can be Olympic sports activities via the year 2024, which has difficult boundaries for that to end up a reality. First, we will 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.

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.

Knowing all this, it isn’t easy to see how either recreation might be a terrific fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is much like Soccer in that very little is wanted to play the sport in terms of tools and practice at its base stage, and it 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 conventional “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, sporting tender-padded headgear and shoulder pads for added protection. But what if we want to limit the touch players see before excessive school and center college simultaneously while also addressing some of the concerns for the game associated with it being commonplace in the Olympics? There have been several talks recently revolving around the safety of addressing 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 part of their body, and their necks aren’t as sturdy as adults’. So children may be in more danger of head and brain accidents than adults.”


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

Brees coached his son’s flag football group and performed flag soccer himself through 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 early on, and then I no longer need to play it again. I sensed that when you placed the pads on, there were so many other factors to the sport, and you’re at the mercy of the instructor 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 while 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 the game’s reputation 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 identification and reason, and it is time we diagnose that difference. Internationally, it is gaining popularity as well, a lot quicker than traditional American football. The barrier to entry is a good deal better with the need for full pads and equipment. In Mexico,  football is booming in recognition, and most don’t forget it to be the #2 game of football and final fast, with an envisioned 2. Five million youngsters are collaborating just at the fundamental school degree. International teams are starting the trip to some of the momore popular American flag football tournaments, with illustrations from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, and Canada, and a greater prevalence.

Your appearance, rance, participation, and interest in the sports flagsportaof ll are exploding everywhere.

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

Women’s participation is at an all-time high, mirroring its reputation at the children’s level. It is the preferred format of play for American football in most Central and South American nations. So, how does this all lead 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 should take place at least six years before scheduled Olympic video games. The International Federation of American Football, typically focused on tackle football but includes a flag in its tournament lineup, met this general, changed into authorization in 2012, and received a 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 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 most 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?


Football doesn’t shape the mold for every address as a logical preference for the IOC; there is flag soccer. Here are the four reasons flag Soccer needs to be considered 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; flag soccer is already an 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 less than a three-week window to match all ranges of opposition and the year-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 year. For flag soccer, it’s no longer uncommon to play 6-7 video games on a weekend or sometimes even an afternoon, so the game is more than ready for this style of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As stated above, this is a prime issue while determining whether or not a recreation is fit to be considered. While conventional American fashion addresses soccer as 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 because it is 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 linemen, etc. Where every conventional tackle soccer crew might probably bring 50+ competition, flag soccer might want probably 15 gamers at maximum, reducing that number to much less than a 3rd. This is critical because the Olympics cap their general individuals to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It also again lets in greater international locations to compete, particularly 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 must include both male and female 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, would not fit the mold, especially with the alternative problems relating to physicality and barriers to access. As specified above, this isn’t a hassle for flag soccer, with women’s participation booming internationally.


So, how do we take the next steps to ride the momentum of flag football directly into the after-be-held Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped begin the procedure of getting the sport of American Football in front of the IOC in recent years; however, with their public problems and 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 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 within 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 for a long time? Let us recognize this in the comments below!

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.