Sports

The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport

8 Mins read

The Olympics are not like every other wearing opposition on this planet. For sixteen days, over three hundred activities representing 35 sports and each u. S. A. On this planet compete to take domestic their prized medals, and I have seemed ahead to watching the Summer Olympics every 4 years since as a long way again as I can take into account. But there’s usually been something missing. One of the United States most famous sports activities, and a top 10 sport in the course of the sector, it seems as even though address and flag football might be Olympic sports activities by way of the yr 2024, issue boundaries nonetheless continue to be for that to end up a reality. First, we’re going to walk thru some motives why the street to getting American Football protected into the Olympics has no longer been a clean adventure, observed via why we consider flag football to be the logical answer and choice as a future Olympic recreation.

WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?

According to an editorial by way of NFL.Com, the largest logistical issues dealing with the game of American Football being protected in the Olympics are very just like that of Rugby. With the big numbers of contributors on each crew, the “gender equality” formats wherein both women and men participate in every recreation and the compressed three-week timetable would be hard with a more physical game like football and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the entry barrier is high because it is valuable to equip all gamers with pads and tools. Therefore, it has also been slow to adopt in many overseas international locations, particularly of the poorer range.

Knowing all this, it is hard to peer how both games would be an excellent healthy for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is lots of Soccer in that very little is wanted to play the sport in phrases of gear and exercise at it is the base level and has a much larger global following. This, among other motives, has these days allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 via changing the traditional fashion to a much less traditional “sevens” format that is quicker paced with fewer humans, which could assist carve a comparable route for American Football, or flag soccer greater particularly. Sports

TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS

Even increasingly high faculty, college, and pro groups are beginning to lessen the number of contact practices, still carrying the likes of soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for introduced safety. But what if we should limit the contact gamers see before excessive school and middle faculty while also addressing a number of the issues for the sport related to it being absolutely generic into the Olympics? There’s several communication lately revolving around the safety of tackle soccer, and now not just within the NFL where concussions are a primary subject. Starting as a long way returned as the young people football level, latest proof has surfaced supporting the idea that even brief of a concussion, repeated head influences and collision can occur in similar brain injuries later in life for children tested between a long time of eight-13. Many researchers suggest youngsters not be playing football in any respect, suggesting that youngsters’ heads are “a bigger part of their frame, and their necks are not as robust as adults’ necks. So kids can be at an extra hazard of head and mind injuries than adults.”

DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL

As of 2015, research display that flag football is the fastest developing young people sport inside the United States, greatly outpacing the boom of conventional address soccer. Many character excessive colleges are making the switch to flag soccer over tackle, getting other schools of their regions to observe suit creating organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially diagnosed varsity game in many states. With girls specifically, flag football is a manner to allow less difficult participation than the bodily nature of the address. And he is now not the only one. Recently Drew Brees became interviewed via Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had a few sturdy phrases on why he believes flag football is the answer. “I feel like flag soccer can store football,” Brees stated.

Brees coaches his son’s flag soccer crew and performed flag soccer himself thru junior high, by no means playing tackle football till high college. “I sense like (flag football) is a outstanding introductory approach for lots of youngsters into football,” Brees referred to. “Otherwise, I sense it is spotless to go in and have a awful enjoyment early on, after which I no longer want ever to play it once more. I experience like once you positioned the pads on, there are so many different factors to the game, and you’re on the mercy of the train in a whole lot of cases too. And to be honest, I don’t assume sufficient coaches are well-versed sufficient regarding the proper basics of the sport, particularly while the pads pass on on the youngsters level.” Many different pro athletes and coaches have expressed comparable sentiments as properly, making a song praises for flag soccer, and the upward thrust in popularity of the game echoes that.

 Flag Football

Flag football is not a fluke or only a leisure development device that feeds into tackle soccer; it’s a full-fledged motion with personal identity and cause, and it is time we diagnosed that difference.

Internationally it’s miles gaining recognition as nicely, a whole lot faster it appears than conventional American football wherein the barrier to access is tons better with the want for complete pads and gear. In Mexico, for instance, flag soccer is booming in recognition, wherein maximum take into account it to be the #2 recreation to soccer and last rapid, with an anticipated 2.5 million youngsters participating just on the elementary school degree. International groups are beginning to experience many of the greater famous American flag soccer tournaments, with the illustration from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and more a commonplace incidence.

Everywhere you look, participation and hobby in the game flag football are exploding.

At an adult stage, it changed into a report 12 months for the sport of flag soccer. New major tournaments are popping up the world over, seeing thousands of groups competing across all age businesses, formats, and patterns. Cash prizes had been at an all-time high, anticipated to eclipse over $a hundred 000 in team giveaways in the subsequent calendar 12 months. Sponsors have started taking notice as nicely, with EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull, and the different most important brands seeing the price and growth from flag football to attain their target audience in big numbers successfully. Women’s participation is at an all-time high, mirroring its reputation on the teen’s stage. It is the preferred layout of play for American soccer in most Central to South American international locations.

How does this lead to returning to the Olympics and getting American soccer blanketed as a reliable game? First, allow’s assessment a bit records on wherein the sport stands these days with the International Olympic Committee or IOC.

Historically, To be blanketed into the Olympic games as an illustration game, you have to have an International Federation and have held a World Championship competition. This ought to take area at least 6 years before scheduled Olympic video games. The International Federation of American Football, commonly centered on address soccer, consists of the flag in its event lineup, met this trend and became authorized in 2012 and gained provisional popularity in 2014. This could pave the manner for American football to be protected as an authentic sport, and flag soccer as in all likelihood a area of stated sport, but the IFAF has given that faced setbacks because of alleged scandal, occasion mismanagement, and misappropriation of the price range that can not bode nicely for the sport’s inclusion brief term. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC followed a new, extra-flexible rule set permitting applications to be up for evaluation after each Olympics beginning in 2020, clearing a route for all sports activities to present their case for being protected of prevailing a simple majority vote.

So the possibility is there for American football to be blanketed inside the most prestigious sporting occasion around the sector; however, how can we triumph over the boundaries offered via the game’s structure to match the mold of a hit Olympic wearing occasion?

FLAG FOOTBALL IS THE KEY TO OLYMPIC INCLUSION

There may be flag soccer for every manner tackle football doesn’t match the mold as a logical preference for the IOC. Here are the top four motives flag football need to be considered to be covered as the subsequent Olympic recreation.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

Olympic

As we’ve got already set up, flag football is a much more secure opportunity than address football. Fewer hits and collisions, same fewer accidents, and flag football is already a proven achievement model. It’s being praised for retaining the game for future generations. But about the Summer Olympic Games, safety is just one element of the game’s physical demands, considering you’ve got much less than a 3-week window to healthy in all ranges of competition, and the 12 months-spherical activity had to practice and qualify. Imagine gambling 6-7 complete touch football games with a limited roster all inside a span of ~16 days, now not to say different viable qualifying events in the course of the yr. For flag soccer, it is not uncommon to play 6-7 games on the weekend or every so often, even an afternoon, so the game is extra than geared up for this fashion of event play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As stated above, that is the main problem while determining whether a recreation is fit to be taken into consideration. While conventional American fashion address soccer as extraordinarily popular globally, flag football appeals to greater nations. It’s a decrease barrier to entry as far as price and gadget move, don’t require complete length and striped soccer fields to take part, and is easier to keep larger match competitions and leagues to inspire neighborhood interest.

3. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which layout would be used (our guess is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag soccer calls for fewer members than conventional address football. Part of that is due to it being a less bodily disturbing sport and the want for fewer substitutions. Any other element is desiring much fewer professional gamers, including kickers, punters, special groups, offensive linemen, and so on. Where every conventional address soccer group might in all likelihood convey 50+ competitors, flag soccer could want in all likelihood 15 players at maximum, cutting that range too much less than a 3rd. This is important because the Olympics cap their general contributors to ten 500 athletes and coaches. It also again permits greater nations to compete, especially poorer countries, wherein fielding a smaller and much less financially worrying crew coupled with the reasons above makes greater sense.

4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a main emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the first time all sports included competing girls in their class. Today, any new game introduced to the Olympic Games needs to encompass both male and lady members. There is no longer almost enough hobby from women participators for tackling football to make the experience for tackle football. While some female players, or even some lady tackle football leagues and businessely don’t match the mold, specifically with the opposite physicality and barrier to access issues. For flag soccer, this isn’t a trouble as particular above, with lady participation booming internationally.

NEXT STEPS FOR FLAG FOOTBALL AND OLYMPIC INCLUSION

So how will we take the following steps to ride the momentum of flag soccer straight into the following available Olympic video games? The IFAF has already helped start the manner of having the sport of American Football in the IOC’s front in the latest years, but with their public issues and reputedly no movement when you consider that 2014 greater needs to be done keep shifting ahead. We understand that flag football is being taken severely in any respect levels for clearly the first time in records, with important businesses making moves to get greater into the flag football area and the advent of larger and extra international activities to gas the sport. We accept as true that either on it is own or as a field of tackle football, flag football WILL be included in the Olympics at some stage in the next 10-twenty years.

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About author
Spent 2001-2004 buying and selling robots in Bethesda, MD. Spent several months working with tinker toys in the UK. Won several awards for selling teddy bears on Wall Street. In 2009 I was developing strategies for sausage in Prescott, AZ. Once had a dream of supervising the production of corncob pipes for no pay. At the moment I'm creating marketing channels for magma for the government. Communicator. Beer lover. Social media advocate. Travel guru. Pop culture evangelist. Entrepreneur.
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