The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport


The Olympics are unlike some other wearing opposition on the earth. For 16 days, over three hundred events representing 35 sports and each country on earth compete to take domestic their prized medals, and I have appeared forward to watching the Summer Olympics every four years considering as far back as I can don’t forget.Olympic Sport But there may be continually been something missing. One of America maximum popular sports, and a pinnacle 10 game throughout the sector, it appears as even though tackle and flag soccer might be Olympic sports by using the 12 months 2024, problem boundaries nonetheless stay for that to emerge as a truth. First, we’ll walk thru a few motives why the street to getting American Football included into the Olympics has now not been a clean journey, followed by why we agree with flag soccer to be the logical solution and desire as a destiny Olympic sport.

According to a piece of writing by way of NFL.Com, the largest logistical problems going through the game of American Football being blanketed inside the Olympics are very just like that of Rugby. With the big numbers of contributors on every crew, the “gender equality” formats wherein each ladies and men take part in each recreation and the compressed 3-week agenda that would be hard with a greater physical recreation like football and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to entry is excessive because of it’s price to equip all players with pads and gear and therefore has additionally been gradual to adopt in many overseas countries, mainly of the poorer range.

Knowing all this, it’s tough to peer how both games would be a great health for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that very little is needed to play the game in terms of equipment and exercise at its base level, and has a miles large international following. This amongst different reasons has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics beginning in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less traditional “sevens” layout which is quicker paced with fewer people, that may help carve a comparable course for American Football, or flag football more in particular.

Even more and more excessive college, college and pro teams are beginning to lessen the wide variety of contact practices, still sporting the likes of tender-padded headgear and shoulder pads for introduced safety. But what if we could restriction the touch players see before high college and middle school even as additionally addressing some of the worries for the sport related to it being absolutely common into the Olympics? There’s a number of talks currently revolving across the safety of address football, and now not just in the NFL wherein concussions are a major subject. Starting as a long way returned because the adolescent’s soccer degree, current evidence has surfaced assisting the idea that even quick of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can happen incomparable mind accidents later in existence for kids tested between a long time of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting children should not be gambling football at all, suggesting that children’ heads are “a bigger a part of their frame, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater threat of head and mind injuries than adults.”

As of 2015, research display that flag soccer is the quickest growing youth recreation inside the United States, greatly outpacing the boom of conventional tackle football. Many person excessive faculties are making the transfer to flag soccer over the tackle, getting different schools of their areas to comply with suit growing organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially diagnosed varsity sport in lots of states, and with women mainly flag football is a way to allow easier participation as opposed to the physical nature of address. And he’s not the simplest one. Recently Drew Brees turned into interviewed by way of Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had some strong words on why he believes flag football is the answer. “I sense like flag football can shop football,” Brees stated. Brees coaches his son’s flag football group, and performed flag soccer himself thru junior high, in no way gambling tackle soccer till excessive faculty. “I sense like (flag soccer) is an exceptional introductory method for a variety of kids into football,” Brees cited. “Otherwise I feel it’s very easy to go in and have a terrible revel in early on and then no longer want to ever play it once more. I experience like after you placed the pads on there are in order that many different elements of the sport and you are at the mercy of the coach in a variety of cases too. And to be honest, I don’t suppose enough coaches are nicely-versed sufficient regarding the actual fundamentals of the game particularly while the pads pass on on the children degree.” Many other seasoned athletes and coaches have expressed comparable sentiments as nicely, making a song praises for the game of flag football, and the upward thrust in the reputation of the sport echoes that.

Flag football isn’t always a fluke or just a leisure development device that feeds into address football, it is a complete-fledged movement that has it’s own identification and cause and it is time we diagnosed that difference.

Internationally it’s far gaining reputation as well, much quicker it appears that conventional American soccer wherein the barrier to entry is lots higher with the need for full pads and equipment. In Mexico for instance, flag soccer is booming in recognition, where most take into account it to be the #2 recreation to soccer and final speedy, with an estimated 2.5 million children collaborating simply on the simple faculty stage. International groups are starting to make the trip to some of the greater famous American flag football tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and greater a commonplace prevalence.

Everywhere you look, participation and interest in the sports flag soccer are exploding.

At a person stage, it becomes a document 12 months for the game of flag football. New fundamental tournaments are stoning up across the world, seeing lots of teams competing across all age corporations, formats, and patterns. Cash prizes had been at an all-time excessive, predicted to eclipse over $a hundred,000 in team giveaways in the next calendar yr. Sponsors have started taking note as well, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull and other major manufacturers seeing the price and boom from flag football as a way to efficiently attain their audience in big numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time excessive as properly, mirroring it is reputation on the teen’s degree and is the favored layout of play for American soccer in maximum Central to South American international locations.

So how does this all lead again to the Olympics and getting American soccer blanketed as an authentic recreation? First, permit’s evaluate a bit history on where the sport stands nowadays with the International Olympic Committee or IOC.

Historically, In order to be included in the Olympic video games as an indication game, you have to have an International Federation and feature held a World Championship opposition. This must take place no less than 6 years earlier than scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, usually targeted on tackle football but includes the flag in its event lineup, met this trendy and become authorized in 2012, and gained a provisional reputation in 2014. This may want to pave the way for American football to be covered as an authentic game, and flag soccer as probably a subject of said recreation, but the IFAF has on account that confronted setbacks due to alleged scandal, event mismanagement, and misappropriation of finances that cannot bode properly for the inclusion of the sport short time period. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC followed a brand new, more flexible rule set permitting programs to be up for evaluation after every Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a route for all sports activities to present their case for being blanketed by using winning an easy majority vote.

So the possibility is there for American football to be included within the most prestigious carrying event around the sector, however, how can we conquer the limitations offered by means of the shape of the sport to healthy the mold of a successful Olympic wearing occasion?

For each manner tackle football would not fit the mildew as a logical preference for the IOC, there may be flag football. Here are the top four reasons flag soccer must be considered to be blanketed as the subsequent Olympic sport.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

As we’ve already set up, flag football is a miles more secure opportunity than tackle soccer. Fewer hits and collisions same fewer injuries, and flag football is already a tested achievement version this is being praised for keeping the game for future generations. But with regards to the Summer Olympic Games, protection is just one factor of the bodily demands of the sport, thinking about you have much less than a three-week window to match in all ranges of competition, and the year-round hobby needed to exercise and qualify. Imagine playing 6-7 full contact football games with a limited roster all inside a span of ~16 days, not to say other feasible qualifying occasions for the duration of the yr. For flag soccer, it’s now not uncommon to play 6-7 video games in a weekend or from time to time even a day, so the game is greater than prepared for this fashion of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As stated above, that is the main difficulty whilst figuring out whether or not a sport is a match to be considered, and while traditional American style tackle football is extraordinarily popular global as properly, flag soccer appeals to extra nations. It’s a decreased barrier to access as some distance as value and device go, do not require complete period and striped football fields to take part, and is easier to keep large match competitions and leagues to encourage neighborhood hobby.

3. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which layout could be used (our wager is both 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires some distance fewer members than conventional address football. Part of that is because of it being a much less physically traumatic recreation and the want for much less substitutions, and some other element is due to desiring much fewer specialist gamers, including kickers, punters, unique teams, offensive lineman, and many others. Where every traditional tackle soccer crew would probably carry 50+ competition, flag football might need probable 15 gamers at most, reducing that quantity to less than a 3rd. This is vital due to the fact the Olympics cap their total contributors to ten,500 athletes and coaches. It additionally once more permits more nations to compete, specially poorer countries, wherein fielding a smaller and less financially stressful group coupled with the reasons above makes more experience.

4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a primary emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the first time all sports activities protected competing women in their category. Today, any new recreation that is delivered to the Olympic Games need to consist of both male and woman participants. For tackle football, there’s simply not nearly sufficient interest from women participators for it to make sense. While there are a few female players, and even a few woman address soccer leagues and companies, it simply does not suit the mould, mainly with the opposite issues relating to physicality and barrier to access. For flag football, this isn’t always a hassle as targeted above, with woman participation booming internationally.

So how will we take the next steps to ride the momentum of flag soccer immediately into the next available Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped start the method of having the sport of American Football in front of the IOC in current years, however with their public issues and seemingly no motion since 2014 more needs to be carried out to keep moving ahead. What we do realize is that flag soccer is being taken significantly in any respect stages for in reality the first time in records, with foremost organizations making movements to get more into the flag football space and the creation of larger and extra global events to gas the game. We trust that both on it is personal, or as a field of tackle football, flag football WILL be included inside the Olympics at a few stages inside the subsequent 10-twenty years.