The Case for Flag Football
The Olympics are unlike some other sporting competition on this planet. For 16 days, over 300 events representing 35 sports and each and every country in the world compete for taking home their prized medals, and I have looked forward to watching the Summer Olympics every 4 years since way back to I can remember. But there’s for ages been something missing. One from the United States most widely used sports, as well as a top 10 sport all over the world, it’s as though tackle and flag football may very well be Olympic sports from the year 2024, but issue obstacles still remain with the to become a reality. First we’ll walk through some reasons why the direction to getting American Football included in to the Olympics hasn’t been an easy journey, and then why we know flag football being the logical solution and choice like a future Olympic sport.
WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?
According in an article by NFL.com, the most important logistical problems facing the experience of American Football being within the Olympics are certainly similar to that surrounding Rugby. With the a lot of participants on each team, the “gender equality” formats where both women and men participate in every sport, along with the compressed 3 week schedule that could be tough which has a more physical game like football and rugby. Furthermore for American Football, the barrier to entry is high on account of it’s cost to equip all players with pads and gear, and therefor been specifically slow to look at in many foreign countries, especially on the poorer variety.
Knowing all of this, it’s difficult to see how either sport would have been a good fit with the Summer Olympics. Rugby is like Soccer as very little can be play the adventure in terms of gear and rehearse at it’s base level, and contains a much larger international following. This among other reasons has now allowed Rugby to become cleared for your Olympics starting in 2016 by changing the standard style into a less traditional “sevens” format that’s faster paced with less people, that could help carve an identical path for American Football, or flag football specifically.
TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS
Even a lot more high school, college and pro teams are beginning to reduce the quantity of contact practices, still sporting companies soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for more protection. But what happens if we could limit the contact players see before high school graduation and middle school as well as addressing some from the concerns for the activity related to it being fully accepted in to the Olympics?There’s plenty of talk recently revolving round the safety of tackle football, and not simply in the NFL where concussions certainly are a major concern. Starting since the youth football level, recent evidence has surfaced supporting the notion that even in short supply of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can manifest in similar brain injuries in the future for kids tested between the ages of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting kids should not be playing football whatsoever, suggesting that kids’ heads are “a larger section of their body, and necks will not be as strong as adults’ necks. So kids can be at a and the higher chances of head and brain injuries than adults.”
DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL
As of 2015, research shows that flag football will be the fastest growing youth sport from the United States, greatly outpacing the rise of traditional tackle football. Many individual high schools are responsible for the switch the signal from flag football over tackle, getting other schools inside their regions to follow along with suit creating organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially recognized varsity sport in numerous states, sufficient reason for women especially flag football is often a way to allow easier participation versus the physical nature of tackle.And he is not the only one. Recently Drew Brees was interviewed by Peter King for NBC’s pregame show along some strong words on why he believes flag football may be the answer. “I sense that flag football will save football,” Brees said. Brees coaches his son’s flag football team, and played flag football himself through junior high, never playing tackle football until high school graduation. “I feel as if (flag football) is usually a great introductory way of a lot of kids into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise I feel it’s very easy to input and have a bad experience at the beginning and then n’t want to ever listen to it again. I think that once you place the pads on the website are just numerous other elements to your game, and you’re simply at the mercy with the coach in a great deal of cases too. And to get honest, I don’t think enough coaches are well-versed enough in regards to your true fundamentals from the game specially when the pads continue at the youth level.” Many other pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments too, singing praises for the game of flag football, along with the rise in popularity of the adventure echoes that.
Flag football isn’t a fluke or merely a recreational development tool that feeds into tackle football, it’s actually a full-fledged movement that’s it’s own identity and purpose and it’s really time we recognized that distinction.
Internationally it can be gaining popularity likewise, much quicker it seems than traditional American football in which the barrier to entry is a lot higher together with the need for full pads and gear. In Mexico for example, flag football is booming in popularity, where most consider it for being the #2 sport to soccer and closing fast, with and estimated 2.5 million kids participating just for the elementary school level. International teams are beginning to make the holiday to some in the more popular American flag football tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and even more a common occurrence.
Everywhere you peer, participation and interest in the experience flag football is exploding.
At a mature level, it had been a record year for the activity of flag football. New major tournaments are showing up across the planet, seeing a large number of teams competing across all ages, formats and. Cash prizes have already been at an historical high, required to eclipse over $100,000 in team giveaways inside the next twelve months. Sponsors have started taking notice too, with the kind of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.com, Red Bull along with other major brands seeing the worth and growth from flag football to be a way to effectively reach their customers in thousands. Women’s participation is in an all-time high at the same time, mirroring it’s popularity in the youth level, and would be the preferred format of play for American football generally in most Central to South American countries.
So so how exactly does this all lead back to your Olympics and receiving American football included just as one official sport? First, let’s review a bit history on where the adventure stands today with all the International Olympic Committee, or IOC.
Historically, In order for being included into your Olympic games to be a demonstration sport, you want an International Federation and still have held a World Championship competition. This will need to take place at least 6 years before a scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, primarily dedicated to tackle football but includes flag in it’s tournament lineup, met this standard and was approved in 2012, and gained provisional recognition in 2014. This could pave the path for American football to become included for an official sport, and flag football as possibly a discipline of said sport, even so the IFAF has since faced setbacks as a result of alleged scandal, event mismanagement and misappropriation of funds that cannot bode well for your sports inclusion temporary. Fortunately in 2007 the IOC adopted a whole new, more flexible rule set allowing programs to get up for review after every Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a path for everyone sports presenting their case internet marketing included by winning an effective majority vote.
So the means is there for American football to become included inside the most prestigious sporting event about the world, but wait, how do we overcome the obstacles presented because of the structure of the adventure to fit the mold of the successful Olympic sporting event?
FLAG FOOTBALL IS THE KEY TO OLYMPIC INCLUSION
For every way tackle football doesn’t fit the mold like a logical choice for that IOC, there’s flag football. Here are the most notable 4 reasons flag football should be considered to get included because next Olympic sport.
1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football
As we’ve already established, flag football is an extremely safer alternative than tackle football. Less hits and collisions equal fewer injuries, and flag football is a proven success model that’s being praised for preserving the overall game for generations to come. But when it comes on the Summer Olympic Games, safety factors are just one aspect on the physical demands of the experience, considering you could have less than a 3 week window to match in all competitors, along with the year-round activity necessary to practice and qualify. Imagine playing 6-7 full contact football games that has a limited roster all inside a span of ~16 days, as well as other possible qualifying events all year round. For flag football, it’s actually not uncommon to experience 6-7 games inside a weekend or frequently even a day, so the activity is more than equipped just for this style of tournament play.
2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding
As stated earlier, this is really a major issue when determining whether an activity is fit being considered, even though traditional American style tackle football is very popular worldwide at the same time, flag football draws more countries. It’s a lower barrier to entry in terms of cost and equipment go, do not require full length and striped football fields to participate in, and is particularly easier to hold larger tournament competitions and leagues to inspire local interest.
3. It Requires Fewer Participants
Depending on what format will be used (our guess is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires far fewer participants than traditional tackle football. Part of this is as a result of it as a less challenging sport along with the need for less substitutions, and another part is because of needing less specialist players, like kickers, punters, special teams, offensive lineman, etc. Where each traditional tackle football team might carry 50+ competitors, flag football would wish probably 15 players at most of the, cutting that number to just one third. This is important considering that the Olympics cap their total participants to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It also again allows more countries to compete, especially poorer countries, where fielding a lesser and less financially demanding team coupled together with the reasons above should you choose.
4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport
Gender equality can be a major emphasis for your IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked initially all sports included competing women within their category. Today, any new sport which is added to your Olympic Games must include both female and male participants. For tackle football, there’s just not nearly enough interest from women participators for it to produce sense. While there are many female players, and in some cases some female tackle football leagues and organizations, it really doesn’t fit the mold, especially with all the other issues concerning physicality and barrier to entry. For flag football this isn’t a problem as detailed above, with female participation booming internationally.
NEXT STEPS FOR FLAG FOOTBALL AND OLYMPIC INCLUSION
So how can we take your next steps to ride the momentum of flag football straight in to the next available Olympic games? The IFAF has recently helped begin particles getting the activity of American Football in front with the IOC in recent times, though their public issues and seemingly no movement since 2014 more needs to become done to excersice forward. What we truly do know is that flag football is now being taken seriously by any means levels for really the very first time in history, with major organizations making moves to acquire more to the flag football space and also the creation of bigger and even more international events to fuel the experience. We believe that either by itself, or as being a discipline of tackle football, flag football WILL be within the Olympics at some level inside next 10-20 years.
If that happened, what’s your opinion that would do in order to boost the popularity and legitimacy of the activity of flag football extended? Let us know inside comments below!