The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Recreation

The Olympics are unlike any other wearing opposition on earth. For 16 days, over 300 activities representing 35 sports activities and each u . S . on this planet compete to take home their prized medals, and I’ve seemed forward to watching the Summer time Olympics every 4 years considering as far lower back as I can consider. However there’s constantly been some thing lacking. One of the Usa maximum popular sports activities, and a top 10 Game at some stage in the arena, it appears as even though tackle and flag Soccer might be Olympic sports activities by using the 12 months 2024, But trouble barriers nevertheless stay for that to come to be a truth. First we will walk thru a few reasons why the road to getting American Football blanketed into the Olympics has not been an smooth journey, observed through why we believe flag Soccer to be the logical solution and choice as a destiny Olympic Game.


WHY Isn’t always AMERICAN Football Flag ALREADY AN OLYMPIC Recreation?
In line with a piece of writing by using NFL.Com, the biggest logistical problems dealing with the sport of yankee Soccer being blanketed within the Olympics are very much like that of Rugby. With the massive numbers of individuals on each crew, the “gender equality” formats where both men and women take part in each Sport, and the compressed three week schedule that could be hard with a greater physical game like Football and rugby. Furthermore for American Football, the barrier to entry is excessive because of it is cost to equip all gamers with pads and equipment, and therefor has also been gradual to adopt in lots of foreign countries, particularly of the poorer variety.

Knowing all this, it is tough to see how either Recreation would be a great fit for the Summer time Olympics. Rugby is lots like Soccer in that little or no is wanted to play the sport in phrases of gear and practice at it’s base degree, and has a miles large international following. This among other motives has lately allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics beginning in 2016 by using converting the conventional fashion to a much less conventional “sevens” format which is quicker paced with less human beings, which can help carve a similar route for American Football, or flag Soccer extra specifically.

tackle Safety Issues
Even an increasing number of high faculty, university and seasoned teams are starting to lessen the wide variety of touch practices, nevertheless sporting the likes of soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for introduced protection. However what if we could limit the touch players see before high college and middle college at the same time as also addressing a number of the Issues for the game related to it being fully ordinary into the Olympics?there may be a lot of talk these days revolving across the Protection of address Soccer, and not simply in the NFL in which concussions are a chief challenge. starting as far returned because the children Football degree, current evidence has surfaced assisting the idea that even brief of a concussion, repeated head affects and collision can appear in similar mind accidents later in life for kids tested among the a while of 8-thirteen. Many researchers are suggesting youngsters should not be gambling Football in any respect, suggesting that youngsters’ heads are “a bigger a part of their frame, and their necks are not as robust as adults’ necks. So children may be at a extra risk of head and brain injuries than adults.”


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As of 2015, research display that flag Football is the fastest growing children Recreation within the America, greatly outpacing the boom of traditional address Soccer. Many individual excessive faculties are making the switch to flag Soccer over address, getting other colleges in their areas to follow match creating prepared leagues and divisions. it is even an officially diagnosed varsity Game in many states, and with ladies specifically flag Football is a manner to allow simpler participation versus the physical nature of address.And he’s now not the handiest one. lately Drew Brees become interviewed by using Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had a few sturdy phrases on why he believes flag Soccer is the solution. “I experience like flag Soccer can Save Soccer,” Brees stated. Brees coaches his son’s flag Football group, and performed flag Soccer himself via junior excessive, never gambling address Football until excessive college. “I feel like (flag Soccer) is a excellent introductory approach for quite a few children into Soccer,” Brees referred to. “Otherwise I feel it is very easy to go in and have a terrible revel in early on after which now not want to ever play it again. I sense like when you placed the pads on there are in order that many other factors to the sport, and you are at the mercy of the instruct in loads of instances too. And to be sincere, I do not suppose enough coaches are properly-versed sufficient regarding the proper fundamentals of the sport particularly whilst the pads cross on at the youth stage.” Many different pro athletes and coaches have expressed comparable sentiments as well, making a song praises for the game of flag Football, and the upward thrust in reputation of the sport echoes that.

Flag Football Is not a fluke or just a leisure development device that feeds into tackle Football, it is a full-fledged motion that has it’s very own identification and purpose and it is time we identified that distinction.

Across the world it is gaining popularity as well, tons quicker it seems than traditional American Soccer in which the barrier to access is a whole lot better with the need for complete pads and gear. In Mexico as an instance, flag Football is booming in popularity, in which most recall it to be the #2 Sport to Football and closing speedy, with and envisioned 2.5 million youngsters taking part simply at the essential faculty level. global groups are starting to make the trip to a number of the extra popular American flag Football tournaments, with illustration from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and extra a not unusual occurrence.

Everywhere you appearance, participation and hobby in the game flag Soccer is exploding.

At an person level, it was a record 12 months for the game of flag Football. New principal tournaments are popping up internationally, seeing heaps of groups competing across all age organizations, formats and styles. Coins prizes have been at an all time high, expected to eclipse over $a hundred,000 in team giveaways in the next calendar year. Sponsors have began taking note as properly, with the likes of EA sports, Nerf, Lodges.Com, Purple Bull and other fundamental brands seeing the price and boom from flag Soccer as a way to efficiently reach their target audience in huge numbers. girls’s participation is at an all-time excessive as nicely, mirroring it’s reputation on the youth level, and is the preferred format of play for American Soccer in most Central to South American nations.

So how does this all lead back to the Olympics and getting American Soccer included as an professional Sport? First, allow’s evaluate a touch records on wherein the sport stands nowadays with the global Olympic Committee, or IOC.

Traditionally, As a way to be blanketed into the Olympic video games as an indication Sport, you have to have an worldwide Federation and have held a Global Championship opposition. This need to take region at the least 6 years earlier than a scheduled Olympic games. The worldwide Federation of yankee Soccer, mostly centered on tackle Football But includes flag in it’s event lineup, met this trendy and become approved in 2012, and received provisional reputation in 2014. This could pave the way for American Football to be blanketed as an legitimate Game, and flag Football as in all likelihood a subject of said Sport, however the IFAF has considering confronted setbacks due to alleged scandal, event mismanagement and misappropriation of budget that can not bode well for the sports inclusion quick term. Fortuitously in 2007 the IOC adopted a brand new, more bendy rule set allowing programs to be up for evaluate after each Olympics beginning in 2020, clearing a route for all sports to give their case for being protected by means of prevailing a easy majority vote.

So the possibility is there for American Football to be blanketed inside the most prestigious sporting event round the world, But how can we overcome the barriers offered by the shape of the sport to fit the mould of a successful Olympic carrying occasion?

For every way tackle Soccer does not fit the mould as a logical preference for the IOC, there’s flag Football. Here are the top 4 motives flag Soccer should be taken into consideration to be blanketed as the following Olympic Game.

1. it is much less Bodily Disturbing than address Soccer

As we have already hooked up, flag Football is a far more secure alternative than address Soccer. less hits and collisions identical fewer accidents, and flag Football is already a tested fulfillment version it is being praised for keeping the sport for destiny generations. But in relation to the Summer season Olympic games, Safety is just one factor of the bodily demands of the sport, considering you’ve got less than a 3 week window to match in all degrees of opposition, and the yr-round hobby needed to practice and qualify. Imagine gambling 6-7 complete contact Football video games with a constrained roster all inside a span of ~16 days, no longer to mention different feasible qualifying activities during the year. For flag Football, it’s now not uncommon to play 6-7 games in a weekend or from time to time even a day, so the game is extra than prepared for this style of tournament play.

2. global Flag Football interest is Exploding

As cited above, this is a first-rate trouble while determining whether a Sport is in shape to be considered, and whilst traditional American fashion tackle Soccer is extraordinarily popular worldwide as well, flag Soccer appeals to greater countries. it’s a lower barrier to entry as some distance as cost and device move, don’t require complete duration and striped Soccer fields to participate, and is simpler to keep larger event competitions and leagues to encourage local interest.

3. It Requires Fewer members

Relying on which format might be used (our guess is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag Soccer Requires a ways fewer contributors than traditional tackle Football. a part of that is due to it being a much less Bodily Traumatic Recreation and the need for much less substitutions, and another part is due to needing much less expert players, along with kickers, punters, special teams, offensive lineman, etc. where each traditional address Football crew could in all likelihood bring 50+ competitors, flag Soccer might need in all likelihood 15 gamers at maximum, slicing that variety to less than a third. this is critical because the Olympics cap their overall participants to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It additionally once more allows more nations to compete, particularly poorer countries, where fielding a smaller and much less financially Disturbing crew coupled with the motives above makes greater sense.

4. it is no longer just a Guys’s Recreation

Gender equality is a prime emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the first time all sports included competing ladies in their category. these days, any new Game this is brought to the Olympic games have to consist of both male and girl members. For tackle Soccer, there is simply not nearly enough interest from ladies participators for it to make experience. even as there are a few female gamers, or even some girl tackle Soccer leagues and corporations, it just doesn’t suit the mould, specially with the opposite troubles relating to physicality and barrier to access. For flag Football this is not a problem as certain above, with woman participation booming Across the world.


So how can we take the following steps to ride the momentum of flag Football immediately into the subsequent available Olympic video games? The IFAF has already helped begin the procedure of having the sport of american Soccer in the front of the IOC in current years, However with their public troubles and apparently no movement given that 2014 more desires to be done to preserve moving ahead. What we do realize is that flag Soccer is being taken seriously at all degrees for simply the primary time in history, with foremost companies making actions to get more into the flag Soccer area and the creation of larger and extra worldwide occasions to fuel the sport. We consider that either on it’s own, or as a discipline of tackle Soccer, flag Football Can be included within the Olympics at some degree inside the subsequent 10-two decades.

If that passed off, what do you suspect that might do to enhance the recognition and legitimacy of the game of flag Football long term? Let us realize in the feedback under!

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About the Author: Kathryn J. Riddell