Have you ever thought of starting your own American football club? Perhaps you are part of a club that doesn’t yet have a flag football team? Starting a flag football team is relatively simple which can reap huge benefits – this article will tell you the fundamentals of starting a flag football team.
Why Start A Flag Football Team?
Flag football is one of the most fun and challenging non-contact sports there is. It is similar to tag rugby – rather than a physical tackle, the players flag (tag) must be pulled which signals a tackle. This therefore takes the physical side of football out and focuses more on skill.
For a new club, it is a cost-effective way to play competitive football as well as an excellent starting block for developing the club – this could be to build the flag football programme and introduce more flag football teams (second team etc) or to develop the club and introduce a kitted team – there is a huge scope of development opportunities!
For established clubs, adding a flag football team to your club can attract more members as it appeals to a wider audience as well as provide a way for your club members to stay engaged in football during the kitted off season. It is also an excellent opportunity to introduce new people to the sport, who then build on the fundamentals they learn in flag football which allows them to feel more comfortable if they decide to try kitted football.
Finally, flag football is a sport for all. The AFI leagues allow for males and females aged 16+ to play, and with the Irish Wolfhounds flag programme being rebooted, there is even the chance to represent Ireland!
What Is Needed To Start A Flag Football Team?
What makes a club is the people behind it. For new clubs, we recommend assigning a chairperson, a treasurer, and a secretary at a minimum to help with the functions of the club. A head coach will need to be appointed at a very minimum whilst we also encourage other coaches to be assigned e.g. offensive co-ordinator, defensive co-ordinator. AFI provide coaching courses throughout the year that will allow coaches to gain certification. Volunteers are always great to have in positions such as videographers (for game review and see where to improve on) and photographers (to help with your social media presence). When it comes to players, we would recommend having game day squads of at least 10 players – flag football in Ireland is played 5v5. This allows for substitutions in instances of injury etc.
Equipment wise, you will need footballs, flags and cones (of which our partners at Football America UK sell starter packs) at a minimum. For competitive matches, all players will need jerseys that are of the same colour and style and which have numbers. Shorts with no pockets are also mandatory (to reduce the chance of injury).