The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport

The Olympics are in contrast to another wearing competition on earth. For sixteen days, over three hundred occasions representing 35 sports and every us of an on the planet compete to take domestic their prized medals, and I even have regarded forward to watching the Summer Olympics every 4 years since as a long way returned as I can keep in mind. But there is constantly been something missing. One of the United States most famous sports, and a top 10 game all through the world, it looks as although tackle and flag football may be Olympic sports through the year 2024, however trouble barriers nevertheless stay for that to come to be a reality. First, we will walk through some reasons why the street to getting American Football covered into the Olympics has now not been a clean journey, followed through why we trust flag soccer to be the logical solution and choice as a destiny Olympic sport.


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According to a piece of writing by means of NFL.Com, the largest logistical problems dealing with the game of American Football being covered in the Olympics are very much like that of Rugby. With the massive numbers of members on each group, the “gender equality” formats in which both women and men participate in every sport, and the compressed 3-week timetable that might be hard with a more bodily sport like soccer and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to access is high because of its value to equip all gamers with pads and gear and therefore has also been slow to undertake in lots of foreign nations, particularly of the poorer range.Flag Football

Knowing all this, it’s difficult to peer how either game would be a very good fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that very little is needed to play the sport in terms of gear and practice at its base degree, and has a far large worldwide following. This among other reasons has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics beginning in 2016 by using changing the traditional style to a less conventional “sevens” format that’s faster paced with much fewer people, that may assist carve a comparable course for American Football, or flag football extra specially.

Even increasingly more excessive college, university, and pro teams are starting to reduce the quantity of touch practices, still carrying the likes of soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for brought safety. But what if we may want to restriction the contact players see before high school and middle college while additionally addressing a number of the concerns for the game related to it being fully every day into the Olympics?There’s a whole lot of speak currently revolving around the safety of address football, and now not simply in the NFL wherein concussions are a chief challenge. Starting as far again because the teenager’s football level, latest proof has surfaced helping the idea that even brief of a concussion, repeated head effects and collision can occur in comparable brain injuries later in life for youngsters examined among the ages of eight-thirteen. Many researchers are suggesting youngsters shouldn’t be gambling football at all, suggesting that youngsters’ heads are “a bigger a part of their frame, and their necks aren’t as strong as adults’ necks. So youngsters may be at an extra danger of head and brain accidents than adults.”

As of 2015, research shows that flag football is the fastest growing kids game in the United States, greatly outpacing the increase of traditional address soccer. Many character high colleges are making the transfer to flag football over the address, getting different colleges of their areas to observe fit developing prepared leagues and divisions. It’s even a formally recognized varsity game in many states, and with women especially flag soccer is a way to allow less complicated participation versus the physical nature of tackle.And he’s not the best one. Recently Drew Brees was interviewed by way of Peter King for NBC’s pregame display and had a few strong words on why he believes flag soccer is the solution. “I feel like flag football can shop soccer,” Brees said. Brees coaches his son’s flag soccer team, and performed flag soccer himself through junior high, never gambling tackle soccer until excessive faculty. “I sense like (flag football) is an exquisite introductory approach for quite a few youngsters into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise I feel it is very clean to go in and have a horrific experience early on after which no longer need to ever play it once more. I experience like after you placed the pads on there are simply so many other factors to the game, and you are at the mercy of the educated in a number of cases too. And to be sincere, I do not think enough coaches are properly-versed sufficient regarding the proper fundamentals of the sport specifically while the pads move on at the young people stage.” Many different pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments as properly, singing praises for the game of flag football, and the upward thrust in recognition of the game echoes that.

Flag soccer isn’t a fluke or only a leisure improvement device that feeds into tackle soccer, it’s a complete-fledged movement that has it is personal identification and reason and it is a time we identified that difference.Olympic

Internationally it’s far gaining recognition as well, tons quicker it seems that traditional American soccer wherein the barrier to entry is lots higher with the want for full pads and gear. In Mexico as an instance, flag football is booming in recognition, wherein most consider it to be the #2 game to football and remaining rapid, with and predicted 2.Five million kids collaborating simply on the fundamental faculty stage. International teams are starting to make the experience to some of the greater famous American flag soccer tournaments, with an illustration from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and greater a commonplace prevalence.

Everywhere you appearance, participation and interest in the game flag football is exploding.

At a grownup degree, it changed into a record or for the game of flag football. New primary tournaments are shooting up the world over, seeing heaps of teams competing throughout all age corporations, codecs and patterns. Cash prizes were at an all-time excessive, anticipated to eclipse over $one hundred,000 in crew giveaways within the next calendar yr. Sponsors have started taking be aware as properly, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull and different fundamental manufacturers seeing the fee and growth from flag soccer as a way to correctly attain their target audience in large numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time excessive as nicely, mirroring it’s popularity on the kids level and is the preferred layout of play for American football in maximum Central to South American nations.

So how does this all lead returned to the Olympics and getting American soccer covered as a legitimate recreation? First, allow’s overview little records on in which the game stands today with the International Olympic Committee or IOC.

Historically, In order to be covered into the Olympic video games as an indication sport, you have to have an International Federation and have held a World Championship opposition. This should take area at least 6 years before a scheduled Olympic video games. The International Federation of American Football, by and large, focused on address soccer, however, includes a flag in its tournament lineup, met this general and turned into accredited in 2012, and won the provisional reputation in 2014. This should pave the way for American football to be protected as an official sport, and flag soccer as probably a field of said recreation, however, the IFAF has considering that faced setbacks due to alleged scandal, occasion mismanagement, and misappropriation of finances that cannot bode nicely for the sports activities inclusion quick time period. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC followed a brand new, more flexible rule set permitting programs to be up for assessment after each Olympics beginning in 2020, clearing a route for all sports activities to present their case for being included via prevailing a simple majority vote.

So the opportunity is there for American soccer to be included in the most prestigious sporting event around the world, but how can we overcome the boundaries offered with the aid of the structure of the game to suit the mold of a successful Olympic wearing event?

For each way tackle soccer does not fit the mildew as a logical preference for the IOC, there is flag soccer. Here are the top four motives flag soccer have to be taken into consideration to be protected as the next Olympic recreation.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle FootballSport

As we’ve got already set up, flag football is a mile more secure alternative than address soccer. Fewer hits and collisions identical fewer accidents, and flag football is already a confirmed success model this is being praised for preserving the sport for future generations. But in relation to the Summer Olympic Games, safety is just one aspect of the bodily needs of the sport, thinking about you’ve got less than a 3-week window to fit in all stages of the competition, and the yr-round hobby needed to exercise and qualify. Imagine gambling 6-7 full touch soccer video games with a confined roster all inside a span of ~16 days, not to say different feasible qualifying events throughout the year. For flag soccer, it’s no longer uncommon to play 6-7 video games in a weekend or now and again even a day, so the game is extra than geared up for this fashion of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As noted above, that is a first-rate trouble while determining whether a game is in shape to be considered, and while traditional American style address football is extremely famous global as nicely, flag football appeals to greater countries. It’s a decreased barrier to access as far as fee and equipment move, don’t require full period and striped football fields to participate, and is simpler to preserve large match competitions and leagues to inspire neighborhood hobby.

Three. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which format would be used (our wager is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag football calls for far fewer contributors than traditional address soccer. Part of that is because of it being a much less bodily traumatic sport and they want for much fewer substitutions, and some other element is due to needing much less specialist players, consisting of kickers, punters, special groups, offensive lineman, and many others. Where every conventional tackle soccer group would in all likelihood convey 50+ competitors, flag football could want probably 15 players at maximum, reducing that quantity to less than a third. This is vital because the Olympics cap their overall contributors to ten,500 athletes and coaches. It additionally once more allows extra international locations to compete, specifically poorer nations, in which fielding a smaller and much less financially annoying crew coupled with the reasons above makes more sense.

Four. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a prime emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the primary time all sports protected competing girls in their category. Today, any new game that is added to the Olympic Games have to include each male and female individuals. For address football, there is just now not nearly sufficient interest from girls participators for it to make the experience. While there are some woman players, and even some lady tackle soccer leagues and corporations, it just would not in shape the mold, especially with the opposite issues relating to physicality and barrier to entry. For flag soccer, this is not a hassle as distinctive above, with woman participation booming the world over.

So how can we take the subsequent steps to ride the momentum of flag football instantly into the next to be had Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped begin the technique of having the sport of American Football in front of the IOC in current years, however with their public issues and apparently no motion on the grounds that 2014 extra wishes to be completed to preserve moving ahead. What we do recognize is that flag football is being taken critically in any respect levels for absolutely the first time in history, with important groups making moves to get more into the flag soccer area and the introduction of larger and greater international events to gas the sport. We agree with that both on it’s personal or as a subject of address football, flag soccer WILL be included in the Olympics at a few degree within the subsequent 10-20 years.