When will the sport of flag football be played in the Olympics?
This team sport is growing in popularity at the high school and college levels. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the country and has a distinctive world spirit that could make it a perfect option for an Olympic sport.
The Olympic Committee hasn’t approved flag football for summer competition just yet, but that day could be coming very soon.
Flag football could be an Olympic team sport
Flag football has a very real chance of making it to the Olympics as a team sport. The NFL is leading the push for the game to be added to the program of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
While the NFL has a hand in the push, the International Olympic Committee is doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes.
The NFL, which is a major force in the U.S. sports market, wants flag football to become a global sport. The league has an ambitious international expansion plan and aims to introduce flag football in the Olympics.
The NFL believes the sport could draw a whole new set of fans to NFL games. The International Olympic Committee is expected to make a decision on the game’s Olympic status in 2022 or 2023. If flag football is selected, it will be added to the Games in Los Angeles in 2028.
The NFL held a flag football game between the United States and Mexico at the 2022 Super Bowl where both men and women participated, which is an Olympic requirement.
Flag football is a team sport played by men and women around the world. It is different from tackle football, which is predominantly a male game.
Additionally, flag football took center stage at the World Games in Alabama in July 2022, with men’s and women’s teams from around the world competing.
Although flag football is still a young contender on the Olympic stage, its supporters are insistent on its inclusion. They stressed the need to grow the sport globally and present it in a unique format.
Support for flag football
Thanks to backing from the NFL and the surging popularity of the sport as an alternative to dangerous tackle football, in 10 to 20 years, flag football may well be included in the Olympics.
Flag football is a fast-paced, skillful and creative sport. The NFL and NFLPA have backed flag football as a sport, but the IOC will ultimately decide whether or not to include the sport in the Olympics.
The NFL and IFAF announced their Vision28 initiative earlier this summer as a means to make flag football an Olympic contender. The move is a significant development for flag football as a world-class sport.
Flag football is not only less dangerous and easier to play than tackle football, it also requires little protective equipment and soft-shell helmets. Instead of tackling, the game stops when a defender pulls the cloth flag from his opponent’s waist.
Flag football is growing wildly at the college level
Flag football is a fast-growing sport for college athletes, and the sport has recently expanded to include girls and women.
It has been a male-dominated sport for decades, but recent developments have opened doors for women to play the sport and earn scholarships. The sport is gaining in popularity among female college athletes, and the NCAA is working to recognize it as a real sport.
Flag football is not yet a regulated sport, but college coaches and administrators are calling the NCAA for advice on how to grow the sport. The NCAA is looking into the possibility of sanctioning flag football, which would be a first.
Sand volleyball was only sanctioned this year, and the NCAA is considering adding flag football to the ranks.
Flag football was introduced to the college level by schools that were trying to comply with Title IX and gender equity issues. Female students quickly chose the sport over others.
Girls’ flag football is also coming to many states around the U.S. as an official sport, creating a pipeline for the college ranks.
The only equipment needed for the game is a football and a flag, and most schools have a field large enough to practice.
Flag football outside of the United States
Flag football is growing in popularity outside the U.S., with many countries feeling competitive teams.
As a result, the NFL is working to promote the game to bring awareness to the sport globally.
The Denver Broncos launched a girls’ high school flag pilot program in Colorado, while the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers have backed the Girls Flag Football League of Champions.
Flag football is even gaining the approval of the southern section of the California Interscholastic Federation, which will make it an official girls’ high school sport. In the spring of 2022, New York state officially introduced girls’ flag football.
The competitive nature of flag football means that there are no restrictions on who can play the different positions on the field.
It is not a matter of if but when flag football will join the Olympic ranks. The way the game is exploding not only in the U.S. but around the world makes it a worthy option for world competition.
Now that flag has the backing of the powerful NFL, you could see it in the Los Angeles games as soon as 2028.
Vance J has played flag football since he was a boy. Since then, he has become a coach and a huge advocate for growing the sport. He loves to write and talk about flag football!