The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport

The Olympics are not like any other sporting competition on earth. For 16 days, over 300 sports representing 35 sports activities and every use in the world compete to take home their prized medals, and I have regarded beforehand to looking the Summer Olympics each 4 years considering the truth that as a long way again as I can bear in thoughts. But there may be typically been a few factor missing. One of the United States maximum well-known sports, and a pinnacle 10 recreation in the course of the area, it looks as even though address and flag football can be Olympic sports activities sports through the yr 2024, however trouble limitations still remain for that to become a truth. First, we’re going to walk via some reasons why the street to getting American Football covered into the Olympics has not been a smooth journey, located via why we bear in mind flag football to be the logical answer and preference as a destiny Olympic recreation.Flag Football

According to an article through NFL.Com, the most important logistical problems going via the sport of American Football being included inside the Olympics are very much like that of Rugby. With the huge numbers of participants on each crew, the “gender equality” codecs wherein each man and women take part in every endeavor and the compressed three-week time table that might be hard with a further bodily endeavor like soccer and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to access is immoderate because of it is the price to equip all gamers with pads and device, and therefor has also been slow to adopt in many distant places global places, particularly of the poorer range.

Knowing all this, it is hard to look how both pastimes is probably a fantastic fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that little or no is wanted to play the game in phrases of equipment and exercise at it’s base stage and has a much massive international following. This among extraordinary motives has lately allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 with the aid of converting the conventional fashion to a much less traditional “sevens” format it truly is faster paced with fewer people, that could assist carve a comparable course for American Football, or flag soccer more mainly.

Even increasingly high university, university, and pro companies are starting to lessen the huge kind of touch practices, despite the fact that sporting the likes of smooth-padded headgear and shoulder pads for brought safety. But what if we might also want to limit the contact gamers see earlier than immoderate faculty and middle university on the identical time as also addressing a number of the worries for the game related to it being truly commonplace into the Olympics?There’s some of the speak currently revolving across the protection of cope with soccer, and no longer just within the NFL in which concussions are a prime problem. Starting as ways again due to the fact the teen’s football diploma, ultra-modern evidence has surfaced helping the idea that even quick of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can display up in comparable brain injuries later in existence for children tested among the long term of eight-13. Many researchers are suggesting children ought to now not be gambling soccer at all, suggesting that youngsters’ heads are “a larger a part of their body, and their necks aren’t as sturdy as adults’ necks. So children may be at a greater danger of head and mind injuries than adults.”

As of 2015, studies display that flag soccer is the quickest growing children recreation in the United States, substantially outpacing the increase of conventional cope with football. Many character excessive schools are making the transfer to flag soccer over the address, getting extraordinary colleges in their areas to comply with suit developing organized leagues and divisions. It’s even a formally identified varsity pastime in lots of states, and with girls specifically, flag football is a manner to allow less complicated participation as opposed to the bodily nature of address.And he is now not the only one. Recently Drew Brees become interviewed with the aid of the use of Peter King for NBC’s pregame display and had some robust words on why he believes flag football is the solution. “I feel like flag soccer can store soccer,” Brees stated. Brees coaches his son’s flag soccer group, and carried out flag football himself thru junior immoderate, by no means gambling tackle football till immoderate college. “I revel in like (flag soccer) is an extraordinary introductory approach for a diffusion of youngsters into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise I feel it is very clean to move in and function a horrible enjoy early on after which not need to ever play it again. I feel like when you positioned the pads on there are genuinely such a lot of other factors to the game, and you’re at the mercy of the train in quite a few cases too. And to be honest, I do now not count on enough coaches are nicely-versed enough regarding the authentic basics of the sport particularly at the same time as the pads go on on the youngsters level.” Many distinct seasoned athletes and coaches have expressed comparable sentiments as well, singing praises for the sport of flag football, and the upward push in recognition of the game echoes that.

Flag football isn’t always a fluke or only a leisure development tool that feeds into a deal with football, it’s miles a whole-fledged movement that has it’s miles the very very own identification and motive and it’s miles the time we identified that distinction.

Internationally it is gaining popularity as well, a splendid deal quicker it seems than traditional American soccer in which the barrier to access is a great deal higher with the want for complete pads and device. In Mexico as an instance, flag soccer is booming in reputation, where most consider it to be the #2 sport of soccer and final speedy, with and anticipated 2.Five million youngsters collaborating simply at the essential college degree. International teams are starting to make the ride to some of the greater famous American flag football tournaments, with the illustration from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and more a not unusual prevalence.

Everywhere you appearance, participation and hobby inside the sports flag soccer is exploding.

At a person diploma, it became a record yr for the sport of flag soccer. New important tournaments are doping up internationally, seeing masses of teams competing across all age corporations, codecs, and patterns. Cash prizes were at an all-time excessive, predicted to eclipse over $a hundred,000 in crew giveaways in the subsequent calendar 12 months. Sponsors have started out taking notice as well, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull and extraordinary main manufacturers seeing the value and growth from flag soccer as a manner to properly achieve their target marketplace in big numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time excessive as nicely, mirroring it’s far recognition on the kid’s stage and is the preferred layout of play for American football in maximum Central to South American countries.

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

Historically, In order to be protected within the Olympic Games as an illustration sport, you need to have an International Federation and characteristic held a World Championship competition. This need to take the area as a minimum 6 years earlier than a scheduled Olympic video games. The International Federation of American Football, commonly focused on address football but includes a flag in it matches lineup, met this general and modified into authorized in 2012, and received provisional recognition in 2014. This could pave the manner for American soccer to be covered as a reliable game, and flag soccer as possibly a field of said activity, however, the IFAF has seen that faced setbacks due to the alleged scandal, event mismanagement, and misappropriation of the budget that can’t bode nicely for the sports inclusion quick time period. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC followed a new, more bendy rule set permitting applications to be up for assessment after every Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a route for all sports to provide their case for being included by winning a simple majority vote.

So the opportunity is there for American football to be included within the most prestigious sporting event round the sector, however, how do we conquer the limitations offered by using the usage of the form of the sport to in shape the mold of a success Olympic carrying occasion?

For every way deal with football would not in shape the mold as a logical preference for the IOC, there may be flag soccer. Here are the top four motives flag football need to be taken into consideration to be blanketed as the next Olympic endeavor.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

As we have already installation, flag soccer is a mile more relaxed alternative than deal with soccer. Fewer hits and collisions equal fewer injuries, and flag football is already a mounted success model it is being praised for preserving the sport for destiny generations. But on the subject of the Summer Olympic Games, safety is truly one issue of the bodily needs of the sport, thinking about you’ve got were given less than a 3-week window to match in all degrees of opposition, and the 12 months-spherical hobbies needed to workout and qualify. Imagine gambling 6-7 complete contact football video games with a constrained roster all within a span of ~sixteen days, now not to mention different feasible qualifying events throughout the yr. For flag soccer, it’s no longer unusual to play 6-7 video video games in a weekend or every so often even an afternoon, so the game is greater than equipped for this fashion of match play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As stated above, that is a top problem at the same time as determining whether or not or not a undertaking is in shape to be considered, and while traditional American fashion cope with soccer is noticeably popular international as nicely, flag football appeals to more nations. It’s a lower barrier to access as some distance as value and machine pass, do not require full length and striped football fields to participate, and is easier to hold large suit competitions and leagues to inspire nearby hobby.

Three. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which format is probably used (our wager is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires some distance fewer members than conventional deal with football. Part of this is because of it being a less physically annoying endeavor and the need for plenty less substitutions, and some other factor is because of needing less specialist gamers, including kickers, punters, unique groups, offensive lineman, and so on. Where every traditional address football team may likely deliver 50+ competition, flag soccer might need possibly 15 game enthusiasts at maximum, reducing that quantity to a good deal much less than a 3rd. This is critical due to the reality the Olympics cap their standard individuals to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It additionally once more permits more international locations to compete, especially poorer worldwide locations, wherein fielding a smaller and much much less financially worrying institution coupled with the reasons above makes more enjoy.

Four. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a awesome emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the primary time all sports activities activities covered competing women in their class. Today, any new recreation that is added to the Olympic Games have to encompass both male and lady individuals. For deal with football, there may be just now not nearly enough hobby from girls participators for it to make feel. While there are some girl game enthusiasts, or maybe a few lady tackle football leagues and companies, it truely would not match the mildew, specifically with the opportunity problems relating to physicality and barrier to get right of entry to. For flag football, this is not a trouble as special above, with lady participation booming internationally.

So how will we take the next steps to journey the momentum of flag football directly into the subsequent to be had Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped start the technique of getting the sport of American Football in the the front of the IOC in today’s years, but with their public problems and reputedly no motion thinking about that 2014 extra needs to be carried out to preserve shifting ahead. What we do recognise is that flag football is being taken seriously in any respect ranges for truely the first time in facts, with maximum essential businesses making movements to get greater into the flag football area and the arrival of larger and extra international activities to fuel the game. We trust that either on it is very personal, or as a field of deal with football, flag soccer WILL be blanketed in the Olympics at a few degree within the next 10-two decades.Olympic Sport

If that passed off, what do you accept as true with you studied that could do to reinforce the popularity and legitimacy of the sport of flag football long term? Let us apprehend inside the comments beneath!

Vickie Saunders
Introvert. Tv enthusiast. Freelance twitter practitioner. Beeraholic. Analyst. Bacon trailblazer. Troublemaker. Skateboarder, traveler, band member, Bauhaus fan and independent Art Director. Performing at the fulcrum of minimalism and function to craft an inspiring, compelling and authentic brand narrative. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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