California Wants To Make Girls Flag Football A School Sport

As female interest in football grows, California now looks to make flag football a safe alternative for girls to compete in at the school level.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Women’s sports has given girls and women everywhere the opportunity to play sports and compete fairly. As interest in different activities has grown over the years, so has the number of female athletes. Now, California is seeking to make flag football a school sport for girls. 

Girls have been allowed on standard high school football teams for years now, but they rarely try out. Most who do make it are often merely team kickers. Despite having the opportunity available, many female athletes know that competing with biologically larger, stronger, and faster males does not offer fair play on the field. By opening up girls’ flag football teams, females in California would be able to compete with others like themselves just as girls do on female soccer teams, swim teams, softball teams, and other already available competitive options. 

Interest in the sport has doubled in the past decade. Instead of tackling each other, flag football players can work to run, pass, and disarm their opponents. There is less potential for serious injuries and more opportunity for girls to come together to play a game and just have fun getting some healthy physical activity.

Both Alabama and Nevada have already implemented flag football as a high school sport. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics began recognizing it in recent years, leading colleges in Florida, Georgia, and Kansas to offer female teams. While interest grows, so does support. 

Last year the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams displayed the NFL’s position on the subject. The league believes it is a healthy activity that will draw in more female fans. These professional California teams launched their own flag football pilot program which had 70 different schools apply to participate.

Only 8 were selected, but the hope is that these programs can be further expanded statewide. The California Interscholastic Federation is slated to vote on approving girl’s flag football as an official high school sport in the state today. This will determine the future of the sports opportunity for many young girls looking to join a league.

If approved, teams could be formed as early as next fall and begin competing statewide. Having NFL support is likely to sway the decision. There is plenty of potential for success and the interest in flag football is obviously present.

Girls’ sports have faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. This is due to trans-rights movements working to allow biological males into female sports programs (designed to give natural-born females the ability to compete against others who are properly matched to their make-up). Athletic opportunities have given girls and women the opportunity to exercise and work together to build confidence and meet their goals. 

flag football

Whether the sport is approved as a recognized high school institution, girls’ flag football teams have already been formed. They have proven to be worthy of support in other areas. As the state’s Interscholastic Federation takes up the possibility of expanding these teams, many young girls await the decision, hopeful for their shot to play on an official high school team designed for them.