Football may have lesser high-schoolers participating each year, however, the entire sport isn’t declining.
As stated by the New York Times, during the past three years participation numbers of 6- to 12-year-olds playing flag football crossed more than 1.5 million. A whopping 40% increase!
Simultaneously the NFL has taken lead in motivating the boost of participation numbers of flag football across the country. The strategy is to introduce the games’ fundamentals and the NFL Flag community to youth aged from 6 -18.
The NFL’s Vice President of youth and high school football, Natara Halloway, believes that flag football is an opportunity for young people as a first step into the game and a pavilion for them to grasp mundane skills. She says, and youth organizers are in unison, that these lessons demonstrate well beyond the football capacity in kids’ lives.
The Director of the Portland Youth Football flag program, Josh Wolfgram, has a mission; to orient flag football under settings that motivate young people to take on tackle football at older age groups. He’s employing flag football as a gateway for children and parents who are not keen on playing tackle football at young ages, considering it can be more dangerous. His method seems to work because this fall, around 500 kids from eight different municipalities took part in an NFL Flag League run organized by himself and another area president.
The New York Times reveals that flag football has spread its roots and taken a firm hold of the sport in the most traditional ways and some people even foresee tackle football’s replacement with flag football soon enough in high schools and colleges. According to statistics, in Alabama, a youth flag football league by Hoover has grown three times in numbers, expanding to 91 teams, in the past five years. In Chicago, players’ scores from new leagues have significantly deteriorated in tackle programs.
Jeff Lewis is a founder of the American Flag Football League. His games were recently telecasted on the NFL Network. He discussed his supportive view regarding flag football with the New York Times. He thinks that Football is the overall culture for us. And flag football is the version of this sport that we have/still do grow up playing on Thanksgiving morning.
This significant rise in flag football has another major reason. Upon assessing graphical trends and conducting researches, it has been found out that this newfound acceptance of flag football is also directly related to the impacts of playing tackle football at a young age.
An analysis of the University of Texas-Southwestern medical center suggests that the normal development of a child’s brain can be easily disrupted by playing just one season of tackle football. Another study at Boston University revealed that adults who have played tackle football before the age of 12 have been three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to those who haven’t.
Moreover, another reason flag football has become a seemingly popular version of the sport is because of how light it on the pocket as compared to tackle football. In most cities, track football costs parents more than $100 to only register their kids, excluding the gear. Whereas flag football is very less expensive.