Flag football goes varsity

Flag football is in the process of becoming a varsity sport in colleges.


Colleges could see flag football in the future

Jack Kirk, Sports Editor

Flag football has been a high school sport for girls to enjoy for over a decade, and now they can enjoy it at the next level as well.

On May 4, the NAIA, or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, announced that flag football would be considered a varsity sport. According to ESPN, NAIA has a two-year partnership with the NFL in order to build the college flag football system. This partnership includes a $15,000 stipend for the first 15 schools that sign up for the first season of NAIA flag football.

“Obviously the move is great for the sport as a whole,” flag football head coach Josh Saunders said. “I’m not sure that the NAIA involvement changes the numbers at Robinson for those who decide to participate in Flag Football or at least try it, but I think it will at other schools where the sport was overlooked.”

There are currently seven states where flag football is recognized as a high school sport, with Florida (7,683 girls) and Nevada (1,881 girls) being the leading states in the 2018-2019 season. By extending recognition to a collegiate level, there are hopes that it will give young women more opportunities for scholarships in order to further their education.

“The key word in all of this is “Opportunity”. Now, there is an opportunity if you really want to play in college to play and that is key,” Saunders said. “We have a lot of athletes in high schools where their best sport is flag football, so now if they want to use that to continue their education they can.”

In calculations done by the NAIA, a school that adopts this sport as one of their own would see a net profit of about $596,075 in their first year, with potential for more profits the following year.

With this new introduction to the college sports scene, there will be more eyes on the athletes that compete in flag football than ever before.