Thanks to the SAAF “Play Flag Football” project, the football flag has gained popularity in our country. However, it will certainly not surprise you that this sport has many fans abroad.
In the USA or in the world, it is played not only by children, but also by men and women, professionals, amateurs, national teams, and recently it has also been included in sports in the higher education system. But how did this sport originate? And why?
The answer to the second question is easier. Flag Football has been around the world for as long as its most famous version. Why was it created? Since this is a contactless version, which does not require all protective gear, a helmet and other equipment, the flag was created as a comfortable and most enjoyable form of sport.
In addition to simpler rules, less necessary equipment and virtually no chance of injury, football science is also more flexible than intervention. The pitch is smaller and can be adjusted, as is the number of players, and this has an advantage over its older brother. This was especially understood by American soldiers, who began to raise the flag at military bases across America. It wasn’t long before league formations started out of the army. Many of them no longer work today.
Popular competitions today include, among others: the NFL Draft for kids ages 5 to 17, the NFL Flag, which is played as regional competitions, and finally the final tournament during PROBOWL Week in the NFL calendar. For adults, the first competition is the American Football League (AFFL), where both amateurs and professionals operate.
In 2019, two professional teams, Fighting Cancer and Florida Fury, participated in the tournament. Among others, former NFL basketball player Michael Vick and basketball player Nate Robinson also played Fury. One European team was also represented, Spain. The Fighting Cancer team won the competition for the second year in a row. A big boom in the world of football among women began in the United States of America. The NAIA and the NFL have launched a partnership to bring women’s science to the university. Soon, the sport will become the official NAIA program.
In Europe, our neighbors from Austria are among the first. At the league level, they have up to three competitions for men, one for women and a number of junior categories. The flag in Austria has very good conditions. Internationally, Austrians are among the best in the world. In the world championships organized by the IFAF (International Federation of American Football) since 2002, the men managed to win three times, placing them in second place, immediately the United States. The tournament is held every two years.
Although the 2020 edition was canceled, the Austrians took second place in 2018. Women are also a good opponent. Although they never won a gold medal, they did have one silver and one bronze in their display case. The top players for the flag appear to be Mexican women who have won the gold medal up to three times, but most recently in 2012. Currently, Panama women and American athletes dominate.
The biggest surprise was the discovery that both intervention and science are also at play in the UK. The British are considered a football or rugby nation, but American football is also popular with them. BAFA has up to 53 registered flag football teams.
Last but not least, flag is also played in our country. In addition to the “Play flag soccer” project, since 2017, there has also been an SFL Flag (league/championship competition) for the U19 and U15 categories. A national team is also being prepared for its premiere season, which we’ll give you more information on in the future.
If you are interested in participating in the project, contact us at [email protected]
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