Flag football for kids continues to grow in popularity with no signs of slowing down. Once seen as nothing more than a sideshow to tackle football, flag football participation has grown exponentially at youth and adult levels over the last decade. Here we look at five reasons why kids flag football has boomed over the same period that tackle football has decreased in numbers.
Anyone Can Play
Flag football is immediately accessible to anyone. There are boys and girls flag football leagues popping up nationwide, while numerous state high school associations are looking to push through flag football as a varsity sport. Being good at tackle football requires certain physical attributes. Being good at flag football – and enjoying the game – does not. It doesn’t matter how tall or short your kid is. There are ways for them to contribute to a flag football team.
Low Cost of Entry
Tackle football can be prohibitively expensive. If parents are required to buy equipment – not to mention covering costs associated with getting to and from games and renting practice facilities – then it can add up to an initial outlay of easily over $500. Flag football doesn’t have those issues. The most expensive purchase will be cleats – look for molded, soccer-style cleats unless your kid’s flag football league is played on muddy and wet fields – and gloves to help catch the ball are a solid option. Outside of that, your kid likely has everything needed to play in a kids flag football league in their closet already.
Everyone Gets to Touch the Ball
Very few kids grow up dreaming of being a center snapping the ball or a defensive tackle taking on double-team blocks to eat up space. Kids dream of throwing a game-winning touchdown, spotting a gap in the defense and cruising for a long rushing touchdown, or making a highlight reel catch that will get them on TikTok. Flag football for kids will give every child the chance to experience those feelings. This is a sport where every player on the field can catch the ball. It teaches skills like hand-eye coordination, contextual use of space, and will improve functional balance and agility. Getting your kid onto a flag football field will make any transition into tackle football much smoother and safer.
Less Heavy Contact
One of the reasons that flag football for kids is so inclusive is because there is less heavy contact. Sure, there will still be accidental collisions and a little bumping along the way, but the heavy, forceful contact that scare kids – and specifically parents – away from tackle football just doesn’t apply here. This is especially beneficial for parents of girls that want to play some form of football. Getting enough girls together for a tackle football team is almost impossible, but a five-on-five flag football game is a much easier sell.
Less of a Time Commitment
Flag football certainly requires practice, but much of it is practice that can be done without scheduling. Flag football teams don’t require three or more practices a week to get their linemen in-sync or their receivers on the same page as a quarterback. Games also don’t take the best part of three hours, with many leagues running multiple games for a team in one session, as the nature of flag football means it is fun and fast-paced. Your kid will love practicing the basics – running and catching – with you and/or their friends after school, which will only help them socially as they grow.
These are just five reasons why flag football is a sport you should seriously consider for your kid. Check out local leagues in your area for more info.
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