NFL FLAG In Schools - Get in the Game!
Get in the game! Start an official NFL FLAG Football league or recruit teams from your school to join a league in your area. FLAG teams can be as few as 5 or as many as 10 players to a team, so you can set one up within your own school community or look for one that’s already in place in your community. Visit the NFL FLAG website to learn how to get involved.
FLAG Football can be a great way to get students — both boys and girls — involved in a fun physical activity that will really keep them moving! When done in a safe, “fun-first,” and child-oriented way, organized sports can have many positive effects on students. These can include improved concentration, decreased risk of obesity, minimized developments of chronic diseases, less of some risky behaviors (particularly smoking or taking drugs), improved self-worth, and decreased depression.i The NFL provides guidelines, coaches’ training and certification, and rules for sportsmanlike conduct for both players and fans. This can help keep players safer, happier, and more engaged in the sport.ii The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) reports a growing interest in FLAG Football among high school students, with an 25% increase from 2014–2015 to 2015–2016.iii
I Merkel, Donna J., Youth sport: positive and negative impact on young athletes. 2013. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. Accessed February 15, 2017.
iii Walsh, D. Girls’ participation in high school, FLAG football is up. 2016. West Virginia Huntington-Dispatch. Accessed February 21, 2017.
Huddle up with your school’s Program Advisor, P.E. teacher, the school nurse, school counselor and other teachers to help brainstorm ideas. Work with the P.E. teacher and parent organization to find volunteer coaches. Remember to include the whole team: your principal to give your plan a thumbs up, parents to help as volunteer coaches or organize practices and students to lend their ideas.
Students! Here are some things you can do to get things going!
If a local league already exists, meet with its organizer(s) to discuss adding teams from your school. If one doesn’t exist, visit the NFL FLAG website for information and step-by-step instructions on how to organize one yourself. You can keep it small and start with a school-wide league at first, extending it through the district later. Work with the adults in your school and parent organization to find potential volunteer coaches.
Have volunteer coaches train on how to teach FLAG football in a fun and safe way through the NFL FLAG online coaching courses.
Provide parents and school adults with materials on the rules of FLAG, and download the FLAG curriculum materials (elementary or middle) for P.E. teachers to consider doing a unit on FLAG football in their classes.
Visit the NFL FLAG website to find out how to start a league or register with an existing one so teams can get official NFL jerseys, footballs and FLAG belts. Keep an eye on FuelUpToPlay60.com for special offers!
Whether joining a local league or if starting your own, you will need practice space. Locate a place where practices and games can be held and work with the community to secure times for both.
Meet with volunteer coaches to set up practice times and begin recruiting players. Remind coaches about the NFL Coaching Resources that provide coaching tips, plays and other information so they feel comfortable getting started. Be sure coaches go through the NFL training resources, including certifications in FLAG coaching and the Heads Up Football safety initiative.
Promote the football league in classrooms by asking teachers to let you and your Fuel Up to Play 60 team present briefly on the fun and the physical activity benefits students will get from joining the league. Be sure to encourage both girls and boys to participate. Note that a recent survey shows excitement and interest in FLAG is growing for both girls and boys — especially as the sport is promoted more among both parents and students and girls learn more about the game.iv
Consider asking local businesses or organizations to help fund the equipment fees for the league or to provide volunteer referees or other needed resources. See the Tools and Resources below for ways to reach these organizations.
Keep It Going
Hold after-school or weekend practices for your teams. Get parent volunteers to take the coaching certificate program so they can volunteer to help. Create a schedule of NFL FLAG Football league games for the entire school year!
iv NFL FLAG Football Leagues for Girls: Survey of Middle School P.E. Department Chairs, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 2016. GenYOUth and MMS Education.
Spread the Word
Spread the word about NFL FLAG football. Create posters to put up in high-traffic areas, distribute flyers in classrooms, send information home to families and advertise your program during morning announcements. Consider putting up a bulletin board display highlighting the different teams formed in the school. After each game, highlight student efforts and successes in the school’s morning announcements.
Get the word out on your school’s website or blog, in your school eNewsletter (or newsletter) and on social media! Share student stories, videos and pics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagging FUTP 60 (FB: @FuelUpToPlay60; IG and TW: @FUTP60) and using #FuelGreatness #NFLFLAG
Think long term. Fees for the FLAG league are annual. Consider different types of fundraisers to fund equipment and jersey needs to keep your program going. Also stay on the lookout for people in the community who want to coach!
Everyone can help:
- Promote the league and recruit students to give it a try.
- Find and secure a location.
- Ask adults to help coach the teams.
- Secure donations from local businesses to pay for equipment and other needs.
- Encourage their friends and classmates to join teams.
- Focus on the fun and safety rather than competition.
- Be physically active and track their choices.
Involve the community. Schedule a meeting with your school's parent organization and let them know what they can do to help. Invite families to visit local FLAG practices and games to build interest in having school teams.
This Play may help you meet the goals of the USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge!
Just getting started? Here is something you can do without jumping right into the full Play. Let this idea get you warmed up so you’re ready to tackle the full Play!
Organize some FLAG games during recess or P.E. classes. After students have learned the rules and had some time to play games, run a round-robin or bracket tournament. Invite the school community, including parents, to come and watch. Include some parents v. students, teachers v. students, and teachers v. parents games to show how fun this sport can be.
SNOW HORSE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Fun with Activity Stations and Flag FootballRead More
School Of Engineering & Arts
Students Lead Flag Football for Recess!
Four of our FUTP 60 student leadership team members (2 boys & 2 girls) worked with our recess supervisor to create rules for flag football using the guide book included in the kit.Read More
Flag Football/Fitness Club
My flag football team was based on these students which showed me that it is possible to be part of a winning team.Read More
Funding and Outfitting Your PlayApply for Funding
What might help?
- NFL FLAG Kits
- Cones and field lining equipment
- Additional sports apparel for students who need it
- Water bottles
- Storage equipment for keeping on-field snacks cold
- Carry bags for footballs, FLAG belts, and other practice and game equipment
Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60
Up to $4,000 per year is available to qualified K-12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 to kick-start healthy changes!