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 five or as many as 10 players to a team, so you can start one in your own school or look for one that’s already in place in your community. Visit the NFL FLAG website to learn how to get involved.
Credit: NFL FLAG
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 have been linked to many positive effects on students. These can include improved concentration, improved weight control, minimized risk of some chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, less participation in some risky behaviors (particularly smoking and taking drugs), improved self-worth and decreased risk of depression (in girls).i The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA) reports a growing interest in FLAG Football among high school students, especially girls, with a 25% increase from 2014 – 2015 to 2015 – 2016.ii
i Merkel, D. J., Youth sport: positive and negative impact on young athletes. 2013. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. Accessed February 15, 2018.
ii Walsh, D., Girls’ participation in high school, FLAG football is up. 2016. West Virginia Huntington-Dispatch. Accessed February 21, 2018.
Huddle up with your school’s Program Advisor, PE teacher, the school nurse, school counselor and other teachers to help brainstorm ideas. Work with the PE 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 to organize practices and students to lend their ideas.
Students! Here are some things you can do to get things going!
- Work with your P.E. teachers to set up some After-School Football Skills and Drills activities, either during the lunch period or before or after schools.
- Work with your PE teachers and some of your friends and Fuel Up to Play 60 teammates to set up some After-School Football Skills and Drills activities, either during the lunch period or before or after schools.
- Set up a way to watch these FLAG Football videos at lunchtime that highlight the fun, skills and excitement of FLAG Football. Note: Scroll down the videos page for FLAG videos.
Check out The Huddle to learn about what one student experienced as he tried — and succeeded — to get FLAG Football into his school and community!
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 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 PE 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 you join a local league or start one of your own, you will need practice space. Locate a place where practices and games can be held and work with those in charge of the venue to obtain permission and reserve time slots.
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 FLAG 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 one recent survey shows excitement and interest in FLAG is growing for both girls and boys — especially as the sport is promoted more among parents and students, and girls learn more about the game.iii
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Credit: Sam Gordon
Hold after-school or weekend practices for your teams. Get parent volunteers to take the coaching certificate program so they can volunteer as coaches. Then, create and distribute a schedule of NFL FLAG Football league games for the entire school year!
iiiNFL 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 at school, distribute flyers in classrooms, send information home to families and advertise your program during morning announcements. Consider putting up a bulletin board display that features 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 newsletter and student newspaper, and on social media! Share student stories, videos and pics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagging FUTP 60 (FB: @FuelUpToPlay60; TW and IG: @FUTP60) and using #FLAGRocks!
Be a leader. Start a club after school and teach younger students how to play FLAG Football with parent or teacher volunteers to help. Use this NFL FLAG online course, including video, to run activities and mentor younger students so that everyone has fun and learns the rules and skills of the game.
Note: You don’t have to be a member of SHAPE America to get into the course, but you do need a log-in. If you’re not a member, you can sign up as a guest and have access to all the materials. Check with your PE or health teacher to see if he or she is already a member.
Think long term. FLAG kits are sometimes available for free through your local Dairy Council. Fees for the FLAG league are annual. Consider different types of fundraisers to fund the kits (if needed), annual league fees and other needs (game-time snacks, water bottles, cones, etc.) to keep your program going. Also stay on the lookout for people in the community who want to coach!
- Promote the league and recruit other students to give FLAG football a try.
- Find and secure a location at your school or in your community,
- Ask adults to help coach the teams.
- Secure donations from local businesses to pay for equipment and other needs.
- Encourage friends and classmates to join teams.
- Focus on the fun and safety rather than the competitive aspect.
- Be physically active.
Involve the school 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,
Build Local Community
If you are an older student interested in mentoring youth, use the online FLAG curriculum and then set up local tournaments at the elementary and middle schools near you. Get your friends to help organize practices and games and be volunteer referees. You’ll help kids learn to love a sport and get to know kids from other schools who may end up as their schoolmates when they’re your age!
Help Build the Whole Fuel Up to Play 60 Community
Encourage students to log on to their Dashboard and report activity to achieve Level Three (30,000 Points) and be named a Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador! Having ambassadors at your school will help get more students involved and make your Play a success!
Homefield Advantage: Check out this resource and share it with parents so they can see what they can do to help at home and at school.
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 PE 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 games with parents vs. students, teachers vs. students and teachers vs. parents to show how fun this sport can be.
SNOW HORSE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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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 Play
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 positive changes!
Remember to keep your eye on FuelUpToPlay60.com for special opportunities!