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The Case for Flag Football As an Olympic Sport

The Olympics are not like some other carrying opposition in the world. For sixteen days, over 300 occasions representing 35 sports and each united states on the planet compete to take domestic their prized medals, and I even have looked forward to looking the Summer Olympics each four years considering the fact that as ways lower back as I can keep in mind. But there may be constantly been some thing missing. One of the USA maximum popular sports activities, and a pinnacle 10 game in the course of the sector, it seems as even though tackle and flag soccer might be Olympic sports activities with the aid of the yr 2024, however, issue limitations still stay for that to emerge as a fact. First, we’ll stroll via a few motives why the road to getting American Football covered into the Olympics has no longer been a smooth adventure, observed through why we agree with flag soccer to be the logical answer and preference as a future Olympic recreation.

WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?

According to an editorial by NFL.Com, the largest logistical problems facing the game of American Football being covered within the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the huge numbers of contributors on each group, the “gender equality” codecs where both ladies and men take part in each game, and the compressed 3 week time table that would be difficult with an extra bodily game like football and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to access is high due to it is value to equip all gamers with pads and gear, and therefore has additionally been sluggish to undertake in lots of overseas international locations, especially of the poorer range.

Knowing all this, it’s difficult to see how both recreations would be an amazing match for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is lots like Soccer in that very little is wanted to play the game in terms of gear and exercise at it is a base degree, and has a much large worldwide following. This amongst other reasons has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics beginning in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less conventional “sevens” format which are quicker paced with fewer people, which can help carve a similar direction for American Football, or flag football greater in particular.

TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS

Even an increasing number of high college, university, and seasoned groups are starting to lessen the number of touch practices, nevertheless sporting the likes of gentle-padded headgear and shoulder pads for delivered safety. But what if we should restriction the touch players see before high school and enter school at the same time as additionally addressing a number of the concerns for the game related to it being absolutely generic into the Olympics?There’s a whole lot of talk lately revolving across the protection of address soccer, and not just in the NFL wherein concussions are a major concern. Starting as ways back because the adolescent’s soccer stage, latest proof has surfaced helping the idea that even short of a concussion, repeated head influences and collision can manifest in similar mind injuries later in life for youngsters examined among a long time of 8-thirteen. Many researchers are suggesting kids should not be gambling soccer in any respect, suggesting that youngsters’ heads are “a larger part of their frame, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids can be at a more risk of head and mind injuries than adults.”

 

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DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL

As of 2015, research shows that flag football is the fastest growing young people game in the United States, substantially outpacing the boom of conventional address soccer. Many individual high faculties are making the switch to flag football over the tackle, getting other schools in their areas to comply with match growing organized leagues and divisions. It’s even a formally diagnosed varsity game in many states, and with ladies particularly flag football is a way to allow simpler participation as opposed to the bodily nature of tackle.And he is now not the most effective one. Recently Drew Brees turned into interviewed by means of Peter King for NBC’s pregame display and had a few robust phrases on why he believes flag soccer is the solution. “I feel like flag football can store soccer,” Brees stated. Brees coaches his son’s flag soccer team, and performed flag soccer himself through junior excessive, in no way playing tackle football until high school. “I sense like (flag football) is an exquisite introductory approach for lots of children into football,” Brees noted. “Otherwise I feel it’s very clean to move in and have an awful experience early on after which now not want to ever play it once more. I sense like when you positioned the pads on there are simply so many different factors to the game, and you are at the mercy of the instruct in plenty of cases too. And to be sincere, I do not think sufficient coaches are nicely-versed enough regarding the proper basics of the sport specifically when the pads pass on on the adolescent’s stage.” Many other pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments as nicely, singing praises for the sport of flag soccer, and the upward thrust in popularity of the game echoes that.

Flag soccer is not a fluke or just a leisure improvement tool that feeds into address football, it’s a complete-fledged movement that has its personal identity and cause and it is the time we diagnosed that difference.

Internationally it is gaining popularity as well, lots faster it seems than conventional American football where the barrier to access is tons higher with the want for full pads and tools. In Mexico as an instance, flag soccer is booming in recognition, in which most recollect it to be the #2 sport to football and closing fast, with an anticipated 2.Five million kids participating simply at the simple school stage. International teams are beginning to make the journey to a number of the more popular American flag soccer tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and more a common incidence.

Everywhere you look, participation and interest in the sport flag soccer is exploding.

At a personal level, it was a documented year for the sport of flag football. New most important tournaments are stoning up the world over, seeing heaps of teams competing throughout all age businesses, codecs and patterns. Cash prizes have been at an all time excessive, predicted to eclipse over $100,000 in crew giveaways inside the next calendar 12 months. Sponsors have commenced taking be aware as properly, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull and different important brands seeing the cost and growth of flag football as a way to efficaciously reach their target audience in big numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time excessive as properly, mirroring it is reputation at the youngster’s degree and is the favored format of play for American football in maximum Central to South American international locations.

So how does this all lead again to the Olympics and getting American ohio state football protected as an authentic sport? First, permit’s evaluation a bit history on in which the sport stands these days with the International Olympic Committee or IOC.

Historically, In order to be blanketed into the list of Olympic games as an illustration sport, you need to have an International Federation and feature held a World Championship opposition. This must take area at the least 6 years before a scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, ordinarily centered on tackle soccer, however, includes a flag in it is tournament lineup, met this well known and became authorized in 2012, and won provisional recognition in 2014. This should pave the way for American Alabama football to be protected as a legitimate game, and flag football as probably a discipline of said game, however, the IFAF has due to the fact faced setbacks due to alleged scandal, event mismanagement and misappropriation of budget that can’t bode nicely for the sports activities inclusion quick term. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC adopted a new, greater flexible rule set allowing programs to be up for assessment after each Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a route for all sports to offer their case for being included via triumphing an easy majority vote.flag

So the opportunity is there for American soccer to be covered in the maximum prestigious sporting occasion around the arena, but how can we conquer the boundaries provided with the aid of the shape of the game to match the mold of a successful Olympics history carrying occasion?

FLAG FOOTBALL IS THE KEY TO OLYMPIC INCLUSION

For each way address football doesn’t healthy the mold as a logical desire for the IOC, there’s business flags football. Here are the top four reasons flag soccer have to be taken into consideration to be included as the subsequent Olympic recreation.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

As we’ve got already mounted, flag soccer is a mile more secure opportunity than tackle football. Fewer hits and collisions identical fewer accidents, and flag soccer is already a demonstrated success model this is being praised for keeping the game for destiny generations. But in relation to the Summer Olympic Games, safety is just one element of the physical demands of the game, considering you’ve got less than a 3-week window to healthy in all stages of the competition, and the year-round interest needed to practice and qualify. Imagine gambling 6-7 full touch soccer games with a restrained roster all inside a span of ~sixteen days, not to say different viable qualifying occasions all through the 12 months. For flag soccer, it is now not unusual to play 6-7 video games in a weekend or from time to time even an afternoon, so the game is more than ready for this style of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As stated above, that is a primary difficulty when figuring out whether or not a recreation is healthy to be considered, and at the same time as traditional American style tackle football is extremely popular global as properly, flag soccer appeals to extra countries. It’s a lower barrier to entry as far as cost and equipment cross, don’t require complete length and striped soccer fields to participate, and is simpler to hold larger match competitions and leagues to inspire local hobby.

3. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which layout would be used (our guess is both 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires some distance fewer contributors than traditional address football. Part of that is because of it being a less physically disturbing game and the want for fewer substitutions, and any other part is because of wanting less professional players, inclusive of kickers, punters, unique teams, offensive lineman, etc. Where each traditional tackle soccer group would probably carry 50+ competitors, flag football would want likely 15 players at maximum, slicing that wide variety to less than a 3rd. This is vital because the Olympics cap their overall participants to ten,500 athletes and coaches. It also once more permits more international locations to compete, particularly poorer nations, wherein fielding a smaller and much less financially demanding crew coupled with the reasons above makes extra sense.

4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a prime emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the primary time all sports covered competing ladies in their category. Today, any new recreation that is introduced to the Olympic Games should encompass each male and woman contributors. For address football, there’s simply not almost enough hobby from girls participators for it to make feel. While there are a few woman gamers, and even a few lady tackle football leagues and corporations, it simply would not fit the mildew, particularly with the alternative troubles relating to physicality and barrier to entry. For us flags soccer, this isn’t always a problem as particular above, with female participation booming across the world.olympic

NEXT STEPS FOR FLAG FOOTBALL AND OLYMPIC INCLUSION

So how do we take the subsequent steps to journey the momentum of flag soccer directly into the next available Olympic video games? The IFAF has already helped begin the procedure of having the sport of American Football in front of the IOC in recent years, but with their public issues and seemingly no movement since 2014 extra desires to be done to maintain shifting forward. What we do realize is that flag soccer is being taken critically at all levels for honestly the first time in history, with important agencies making movements to get extra into the flag soccer space and the advent of larger and more international occasions to fuel the game. We believe that both on it is very own, or as a subject of address soccer, flag soccer WILL be protected within the Olympics at some level inside the next 10-two decades.

If that happened, what do you observed that would do to enhance the recognition and legitimacy of the game of flag soccer long term? Let us recognize inside the remarks below!

About Rohit Shetty

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