What is Flag Football?

A variation of American football known as flag football is played without the player-to-player contact typical of the sport. In contrast, two flags are fastened to the ball carrier’s belt, one on each side of the waist, to prevent tackling (downs). Like a tackle or a down in American football, when a player successfully wrests the flag from an opponent, the game ends and a new play is initiated. The sole difference between the rules and one another is the restriction on physical contact.  

The IFAF oversees flag football regulations in Europe. (International Federation of American Football). The game’s laws are based on those of American football, with a few modifications. The goal remains the same, and there are four chances to cross the midfield (up to four downs or pulling off the flag). There are four more possibilities to score a touchdown after crossing the midfield.

Flag football variations

There are various flag football variations. For instance, players in the United States hold three flags—one at the back and one on each side of the waist. In contrast to how it is played in the United States, where it is played with 8, 9, or even 11 players, only two flags are worn and five players are used in Europe.

Playing 5-a-side in Europe is advantageous because it makes it simple for teams to locate facilities like, for example, indoor football grounds, claims Bart Iaccarino, a former player, flag football manager, and the organizer of the 2019 Champions Bowl. And because of this, more people can learn about this minority sport and more teams can be formed. Additionally, unlike other sports, flag football events accept mixed teams. Women are allowed to play in the men’s league, while a league exclusively for women also exists.

Where did flag football start?

Although there are older records, flag football first gained popularity in American military facilities in the 1940s. The risk of injury when playing American football was too great for soldiers. So the game was made safer and just as thrilling by substituting the action of pulling a flag for tackling.

In the past few years, flag football participation among boys and girls aged 6 to 12 has increased by 38% in the United States, even outpacing that of American football. This information comes from a Sports & Fitness Industry Association survey that looked at young people’s involvement in sports and was published by the New York Times in November 2018.

This increase is due to the growing concern over the potential for brain damage and cognitive issues in growing boys and girls who play American football.

Flag football has advantages over American football

  • The formation of teams is simpler. As Bart Iaccarino notes: “The best example is last year’s Champions Bowl winners, a Danish team with only 6 players.” With only 7 players, one can still be competitive. In American football, a team needs more than 11 players, though.
  • Because it is more economical, it is also more inclusive. A simple American football helmet might cost somewhere between 300 and 600 euros, but all you need is a belt and the flags.
  • For boys and girls who are willing to practice American football safely, it is more appealing.
  • Teams of mixed genders are competing.
  • Every physical makeup is acceptable. Every appearance has a position and a role, and flag football’s greatness is that it doesn’t discriminate, as Bart Iaccarino puts it.
  • It is expanding rapidly and has the potential to be added to the Olympic Games in the near future. You can still win the global title!

Mediterranean Sports Village will host the Champions Bowl

The Futbol Salou has hosted the Champions Bowl, the most important flag football competition in Europe, for the past two years. 26 teams with more than 400 players from 9 different European nations competed to be the greatest squad on the continent.

The Champion Bowl is a prestigious and distinctive competition in its format, according to Bart Iccarino, the tournament’s organizer, manager of the Pioners from Barcelona, and former player for the Imperial from Reus, among other teams. This is because teams are only invited to play if they are the best in their respective leagues. In other words, the Champion Bowl is a prestigious competition. Who among these levels stands out?

“Denmark is currently the dominant nation in Europe. the most impressive I’ve seen so far. They take good care of their health, enjoy being active, and train frequently in gyms and sports facilities because of the weather. They also tend to the base more than anyone else. With only 6 players, Hervel Rebels won the Campion Bowl and the Danish league the previous season, according to Iaccarino.

However, flag football is still popular in Spain. “In Spain, there is a closed mind in sports, everything is football,” claims Bart. Because institutions and sponsors don’t encourage new sports, it is incredibly difficult to do so. Instead of a young sport or a team for kids, they would rather invest in a third regional-level team. However, the Catalan league is still powerful; it has between 1000 and 1200 federated players, compared to more or less 400 in the rest of Spain. The Dragons’ influence is very important in making decisions.

The Coventry Cougars of the United Kingdom and the Klosterneuburg Indians of Austria won this 10th edition, which was held between October 18 and October 20.

It should be noted that the Organization has chosen to repeat the city hosting the event for the first time in ten days. The clubs asked to hold the event again at CE Futbol Salou and Cambrils Park Sport Village due to the fantastic facilities there as well as the favorable weather.

Flag Football FAQs

1) What are the rules of Flag Football?

American football and flag football are identical. The absence of physical contact between the two is the only distinction. The game of American football is significantly affected by tackling. Tackles that bring down players are prohibited in flag football. Flags are fastened to the ball carrier’s belt in place of tackles. Each side of the waist has a flag. The game ends and the subsequent play starts when someone successfully removes the opponent’s flag. 

2) What are the various variations of flag football?

The game of flag football can be played in a variety of ways. Even with flag football, there are several different game-play options. Flag Football is played somewhat differently in the United Kingdom than it is in the United States. In contrast to the United States, where each person wears three flags, only two flags are flown in the United Kingdom. In the UK, Flag Football is also played with five players set apart. Flag football is typically played in the US with 8, 9, or even 11 players set apart.

3) Where did Flag Football come from?

The history of Flag Football dates back more than 80 or 90 years. In the 1940s, when many American military personnel could not risk getting hurt, flag football rose in popularity as a substitute for American tackle football.

4) What advantages does playing Flag Football offer?

Fewer players are necessary. In contrast to American Football, which needs at least 11 players to be competitive, you may assemble a team with just 7. 

American Tackle Football is more expensive than Flag Football. In a typical tackle football game, you would need to spend between $300 and $600 on a helmet. In contrast, all you need for flag football is a belt and some flags. 

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