Atlanta Public Schools to offer girls flag footballAtlanta Public Schools (APS) will offer flag football as a scholastic sport to seventh- and eighth-grade girls beginning in the 2019-20 school year, it was announced today. To help establish its new program, the school district will receive budgetary assistance from USA Football, ESPN and the Atlanta Falcons.
This offering makes Atlanta Public Schools one of the largest U.S. school districts to offer flag football as a scholastic sport to middle school girls. All 13 of the school district’s middle schools will participate in girls flag football next fall.“Atlanta Public Schools is excited to partner with USA Football, ESPN and the Atlanta Falcons to be one of the first school districts in the country to provide another outstanding athletic opportunity through flag football for our middle school girls,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen. “I can’t wait to have my first workout with one of our teams!”
“Atlanta Public Schools’ forward thinking will foster increased participation opportunities and positive experiences for a new group of student-athletes, setting a great example for school districts nationwide,” said USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck.
“ESPN is committed to ensuring girls have equal opportunity in sports,” said ESPN Vice President of Corporate Citizenship Kevin Martinez. “We’re excited to assist Atlanta Public Schools in helping girls to play the game of football — not just cheer from the sidelines. We hope that the enthusiasm that these middle school girls and their parents have for football today, helps blossom into a girls high school varsity sport in the future.”
“The Falcons have long appreciated the fan support of girls across our region – now it’s our turn to root for them,” said Vice President, Community Relations, Ambse Chris Millman. “We’re happy to support Atlanta Public Schools as the district builds its middle school girls flag program. This continues an exciting trend of girls flag across the greater Atlanta area and we’re proud to ensure these programs have the budget assistance they need for the good of their student-athletes.”
According to the Sport and Fitness Industry Association’s 2018 single sport participation report, there are roughly 171,000 core girl flag football participants ages 6 to 17. The SFIA defines a flag football core participant as those who participate in the sport more than 13 times per year. Overall, girls core flag football participation increased by more than 22 percent from 2016 to 2017.