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NAIA, NFL launches plan for women’s flag football in college

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the NFL took a giant leap towards adding women’s flag football as a sanctioned collegiate sport.

On Monday, May 4, the two organizations announced their future plans to have the sport up and running by 2021, according to an issued press release from the NAIA.

women's flag football
Photo: Manuel Mager / Creative Commons

“Increasing female participation in flag football has been a top priority for NFL FLAG,” Reigning Champs Experiences President and General Manager Izell Reese said. “By teaming up with the NAIA, we’re able to create even more opportunities for young women to continue the sport they love, and potentially receive scholarships to continue their education and compete at the next level.”

In the release, the NAIA said that the first competitive season will be held in the spring of 2021 with schools eligible to begin holding interest tryouts in the fall.

To be recognized as an official sport by the NAIA there must be at least 15 schools that can field full teams. Additionally, an “invitational championship” would be held if there are at least 25 participating teams. In order to have a full championship, there needs to be a minimum of 40 teams. The NAIA said it is aiming to host an emerging sports championship for women’s flag football by 2022.

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“Football is for everyone,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said in the press release. “This groundbreaking and historic joint venture provides an opportunity for the values, fun, and competitive environment of football to be enjoyed as a varsity sport by female student-athletes attending NAIA institutions across America.”

To read the full press release and get more details on the forming of women’s flag football in collegiate athletics, click here.