The American Flag Football League (AFFL), the preeminent flag football organization in the United States, has partnered with USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and manager of U.S. National Teams for international play, in a strategic alliance to raise the visibility and quality of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams.
“The American Flag Football League is proud to partner with USA Football, football’s governing body, in order to promote and advance the sport of flag football,” stated AFFL Founder and CEO Jeff Lewis. “Since 2016, the AFFL has garnered a worldwide community of fans and players who are united by the shared values of flag. We strongly align with USA Football’s mission to promote positive football experiences for youth, high school and all players around the world to set standards, best practices and promote all that flag football has to offer.”
Under the partnership, the AFFL is a preferred athlete scouting partner for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams. USA Football staff will be on-site at select AFFL events to evaluate athletes for potential selection to U.S. Flag National Teams, who compete globally against the world’s best competition across the sport in premier events such as the biannual International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Flag World Championships and The World Games 2022, which marks the first time that flag football will be featured on a multi-sport, global stage.
“Flag football is a burgeoning sport, both nationally and internationally,” USA Football CEO & Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “It’s thrilling to watch, exciting to play, and appeals to elite athletes of diverse and dynamic skill sets and backgrounds. Our U.S. National Team program and high-performance player pathway is enhanced by adding the AFFL to our USA Football family. We look forward to working together to promote competitive excellence, develop athletes and continue flag’s sustained ascent.”
Flag football is among the fastest-growing sports in the country. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the number of 6-to-17-year-olds playing flag increased from 2015 to 2019 to more than 1.5 million youth participants, representing a 25 percent increase in participation that equates to more than 314,000 additional athletes. Forty-six (46) percent of flag football players age 6-17 are minorities.
“When I look at the future, flag football will be a mainstream professional sport,” Mr. Lewis said. “The overwhelming positivity of flag—that it’s safe, it’s accessible, and invites everyone to enjoy it—is what will internationalize football.”
The American Flag Football League recently announced its new Women’s Division, headed by U.S. Women’s National Team alumna Adrienne Smith and current U.S. Women’s Flag National Team athlete Michelle Roque, as well as its glass-ceiling shattering $200,000 Grand Prize for both the Men’s and Women’s Champions, leading the movement to level the playing field for gender pay equality in sports.