The Alabama High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday it will offer girls’ flag football as a sanctioned sport, beginning in 2021. The announcement came at the 13th annual Principals’ and Athletic Directors’ Conference.
The program is in partnership with the Atlanta Falcons and NFL FLAG and will be available for member schools beginning this fall.
The AHSAA Central Board of Control approved sanctioning the sport at its January 2021 meeting, giving the AHSAA the nod to pursue the partnership. The season will culminate in December with a championship game at the 2021 Super 7 football championships in Birmingham.
“After discussions with the Atlanta Falcons for several months, we are excited to be adding this girls’ sport for our membership. We think it will grow rapidly,” said AHSAA associate executive director Alvin Briggs, who oversees the sport of football for the AHSAA. “The AHSAA appreciates the support, commitment and funding being provided by the Atlanta Falcons, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and NFL FLAG.”
In addition, Nike will provide girls flag apparel to assist the AHSAA with launching girls’ flag football throughout the state.
The Falcons have played a key role in the growth of girls’ flag football nationally. In response to the alarming low number of girls’ sports offered in Georgia in 2018, the Falcons and the Blank Family Foundation approached Gwinnett County Public Schools, the largest county in Georgia, to pilot and fully fund a girls’ high school flag football program. As a result, hundreds of girls tried out in the first year, bringing the attention of other schools to the program in 2019. Last fall, Georgia became one of only four states (Alaska, Nevada and Florida) to make girls’ high school flag football an official sanctioned sport.
Following the success of the 2020 season, the Falcons participated in discussions with additional states, beginning with Alabama, to help fund high school girls’ flag football. Many other NFL teams have also started conversations in their markets to begin girls’ flag football, using the Atlanta Falcons model as a best practice.
AHSAA member high schools will have the opportunity to declare girls’ flag football as a sport for their schools for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. For more information, contact the AHSAA office at 334-263-6994 or email Briggs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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