AHSAA Offering Girl’s Flag Football as a Sanctioned Sport
At the 13th Annual Principals' and Athletic Directors' Conference, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) announced girl's flag football will be offered as a sanctioned sport starting in the fall of 2021 in partnership with the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL FLAG.
The AHSAA Central Board of Control approved of the sport in January, which greenlighted the partnership. The season will conclude in December with the championship game at the Super 7 State High School Championships in Birmingham. The NFL Flag has been developing coaching clinics, setting competition guidelines, and establishing teams for high schools interested in starting teams across the country.
Alvin Briggs, AHSAA Associate Executive Director, stated the AHSAA's excitement with the new partnership and football expansion into girls' sports.
“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,” stated Briggs. "The AHSAA appreciates the support, commitment and funding being provided by the Atlanta Falcons, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and NFL FLAG."
Alabama will become the fifth state to sanction girls' flag football behind Alaska, Nevada, Georgia and Florida. The Atlanta Falcons noticed a low number of girls high school sports in Georgia. The team and Blank Family Foundation reached out to Gwinnett County Public Schools to start a team. After one season, it was a success. The Falcons were eager to continue with other states and decided to start with Alabama.
"We are thrilled to see girls’ flag football continue to expand outside of Georgia. The goal has always been to grow the game," stated Rich McKay, President and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons. "The need and desire for more girls’ programming is there, and we are really excited the Alabama High School Athletic Association has agreed to add the sport and can now give young women more opportunities to play sports in high school. We look forward to seeing how far and wide we can expand the game of girls’ flag football together."
In addition to the Falcons and Blank Family Foundation support, NIKE will provide flag apparel to promote the sport across the state. High schools across the state will get the opportunity to decide on girls' flag football for the upcoming season.