AG’s office calls flag football league “reckless,” fines league for bringing teams from Ohio, Penn., Wis. to Epping | Health

The state Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday that a youth sports league would be fined $2,000 for bringing players from outside of New England to a flag football tournament in Epping.

The Attorney General’s Office sent notice Tuesday to the New England Flag Football League, assessing a $2,000 civil penalty violating the state-issued reopening rules for youth sports. Gov. Chris Sununu’s Emergency Order 65 gives the state the power to fine violators $1,000 per violation per day.

The Attorney General’s Office said they have found evidence of eight violations, and are charging the league only $250 for each violation, or a total of $2,000.

Efforts to reach the New England Flag Football League on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Before the New England Flag Football League’s “Summer Showdown” tournament in Epping, state and local law enforcement told the league that only teams from the six New England states could compete, according to a letter to the league from the Attorney General’s Office.

An official from the Attorney General’s Office contacted the New England Flag Football League in August to remind the league that youth from outside New England could not compete in New Hampshire, under the state’s reopening rules for youth sports.

Epping police also contacted the league and the Seacoast United Sports Complex, to remind them that only New England children can compete in youth sports in New Hampshire.

After these warnings, the Attorney General’s Office said it has confirmed eight teams from outside New England — teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, comprised of 120 children under the age of 12 — traveled to Epping for the flag football tournament.

The league did cut teams from New York and New Jersey from the tournament, league officials said in emails to the Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General’s Office asked the New England Flag Football League for documents about where the competitors came from, and how they traveled to New Hampshire, after hearing from one of the New York teams that an Ohio team would still be competing in the flag football tournament. The Attorney General’s Office said the league did not provide all the documents requested.

But among the documents provided, according to the Attorney General’s Office, was a document that inaccurately stated the guidelines for playing youth sports in New Hampshire. The document only instructs players to quarantine at home for two weeks before coming to New Hampshire. It did not say that non-New England residents were not allowed to compete in youth sports in New Hampshire yet.

“Given the multiple warnings prior to the event, the actions of NEFFL (New England Flag Football League) were reckless and intentional,” the Attorney General’s Office wrote in a letter to the league.

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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