NEW YORK, July 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The American Flag Football League (AFFL), the preeminent flag football organization in the United States, today announced the launch of the American Flag Football League Youth Division. Set to kickoff this fall with an expected 10,000 participants (boys and girls) around the country, the launch will include the proprietary AFFL Go App that will serve as a comprehensive resource for coaches, players, and parents.
To help drive awareness around the new youth division, the AFFL has teamed up with football prodigy and the “fastest kid on earth,” Rudolph Blaze Jr. (@blaze_813), to serve as an official ambassador for the youth league.
The new AFFL Youth League, which expects to have more than 100,000 youth participants between the ages of 6 and 18 by 2024, will help drive flag football’s continued explosive growth, while creating a cohesive and unified youth league at the local, state, regional, and national levels. The youth league will be run by Austin Bradshaw, current president of New England Flag Football and long-time flag football enthusiast.
AFFL’s strategy includes aligning with local youth operators by providing them a financial stake in the youth league’s success, and a valuable set of resources that will improve the experience of every coach, player, parent, and local operator. This set of resources will include the AFFL Go App, available on the Apple App Store and Android, which will serve as a live mobile scoreboard and statistics engine, solving the “Hey, Ref” problem of endless inquiries to officials about the status of the game.
“The launch of our first-ever youth league is a massive opportunity to establish a consistent and standard set of youth rules across the nation, and have more boys and girls involved in flag football,” said Jeffrey Lewis, CEO and Founder of the American Flag Football League. “Flag football is one of fastest-growing sports, and we are thrilled to end the fragmentation at the youth level and provide a superior experience for the coaches, kids and their families. Our youth rules are a slightly modified version of our professional rules and kids will play the closest approximation of ‘real football’ that exists in flag. AFFL Youth is not a gateway to tackle football but is simply flag for flag’s sake.”
Flag football has become one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports in the U.S. with 6.8 million people participating in a community that is rapidly growing. Over the past five years youth flag football has grown 6.3% each year while youth tackle football has declined at a 2.2% rate over that same period with total flag participation now larger than lacrosse, ice hockey, and rugby combined.
“I am so proud to be an ambassador for AFFL Youth and to have the opportunity to be a part of such a groundbreaking league,” said Rudolph Blaze Jr. “It is awesome that the AFFL is giving kids like me the chance to have the most authentic football experience in youth flag today. Kids will all feel that they are playing in the same league as the AFFL’s professional men and women.”
The announcement comes ahead of the AFFL’s fourth season and follows a recent slate of league milestones including: a crowdfunding campaign on SeedInvest that gives fans an opportunity to own a portion of the league; agreement with CBS Sports to broadcast games this summer; the launch of AFFL’s women’s division and commitment to pay equity; a $6 million partnership with L Sports making them the AFFL’s official data provider; and an agreement with AccuWeather to become the official weather app of the league.
The AFFL offers the highest level of competitive flag football and has attracted some of the NFL’s biggest names in years past, including Michael Vick, Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Vince Young, and Danny Wuerffel. The league features a 7-on-7 format on a 100-yard field, with a 15-person roster and a 60-minute game.
The Men’s AFFL tournament is scheduled for July 23-25 in Indianapolis and will move to Houston, Texas for the remaining rounds, starting August 14. The inaugural Women’s AFFL tournament will debut on August 21-22 and 28-29 in Houston, Texas.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast four live AFFL games, including the 2021 tournament’s Men’s Final and the inaugural Women’s Division Final. Additionally, CBS and CBS Sports Network will carry AFFL content throughout the season, with CBS hosting a 60-minute special broadcast highlighting the best moments of the season.
For more information on the AFFL Youth League, visit www.afflyouth.com.
About The American Flag Football League (AFFL)
AFFL is the premier Flag Football organization in the world, offering Men’s and Women’s professional events, youth leagues and content around America’s fastest growing team sport. It unites a worldwide community of players and fans around the shared values of flag – inclusivity, fun, positivity, competition, and intensity. For more information, please visit www.affl.com or www.afflyouth.com. #thefutureisflag #football4all.
SOURCE American Flag Football League