By Martie Thompson
In response to requests from parents, the CAA flag football league has added a girls’ league this season. According to league president, Mike Lanza, there are four teams with approximately 32 girls playing this inaugural season, in addition to approximately 15 girls who play on the league’s existing co-ed teams. Lanza said that in total, approximately 700 kids are playing flag football this season.
“We had been hearing from parents that there was a demand for an all-girls flag football league for some time,” Lanza said. “This past spring we started planning for it and by the summer, when we had amassed enough coaches, we opened registration.”
Mia Hamilton, 11, is a new participant. “This is my first time playing but I’ve always grown up watching my brothers play,” she said, “so I thought it would be fun to play it myself.”
Lanza said the new girls’ league started practices two times a week in November and started playing games the first weekend in December. The players range in age from nine to 11 years old and games are held at Plantation Park on Saturday mornings. After a two week break for the holidays at the end of December, the girls will resume play in early January. The season will end with division championships at the end of January.
“The teams in the girls’ league play each other twice during the regular season and then will meet again in the playoffs,” Lanza said.
Participant Charlotte “Charlie” Leddy, 9, said, “I like that we can play with our friends and you can play different positions.”
Lanza is convinced that the girls’ league will grow in popularity and envisions that it will lead the growth of the CAA league overall, since girls’ flag football is not widely available locally.
“The girls are having a great time,” Lanza said. “Winning or losing, you can see the excitement on their faces.”
Participant Brianna Soares, 9, agrees. “What I like about the league is how you can play with your friends and how you can be competitive. It’s really fun!”
Registration for the next flag football season will begin in July. Visit www.caaflagfootball.org for more information.
Photo courtesy Dana Kelley
Mia Hamilton throws the ball.