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Vikings partner to create HS girls flag football league in Sioux Falls - Sioux Falls Live - FlagSpin

Vikings partner to create HS girls flag football league in Sioux Falls – Sioux Falls Live

SIOUX FALLS — The Minnesota Vikings are partnering with a Sioux Falls sports organization to spark the creation of a flag football league for high school girls.

Since 1969, South Dakota Junior Football (SDJRFB) has offered athletic participation opportunities to youths in the Sioux Falls area. What started as a smaller league has since expanded to include more than 2,500 athletes from Luverne to Hanson County and Nebraska to Dell Rapids.

Starting this summer, SDJRFB will have a new offering tailored to high school girls.

“The Minnesota Vikings heard about our league, and they want to be part of it,” a Facebook post from SDJRFB reads. “They are excited to partner with us in the creation of our new high school girls flag league.”

According to Brent Hubers, executive director of the organization, the Vikings reached out to SDJRFB expressing interest in a flag football league for high school girls. After discussion with the organization’s board, and taking note of the high demand in its K-8 girls flag football league, it was a no-brainer to expand the program to older girls.

“[The Vikings] reached out to us and wanted us to try to get them some information, so we started talking as a board and said, ‘We’ve already got our girls program expanding, let’s expand to high school,’” Hubers told Sioux Falls Live. “We let [the Vikings] know that, and they were very excited about that and they want to help us in any way they can.”

It’s not the first time the Vikings have partnered with SDJRFB. Hubers said the team has hosted free skills camps to the organization’s youth athletes in the past, adding that it’s possible another skills camp could be held again this year.

Vikings Camp - SDJRFB.jpg

More than 100 South Dakota Junior Football players turned out to a skills camp put on by the Minnesota Vikings in June 2022.

Contributed / SDJRFB

“We’re working out to try to get a date set for a free skills camp again for boys and girls in the morning session. Then the afternoon will be strictly for high school-aged girls and any coaches that might be coaching them, doing skills and stuff like that with them,” Hubers said.

Though Hubers declined to share a monetary value, he said the Vikings are planning on contributing some funding toward equipment for the new league, as well.

Hubers believes that the idea to kick off a flag league for high school girls is an effort from the National Football League to garner more interest in the sport.

6-8 Gr Girls Flag Champions.jpg

South Dakota Junior Football’s 2023 champions of the 6-8th grade girls flag football division.

Contributed / SDJRFB

The timing of a league in Sioux Falls coincides with the International Olympics Committee’s decision to include flag football as an official sport for the 2028 Summer Games, which are set to be held in Los Angeles in July 2028.

Hubers hopes to see 100 Sioux Falls-area high school girls participate — enough for 10 teams of 10 girls, ideally split by their school district.

Registration for the league opened on Super Bowl Sunday, but will remain open until June 2, giving SDJRFB enough time to spread the word of the new league.

Hubers said the league will see practices begin in the last week of July, followed by a seven-game regular season beginning Aug. 17 (with no games over Labor Day weekend). Postseason action will consist of a single-elimination tournament to wrap up by the second or third weekend of October, a timeline that coincides with other SDJRFB offerings.

The scheduling is set so as to avoid conflict with other high school sports.

“We’re going to work it so girls games are going to be on Sunday afternoons, so it hopefully won’t conflict with anything they’re already doing in high school — volleyball, soccer, cross country,” Hubers explained. “We love our multi-sport athletes, so we don’t want somebody to have to make that decision. … We don’t want [flag football] to prohibit them from doing something else as well.”

Depending on the success of the league, Hubers said it’s possible SDJRFB could eventually approach the South Dakota High School Athletics Association about sanctioning the sport statewide.

Any high school girls interested in participating in the flag football league can find more information, including registration,

on SDJRFB’s website,

or by contacting a league representative.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Sioux Falls Live, with a primary focus on crime in Sioux Falls and government in Lincoln County.

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