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Youth flag football numbers on the rise; BRPD tackle program won’t return in the fall

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Since 2019, youth football has seen a major shift from tackle football to flag football.

For the Bend Park and Recreation District, its tackle football numbers have dropped every season since 2019, while its flag football numbers have increased (not including a canceled division due to lack of coaches).

According to Julie Brown, BRPD’s communications manager, the current tackle football program will not return this fall.

However, Steve Blackmarr, the head coach for Bend-La Pine eighth-grade football, says Pacific Crest Middle School has seen an increase in tackle football numbers since the pandemic.

But he acknowledges that flag football, which both boys and girls can participate in, has increased dramatically.

“We did see a really rapid acceleration in the number of kids who come out for flag football, including seventh and eighth grade,” Blackmarr said.

Noah Chast will have more from Blackmarr on why more kids are playing flag football tonight on NewsChannel 21 at Five.

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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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