The Olympics are in contrast to any other wearing competition on earth. For sixteen days, over 300 activities representing 35 sports activities and every u. S . A . In the world compete to take domestic their prized medals, and I even have seemed ahead to looking the Summer Olympics every four years in view that as far again as I can don’t forget. But there may be constantly been something missing. One of the US most popular sports activities, and a top 10 recreation in the course of the world, it seems as even though address and flag football could be Olympic sports via the yr 2024, however trouble limitations nonetheless remain for that to turn out to be a truth. First, we’ll walk via some motives why the street to getting American Football included into the Olympics has no longer been a smooth adventure, followed by why we agree with flag soccer to be the logical answer and desire as a destiny Olympic sport.
WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?
According to an editorial by NFL.Com, the largest logistical issues going through the game of American Football being blanketed within the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the massive numbers of individuals on every team, the “gender equality” formats in which each ladies and men take part in every recreation, and the compressed 3-week timetable that would be difficult with a greater bodily game like football and rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to entry is high because of its fee to equip all gamers with pads and gear and therefore has additionally been slow to adopt in many foreign international locations, especially of the poorer range.
Knowing all this, it’s tough to see how both games could be an amazing healthy for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that little or no is needed to play the sport in phrases of tools and practice at its base degree and has a far large global following. This among other reasons has lately allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 by means of converting the traditional fashion to a much less traditional “sevens” format which is quicker paced with fewer humans, that could help carve a comparable course for American Football, or flag soccer extra in particular.
TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS
Even an increasing number of high college, university, and seasoned teams are beginning to reduce the range of contact practices, nonetheless wearing the likes of smooth-padded headgear and shoulder pads for introduced protection. But what if we could restrict the touch players see before high faculty and center school while additionally addressing a number of the concerns for the game associated with it being absolutely accepted into the Olympics? There’s quite a few communicate these days revolving around the protection of address soccer, and not just inside the NFL in which concussions are a primary concern. Starting as a way again as the children soccer degree, current proof has surfaced assisting the idea that even brief of a concussion, repeated head effects and collision can show up incomparable brain injuries later in existence for children examined between the ages of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting youngsters should not be playing football in any respect, suggesting that kids’ heads are “a larger a part of their frame, and their necks aren’t as robust as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater threat of head and mind injuries than adults.”
DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL
As of 2015, studies show that flag soccer is the fastest growing adolescents game in the United States, substantially outpacing the increase of conventional address football. Many men or woman excessive faculties are making the transfer to flag football over the address, getting different schools in their areas to follow healthy growing prepared leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially recognized varsity game in lots of states, and with ladies in particular flag football is a way to permit easier participation as opposed to the bodily nature of tackle. And he’s no longer the simplest one. Recently Drew Brees turned into interviewed via Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had a few strong phrases on why he believes flag football is the solution. “I feel like flag soccer can save football,” Brees said. Brees coaches his son’s flag soccer group, and performed flag football himself via junior high, never playing address football till high faculty. “I feel like (flag football) is a fantastic introductory technique for a number of kids into football,” Brees cited. “Otherwise I sense it is very smooth to move in and feature a terrible enjoy early on and then not want to ever play it once more. I experience like once you placed the pads on there are just so many different factors to the sport, and you’re on the mercy of the educated in a whole lot of instances too. And to be sincere, I don’t think enough coaches are nicely-versed enough regarding the proper basics of the game particularly when the pads go on at the teenager’s stage.” Many different pro athletes and coaches have expressed comparable sentiments as properly, singing praises for the sport of flag football, and the rise in reputation of the game echoes that.
Flag soccer isn’t always a fluke or only a recreational development device that feeds into tackle football, it’s a complete-fledged motion that has it is own identification and cause and it’s time we identified that difference.
Internationally it’s miles gaining popularity as well, an awful lot quicker it appears that traditional American soccer wherein the barrier to access is plenty higher with the want for full pads and tools. In Mexico as an instance, flag football is booming in recognition, wherein most keep in mind it to be the #2 game to football and closing fast, with an anticipated 2.5 million kids taking part simply at the simple school degree. International groups are starting to make the experience to some of the more famous American flag football tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and extra a common occurrence.
Everywhere you appearance, participation and hobby in the sports flag football is exploding.
At an adult level, it was a documented year for the sport of flag football. New most important tournaments are shooting up internationally, seeing thousands of teams competing across all age corporations, codecs, and patterns. Cash prizes have been at an all-time high, anticipated to eclipse over $a hundred,000 in team giveaways in the subsequent calendar yr. Sponsors have commenced taking be aware as properly, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.Com, Red Bull and other main brands seeing the value and boom from flag football as a manner to correctly reach their audience in big numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time excessive as nicely, mirroring it is recognized on the youth stage and is the favored format of play for American football in maximum Central to South American countries.
So how does this all lead back to the Olympics and getting American football included as a legitimate sport? First, allow’s overview a bit history on wherein the game stands nowadays with the International Olympic Committee or IOC.
Historically, In order to be included into the Olympic video games as a demonstration game, you need to have an International Federation and have held a World Championship competition. This ought to take region not less than 6 years earlier than scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, in most cases targeted on address soccer, however, includes a flag in it is match lineup, met this preferred and became approved in 2012, and gained a provisional reputation in 2014. This should pave the manner for American football to be covered as a legit game, and flag football as in all likelihood an area of said recreation, but the IFAF has seen that faced setbacks because of alleged scandal, event mismanagement and misappropriation of finances that can not bode nicely for the sport’s inclusion brief term. Fortunately, in 2007, the IOC followed a brand new, bendier rule set allowing packages to be up for review after every Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a direction for all sports activities to give their case for being covered with the aid of triumphing a simple majority vote.
So the opportunity is there for American soccer to be blanketed in the most prestigious sporting occasion around the sector, but how will we conquer the obstacles provided by means of the structure of the sport to match the mildew of a hit Olympic wearing occasion?
FLAG FOOTBALL IS THE KEY TO OLYMPIC INCLUSION
For each manner address, football does not healthy the mold as a logical desire for the IOC, there may be flag football. Here are the pinnacle four motives flag soccer have to be considered to be protected as the subsequent Olympic sport.
1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football
As we’ve already established, flag football is a much more secure alternative than tackle soccer. Fewer hits and collisions equal fewer injuries, and flag soccer is already a confirmed achievement version that’s being praised for preserving the sport for destiny generations. But with regards to the Summer Olympic Games, protection is simply one thing of the physical needs of the sport, thinking about you have less than a 3-week window to fit in all levels of opposition, and the 12 months-round pastimes needed to practice and qualify. Imagine playing 6-7 complete contact soccer games with a limited roster all within a span of ~16 days, no longer to mention different feasible qualifying occasions at some point of the year. For flag football, it’s now not uncommon to play 6-7 video games in a weekend or once in a while even a day, so the sport is extra than ready for this fashion of tournament play.
2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding
As cited above, this is a first-rate trouble when figuring out whether a sport is healthy to be considered, and whilst traditional American fashion address soccer is extraordinarily famous global as properly, flag football appeals to greater international locations. It’s a decreased barrier to entry as some distance as value and gadget cross, don’t require complete length and striped football fields to participate, and is less difficult to hold large match competitions and leagues to inspire neighborhood hobby.
Three. It Requires Fewer Participants
Depending on which layout might be used (our bet is both 5v5 or 7v7), flag soccer requires far fewer members than traditional tackle football. Part of that is due to it being a much less bodily annoying recreation and the need for fewer substitutions, and every other component is because of needing much fewer specialist players, together with kickers, punters, special groups, offensive lineman, and many others. Where every conventional address soccer group might possibly bring 50+ competitors, flag football would want possibly 15 gamers at most, slicing that range to less than a third. This is vital because the Olympics cap their total participants to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It additionally once more permits greater international locations to compete, mainly poorer international locations, in which fielding a smaller and much less financially stressful group coupled with the reasons above makes more sense.
Four. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport
Gender equality is a chief emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the primary time all sports protected competing ladies of their class. Today, any new recreation that is delivered to the Olympic Games ought to include both male and female members. For tackle soccer, there’s just no longer nearly sufficient interest from girls participators for it to make sense. While there are some lady gamers, and even a few girl address football leagues and agencies, it simply doesn’t fit the mold, specifically with the alternative problems regarding physicality and barrier to access. For flag soccer, this isn’t always a hassle as special above, with woman participation booming internationally.
NEXT STEPS FOR FLAG FOOTBALL AND OLYMPIC INCLUSION
So how can we take the following steps to journey the momentum of flag soccer instantly into the next to be had Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped begin the procedure of getting the game of American Football in the front of the IOC in current years, but with their public issues and seemingly no movement because 2014 more desires to be achieved to hold shifting ahead. What we do recognize is that flag soccer is being taken critically in any respect tiers for certainly the first time in records, with essential agencies making actions to get extra into the flag soccer space and the introduction of larger and extra global activities to gasoline the game. We trust that either on its own or as an area of tackle soccer, flag soccer WILL be covered in the Olympics at a few stages within the next 10-twenty years.