History of Girls and Varsity High School Flag Football

In 1998, Florida became the first state in the U.S. to recognize girls flag football as a high school varsity sport. Seventeen schools—with 860 female athletes—participated in the first year, and by 2010, the Florida program had grown to over 5,000 girls, a 481% increase in participation in only 12 years (Source: NFHS).

In 2005, the Anchorage, Alaska School District introduced girls’ flag football after a survey of its female students revealed that flag was the most desired new sport. In its first year, the Anchorage girls flag football program had 343 participants from eight high schools.

The USA Football - NFL Girls Flag Program

The USA Football - NFL Girls Flag Program identifies the growing demand for girls flag football to be legitimized and played on the junior and high school levels. It is the first program of its kind to recognize the desire of girls to be more involved flag football and helps girls across the United States find an outlet to play the sport they love.

In 2008, the NFL identified 10 cities with high levels of interest in recreational girls flag football and selected one girl from each city to pursue the establishment of girls flag football as a legitimate high school sport. These girls, all passionate about flag football, participated in NFL FLAG football and championed the girls flag initiative with the assistance of local high school officials. Empowered by the NFL, these pioneers of female flag football requested that their high schools pilot a girls flag football program.

Over 25,000 girls in 19 cities have participated in high school flag football programs as a result of the USA Football - NFL Girls Flag program:

  • ·   Atlanta, GA
  • ·   Austin, TX
  • ·   Braintree, MA
  • ·   Charlotte, NC
  • ·   Chicago, IL
  • ·   Fort Wayne, IN
  • ·   Harrisburg, PA
  • ·   Jackson, TN
  • ·   Las Vegas, NV
  • ·   Levittown, PA
  • ·   Lexington, Kentucky
  • ·   Lower Burrell, PA
  • ·   New Orleans, LA
  • ·   New York, NY
  • ·   Peabody, MA
  • ·   Pittsburgh, PA
  • ·   Reseda, CA
  • ·   Santa Rosa, CA
  • ·   Washington, DC

USA Football's contribution

USA Football works with each flag football ambassador to support her as she advocates for girls flag football in her school district. For every high school that agrees to pilot a girls flag football program, USA Football provides free flag football equipment to each school, as well as flag football coaching resources.

Want To Get Involved?

Any student or school official can participate in the program. Email Samantha Rapoport at srapoport@usafootball.com to learn more about starting a girls flag football program at your school."