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USA FOOTBALL TO HOST 2023 IFAF AMERICAS CONTINENTAL FLAG FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
INDIANAPOLIS – USA Football, the sport’s governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) announced today the 2023 IFAF Americas Continental Flag Football Championship will be held from July 5-7 in Charlotte, N.C.
The event will take place at the United States Performance Center (USPC) in Charlotte, N.C. and at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, bringing together the best men’s and women’s flag football teams from North and South America.
It is the first of three Continental Championships taking place this year as IFAF embarks on its biggest-ever cycle of global flag football competition in the run up to the 2024 IFAF Flag Football World Championships, in Lahti, Finland, which will be the biggest to date and the first fully gender equal edition.
The Continental Championships will serve as a qualifying pathway for the first time, with the reinforced global competitions structure reflecting flag football’s momentum as one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. Last June, flag football debuted at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Ala., marking the sport’s first time featured on a multi-sport, global stage. Earlier this year, the NFL conducted its Pro Bowl Games in a flag football format for the first time, showcasing the short format, inclusive and non-contact discipline to a global audience of millions.
The 2023 Americas Continental Championship will feature the most successful flag programs of the past two years. The U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams are reigning World Champions from the 2021 IFAF World Championships at the Kraft Family Sports Complex in Jerusalem, Israel. While the U.S. Men’s Team and Mexico Women’s Team are The World Games 2022 Gold Medalists. They will be joined in Charlotte, N.C. by other elite national teams from across North and South America.
“We are delighted to announce USA Football as host of the 2023 Americas Continental Championship, one of the pinnacle events in an expanding international calendar that speaks to the growing competitiveness of flag football around the world,” said IFAF President PIERRE TROCHET. “Nowhere is that more true than in the Americas. This event promises to be an amazing showcase of the depth of talent right across the region, from north to south, building on flag football’s ever-expanding popularity and propelling the game to even greater heights.”
“Flag football captured the spotlight this past summer at The World Games,” said USA Football CEO and Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK. “We are excited to have dozens of elite athletes converge on the United States for the second consecutive summer. Flag football’s draw as a popular global sport has helped mold world-class teams in North and South America. USA Football is proud to partner with the USPC to host the 2023 Americas Continental Flag Football Championship and to continue raising the bar for flag football by constructing the U.S. National Teams and elevating the game’s standard.”
“With the reigning World Games champions participating, the Americas Continental Championship will be one of the most competitive flag football events on the 2023 calendar,” said IFAF Americas Director JAVIER L'EPISCOPO. “Flag football’s accessibility and inclusiveness contribute to it being one of the world’s fastest growing sports, but it helps to have elite athletes and ambassadors. We’re grateful to all of our teams and their governing bodies for supporting and growing the game. The Americas Continental Championship is another opportunity for them to shine and represent the sport we love.”
The addition of the Americas Continental Championship to the global calendar comes at a time of sustained global growth for the discipline, which is one of nine new sports currently under consideration for inclusion in the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. With an estimated 20 million players in more than 100 countries, USA Football is working with IFAF and its member federations worldwide to further accelerate the sport’s rapid development.
About USA Football: USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance, unify and grow the sport. As the sport’s governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school, and other amateur players.
About IFAF: The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is the international governing body for the sport of American football and is responsible for all regulatory, competition, performance and development aspects of the game on a global level. IFAF is provisionally recognized by the International Olympic Committee and is a signatory to the WADA Code. IFAF has 72 member nations across 5 continents.