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The Rising Momentum of Flag Football: North American Championship and the Olympic Dream

The Rising Momentum of Flag Football: North American Championship and the Olympic Dream

The exhilaration of the North American Flag Football Championship is not only about the competitive spirit and the joy of the game. It's about a dream, a global recognition, and the journey to be added to the Olympic program. As per Sarah Effress's report in the Charlotte Observer, events like the 2023 International Federation of American Football Americas Continental Championships are playing a crucial role in raising awareness for the sport, paving the way for it to be recognized at the grandest stage of them all – The Olympic Games.

The 2023 IFAF Americas Continental Championships took place from July 5-7, hosted at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The event witnessed participation from teams across seven countries, testifying to the widespread appeal and acceptance of the sport. The 2023 IFAF European Championship is held from 18-20th of August, 2023, where 20 nations in male and 16 nations in female are going to compete for the first place.

Eric Mayes, USA Football Managing Director of High Performance & National Teams, expressed his excitement over the sport's development. “It’s very special, what you’re seeing in flag right now, where you have the growth of the sport at the grassroots and also the growth of the sport at the elite," Mayes said.

According to Effress, "awareness is key" for flag football executives. The continuous and tireless push to include flag football in the 2028 L.A. Games is backed by increasing global awareness and participation. The sport is one of the nine sports currently under consideration by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with a final decision expected to be made in October.

The flag football fraternity has been witnessing a considerable surge in interest. Globally, the sport is played by close to 20 million people in more than 100 countries. The growth trajectory points towards a bright future for flag football, and its inclusion in the Olympics could be the next milestone in its journey.

Scott Hallenbeck, USA Football CEO and IFAF Board VP, enthusiastically stated, “We refer to it as a train going 150 miles an hour down the track. It’s super impressive how fast it’s growing, particularly on the girls’ and women’s side."

Indeed, the quick-paced, inclusive, and energetic nature of flag football has attracted a diverse group of players, with women's participation significantly increasing. The passion of athletes, combined with the tireless efforts of executives and the growing interest from fans, is driving this sport towards its rightful place in the global spotlight. The North American Flag Football Championship is just a teaser of what this exciting sport has to offer on a much larger scale. The dream of the Olympics might be closer than we think for flag football, and the world is eagerly waiting.

In Ljubljana Frogs flag football team are more than excited that flag football is getting the recognition that it deserves.