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How to Become a Flag Football Fan in South Jersey

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It's football season again.

That is, flag football, and as the West Jersey Football League enters its second season of girls flag football, the sport continues to grow.

Two dozen teams will now play in the league and organizers hope the NJSIAA will eventually welcome them as a sanctioned sport at all public high schools. (The sport is in pilot status for at least the next two seasons.)

Flag football is very similar to standard American football, with a few differences in the rules – no tackling being the obvious one – but still just as demanding. The NJSIAA classifies it as a strenuous sport.

Here's what you need to know about girls

Flag Football to make the most of the upcoming season:

Girls flag soccer teams in South Jersey

Last season 14 teams competed in the league. About a dozen more were added this spring.

The teams in the league currently are:

  • Kingsway
  • Cedar Creek
  • Hammonton
  • Washington Township
  • Camden
  • Absegami
  • Mainland
  • Timber Creek
  • East Side
  • Oak comb
  • Egg Harbor Township
  • Pennsauken
  • New Egypt
  • Millville
  • Ocean City
  • Woodbury
  • Willingboro
  • Medium community
  • Delsea
  • Collingswood
  • KIPP Norcross
  • Cape May Tech
  • Pleasantville
  • Cherry Hill West
  • Ewing
  • Mastery Charter, last season's champion

How is flag football played?

There are many differences between flag football and regular tackle football. Here are some of the differences and distinctions:

  • Instead of eleven, there are seven players on the field.
  • There is no tackling. Instead, players must remove the ball carrier's flags to end a game.
  • The game is played in two 24-minute halves.
  • After a touchdown, teams have the opportunity to score 1, 2 or 3 points by moving the ball back into the end zone. A point is scored if you score from the 3-yard line; Two-point attempts begin at the 10-yard line; and three-point attempts are made from the 20-yard line.
  • Fields can be as small as 40 yards without the end zones.
  • The clock runs for the first 23 minutes of the half unless there is a timeout. The clock stops in the final minute of each half for a variety of reasons, including a score, an incomplete pass, a call, first downs, a change of possession and more.
  • Quarterbacks always receive the ball in shotgun formation.
  • There is no diving for pickups with additional mileage.
  • There is no ineligible player downfield.
  • There is no fiddling.
  • Quarterbacks cannot throw the ball out of bounds to save distance and avoid a sack.
  • Teams must say whether they will hit the ball. During the punt, teams are not allowed to move until the kick is gone. The ball becomes dead when it hits the ground.

When will flag football be a full-fledged sport?

“The plan is to become a pilot NJSIAA sport in 2025 and a sanctioned sport in 2026. As far as the NCAA goes, I’m not sure at this point, but it’s a start if the NJSIAA adds it,” said Kingsway Regional High School Athletic Director June Cioffi.

Flag football is growing in popularity across the country and sanctioning high school could open up opportunities for players in college. The NFL recently turned its annual Pro Bowl game into a flag football event and the sport will be featured in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

“It's actually being played at the college level (albeit already at the NAIA and NJCAA levels) and it's only a matter of time before the notoriety comes with it. We have all seen many talented female athletes in many sports and this one will do it.” “It will be no different. As we continue to grow, I expect we will see some big jumps for girls performing at extremely high levels,” said Cherry Hill West head coach Justin Arabia.

“Every school is dealing with it differently this year. At Kingsway, we consider flag football a sport because they practice every day just like our other spring sport and the expectations for the girls are the same,” Cioffi said.

Cioffi's group isn't the only one taking the time to prepare for the Games.

“We are preparing the way any team would prepare for a season and games. We focus on individual skills and build on them in the group. We watch film, run, catch, throw and work on flagging. “We're simplifying and focusing on the core fundamentals of the game, but also considering the speed development, strength and agility within those components,” Arabia said.

Do you have a news tip for flag football in South Jersey? Contact Nick Butler to share your story.

Nick Butler is an impact reporter for the Courier Post, Daily Journal and Burlington County Times, covering community news in South Jersey. Do you have any tips or stories? Contact [email protected]. Subscribe to stay up to date