Olympics 2028: What is Flag Football and How it is Played?

Flag Football
Flag Football

The sporting world from all over the world has started looking into the curious game of Flag Football. But why did this query suddenly emerge now? The reason is due to a few reports that suggest that Flag Football will be a part of the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. As the news broke, people around the world began to seek information about this relatively unheard-of sport. While Flag Football enjoys considerable popularity in the American continent, it remains relatively obscure in other parts of the world.

Also Read: Will Simone Biles be in the Paris Olympics 2024?

What is Flag Football?

Flag Football is a variant of American football, with a distinctive twist – rather than tackling players to the ground, the defensive team must remove a flag or flag belt from the ball carrier, a move referred to as “deflagging,” to end a down. This modification significantly limits physical contact between players. The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) serves as the international governing body for this exciting sport.

Also Read: Has Cricket Ever Been Played in the Olympics?

Flag Football Rules: How is it Played?

The specific rules of Flag Football can vary widely by league, but they all share a common goal: to replicate the essence of traditional American football while replacing tackling with flag-pulling. Several traditional American football rules are either modified or eliminated in Flag Football to cater to its more recreational nature, minimize physical contact and injuries, and accommodate the typically smaller number of participating players per side.

Here are some basic rules of Flag Football:

  1. Forward Passes: All passes must be thrown forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage.
  2. Handoffs Only: Only direct handoffs are permitted; there are no laterals or pitches anywhere on the field.
  3. Pass Clock: The quarterback has a seven-second pass clock to get rid of the ball.
  4. Quarterback Running: The quarterback cannot run with the ball unless it was handed off first.
  5. Avoiding the Rusher: Offensive players must steer clear of the rusher and may not obstruct their path.
  6. Defensive Rushers: Any defensive player lined up seven yards off the line of scrimmage is eligible to rush. If the ball is handed off, any defender may rush.
  7. Interceptions: Interceptions are returnable, even on extra point attempts.
  8. Ball Dead: The ball is considered dead when it hits the ground when the offensive player’s flag is pulled from their belt, when the ball carrier steps out of bounds, or when the ball carrier’s body, outside of their hands or feet, touches the ground.
  9. Penalties: All offensive flag football penalties result in a loss of down and yardage, while all defensive flag football penalties result in an automatic first down, and some are associated with yardage.

Flag Football’s unique rules and emphasis on non-contact make it an accessible and inclusive sport. It is a game that places a premium on agility, strategy, and teamwork, making it a perfect candidate for the international stage at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

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