Flag Football seeks spot in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics
The target is the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Flag football is one of the faster growing options for the sport, both within this country and worldwide. There currently are 71 nations on five continents that are members of the International Federation of American Football, and the flag version will be among 30 sports on display at the World Games in July in Birmingham, Alabama, a key step in popularizing the game.
“It is important, with the Olympics as an ultimate goal,” says Pierre Trochet, IFAF’s president, “but we also have a task in growing and having a solid competition plan over the next five, six, seven years on every continent.”
“The Olympics are the biggest global stage for sports in the world. Flag football can be played by men and women and also be coed, it’s easy to integrate and safe to play.”
Entry onto the Olympic docket is not easy, though. Having the NFL’s power and popularity behind flag football certainly could make the IOC and Los Angeles Games organizers pay heed.
“NFL Flag is among the fastest growing sports in America and around the world for boys and girls, men and women. Under IFAF’s leadership, we share a common interest in increasing opportunities for athletes to play football at all levels and support the work IFAF has done to help grow the sport globally,” says Damani Leech, NFL chief operating officer of international. “We are excited for the debut of flag football in the World Games this summer and remain supportive of IFAF’s work to bring flag football to the Olympic stage, two global events that will inspire the next generation of athletes from around the world.”
Adds Scott Hallenbeck, an IFAF vice president as well as CEO of USA Football, the governing body for the sport in this country:
“The idea that, hopefully, the IFAF and LA 28 and the IOC can say the Olympics is now a destination point would be a massive exclamation point and appeal for growing the sport not only in this country but worldwide.”
Competition to be accepted for the Olympics could be tough, with baseball and softball expected to return after sitting out 2024 in Paris.