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About NFL Flag

The Largest Youth Flag Football League in the U.S.

Serving youth athletes ages 4 to 17 years old across the country. NFL FLAG leagues are no contact, giving boys and girls of all abilities a chance to develop their fundamental football skills in a positive, inclusive environment.


  • In the 1990s, when the NFL launched a global health and wellness initiative called Play Football, they had one goal: to make football accessible for all children—no matter their age, size, or gender. And this is where the idea for NFL FLAG began.
  • In 1994, the NFL officially kicked off its first youth camp series at the New England Patriots’ stadium, where they introduced the rules of flag football and taught children how to play. Shortly after, leagues began to pop up nearby in Massachusetts—and they quickly took off. By the early 2000s, youth athletes all over the U.S. were participating in NFL FLAG, from school programs to local park districts to Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • Today, with more than 500,000 participants, NFL FLAG continues to evolve. It’s a pathway for female athletes to play in college, as well as an outlet for tackle athletes to compete in the offseason. But as NFL FLAG grows, one thing stays the same: It’s a place for every boy and girl to play football.


Our mission is to empower youth athletes and instill a lifelong passion for flag football through leagues that are engaging, fun, and accessible for everyone. 

With the support of the NFL, we provide a structured opportunity for kids to discover the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, and friendship—both on and off the field. 


The NFL FLAG tournament series brings together leagues from across the country to showcase their talent and compete against top teams. The NFL FLAG Regional Tournament is an invite-only event, where winners from each region are invited to face off at the national NFL FLAG Championships at Pro Bowl. And the NFL FLAG Open Tournament, which includes non-NFL FLAG leagues, gives winners a chance to attend the national NFL FLAG Bowl at Super Bowl.


While youth participation in sports has declined 13 percent over the last decade, flag football has become one the fastest growing youth sports in the country. In fact, the number of 6-to-12-year-olds playing has increased by 38 percent, to more than 1.5 million, since 2015. And NFL FLAG is leading the way as the largest flag football league in the U.S., with more than 1,600 leagues in 50 states.


NFL FLAG is dedicated to creating more opportunities for female athletes to participate in flag football.  We know that the game will only get stronger with the more girls who play. In addition to implementing girls-only leagues and tournaments, we’ve also teamed up with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and RCX Sports to make women’s flag football a sanctioned college sport for the first in history.



We’re committed to creating positive sports experiences for youth athletes, regardless of their financial situation, so that they can become confident, happy, and healthy adults.

That’s why we’ve made strategic partnerships to bring flag football to the thousands of schools, communities, and families.  

  • GENYOUth and NFLFLAG created FLAGS-In-Schools, a comprehensive flag football toolkit designed for elementary, middle, and high school PE teachers to implement into their classes. Over 24,000 school communities are using NFL FLAG-In-School kits to build high-achieving futures for their students through physical education.

  • Every Kid Sports is a nonprofit organization with a goal of removing the financial barriers that typically prevent kids from signing up for youth sports. Starting in 2021, we’re excited to announce that Every Kid Sports will pay all NFL FLAG registration fees for qualifying athletes.