One of the five invitational sports of The World Games 2022, Flag Football is the non-contact discipline of American Football, where tackles are made by pulling off a flag which is worn by all players. Competitors wear tightly-fixed flag belts with sockets and 2 pop-flags on either side of their hips. The objective of the game is to advance the ball down the field by running it or passing it, to score a touchdown by crossing the opponent’s goal line. Teams score 6 points for a touchdown and, after a touchdown, can gain an extra 1 or 2 points for a set play from 5- or 10-yard lines.
Teams have 4 series of ‘downs’ to cross the midfield line to keep possession and earn a new set of 4 downs. If they do not, they have to surrender possession of the ball to their opponents, who start at their own 5-yard line. The play ends when the ball-carrier’s flag is removed, when play goes out of bounds, or if a forward pass hits the ground. The team with the higher score at the end of the game is the winner. Games are split into two halves of 20 minutes and teams are comprised of 15 players each (5 on the field, 10 as substitutes). Teams compete on a rectangular 23 meters by 46 meters field, with an additional 9 meter end zone.
Hosted at Birmingham’s historic Legion Field, Flag Football @TWG2022 presented by the NFL (National Football League) will feature eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams from around the world. As the current reigning world champions, the United States men’s and women’s teams both pre-qualify for The World Games 2022. The remaining teams will be selected through the qualifying process of the International Federation of American Football. As a Premier Partner of The World Games 2022, the NFL will serve as the presenting sponsor of Flag Football and will promote the Games across its international platforms over the next two years.
The other invitational sports for The World Games 2022 are the already presented Wushu and Duathlon, Lacrosse (men), and Wheelchair Rugby, which will be presented in forthcoming articles. Invitational sports complete the sports programme along with the 30 Official Sports.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.