Flag Football Returns to Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center for Fall League
By Sarah Almond
Flag football is returning to Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center for a fall league, starting Aug. 29. This coed program ran a league in the spring, with much success and support from the Cottonwood Heights community. Nearly 60 percent of last season’s participants said they would be interested in playing in a fall season.
“We had a great turnout last season,” said Warren Hallmark, program coordinator at CHRC. “We were able to make eight different teams out of about 80 kids from the community.”
This non-contact form of football was first played in the 1930s, when it was originally called “Touch and Tail Football.” The game of flag truly developed a decade later, though, when members of military bases played for recreation.
Today, both small and large organizations are springing up across the nation. The National Football League has sponsored a nationwide organization, NFL Flag, which allows children of all ages to engage in the sport of non-contact football.
As an NFL Flag-sponsored event, players will get to select their desired NFL jersey to wear during the season.
“We hope the jerseys will encourage the players, and we think it will be a cool opportunity for them,” Hallmark said.
CHRC Youth Flag Football program, a league of NFL Flag, welcomes boys and girls in grades one through six. Games are played twice a week in Bywater Park and are open for the community to attend.
“We had three girls sign up last season,” Hallmark said, “and they played great. They had a really good time.”
This flag football league is an alternative to traditional tackle football. It’s designed to help children get comfortable with the fundamentals of football and for them to understand the importance of fair and fun play.
“Competition is not the point of the league, and forced rules aren’t really a point of the league,” Hallmark said. “The point is for kids to learn the basics of football in a fun and safe environment. We want kids to come out of this with confidence and a positive outlook.”
Alex Osborne, a student at Brighton High School and hockey referee, is one of the referees for the upcoming fall season.
“I’m really excited about having fun with the kids this season,” Osborne said. “It was cool last season to watch the kids play and become better.”
For information on Fall Youth Flag Football, visit CHRC.