HomeFootball DirtFemale Flag Football Players Find Community, Scholarship Opportunities, and Potential Olympic Recognition

Female Flag Football Players Find Community, Scholarship Opportunities, and Potential Olympic Recognition

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At the age of 40, Jo Overstreet was a standout receiver for Team USA. In her youth, she often felt alone as a standout flag football player on boys teams growing up in Texas, and longed for a sense of sisterhood. Today, she sees a thriving community of females of all ages and abilities lifting the sport to new heights. The sport has expanded its reach and has recently been added to the Olympic program for the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Flag football is a non-contact game that has gained significant popularity, with girl-specific teams and leagues being established all over the country and internationally. Eight states have sanctioned girls’ flag football as a high school varsity sport, and college scholarships are now offered for female players at the NAIA level. The NFL has also shown its support for the sport through various leagues and events.

With the recent addition of flag football to the Olympic program, the future looks bright for female athletes in the sport. Participation rates have increased significantly for girls ages 6-12, and the game has captured the interest of young players like Makayla Martinez, who was inspired to join a girls’ team after seeing the growth of the sport.

The NFL has played a significant role in promoting flag football, setting up camps, clinics, circuits, and exhibitions. This has contributed to the growth of female flag football players and the establishment of travel teams for girls, like the Texas Fury, which now boasts more than 60 players and seven different teams.

The sport has also gained recognition on the international level, with the U.S. and Mexico already establishing a robust rivalry. There are official events, tournaments, and combines sanctioned by USA Football to kick off the selection process for the inaugural Olympic roster, offering athletes from various backgrounds the opportunity to compete for a spot on the team.

As flag football continues to grow, female athletes like Madison Fulford have embraced the sport and are inspiring the next generation of players. With the announcement of flag football being included in the Olympics, the growth trajectory for the passion of girls and women wanting to play football has seen an explosion of participation. Fulford encourages young players to have fun and bond with their teammates, embracing the sense of sisterhood that Overstreet had longed for in her early years playing flag football.

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