Flag Football Scores New Scholarship Opportunities


Photo Courtesy of: Mrs Mason

Shadow Ridge’s Women’s Flag Football Team

Claro Bacaltos, Layout Editor

Women’s flag football is on its way to becoming a scholarship varsity sport at the collegiate level by 2021. Many flag football athletes are grateful to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the National Football League (NFL), and the Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) for what they are doing to help out. 

With the full support of these three organizations, colleges will work to develop the framework and performance of the first women’s flag football competition governed by the collegiate athletics association.

According to the NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent, “Football is for everyone and this innovation and historical joint set forth an opportunity for the values, fun and competitive environment of football to be enjoyed as a varsity sport by female student-athletes attending NAIA institutions across America.”

In the reports released, the NAIA said that they plan for the first women’s flag football season in the spring of 2021. Schools will hold tryouts for interested athletes in the fall.

As a provision for women’s flag football to be a sport in the NAIA, 15 schools need to field teams. Also, an “invitational championship ” could be held if there are 25 participants. A minimum of 40 schools must have teams for a full championship. The NAIA wants to host an emerging sports championship for a women’s flag football league in 2022.

Coach Nighswonger said, “The scholarship depends on flag football ability and academic success in high school.”

The need for female participation in flag football has been a top priority for NFL Flag and, with this partnership, they were able to create an opportunity for young women to continue the sport they love, receive a scholarship to continue their education, and compete at the next level. 

Hayley Sorensen, a junior, said, “I don’t know much about this scholarship since it’s still new and I’m learning new things about it every day.”

Sorensen was speechless after hearing about this amazing scholarship that allows her to proceed to college and at the same time play her favorite sport.

“I am now able to continue working on my skills and being the best I can be,” Sorensen added.

“There are many schools that offered this scholarship and most of them are in the midwest or south,” Coach Nighswonger explained.

 The schools belong to the NIAA collegiate level. The schools that have given scholarships to Las Vegas athletes are Ottawa University, Cottey College, and Kansas Wesleyan University. 

The three organizations will begin working quickly to outline competition guidelines and the next steps for schools and conferences interested in instituting women’s flag football. The first competitive season will be held in the spring of 2021.