A Boost for Girls' Flag Football

July 31, 2018

Gwinnett County Public Schools recently partnered with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to give the girls at all 20 of its high schools the opportunity to play flag football, starting in October. According to Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Blank Foundation, seeking to increase girls' participation in athletics, and thus help them live more active and healthy lives, proposed that the Georgia High School Association sanction girls flag football. (Arthur Blank is the owner of the NFL Atlanta Faclons.)

“The state of Georgia has some of the larger gaps in male versus female athletics,” Chris Millman, Director of Community Relations for the Atlanta Falcons, said. “Piloting the program is a pretty significant investment and we’re determined to do it right.”

The Blank Foundation, hoping to establish girls' football more quickly, thus went to Gwinnett Public Schools, which approved girls' flag football, the largest effort yet to include girls in athletics.

“Our main focus is an attempt to increase the opportunities for female students,” Jon Weyher, Gwinnett Schools Director of Athletics, Student Activities and Community Schools, said.

Practice will start on October 1, scrimmages will take place on October 15, games will begin on October 22, and a championship game will take place on December 8.

Millman said he believed flag football was different enough from boys' football to garner interest, and he said he hoped the sport would expand to the rest of the state's schools.

“This is a real sport,” Millman said. “There are uniforms, coaches, officials … We want to brag about the program and maybe spread it across the country.”

 

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