Flag Football gets Feminine

A preview of Garfield High School’s newly announced girl’s flag football season.


Graphic By: Mia Andreeva

Garfield has become the latest school to join Seattle Public School’s Girls’ flag football league. This comes after a huge $250,000 commitment from the Seattle Seahawks and an additional $100,000 commitment from Nike to WIAA to support the growth of the league over the next five years. The creation and official recognition of flag football by schools Chief Sealth, Ingraham, Nathan Hale, and Rainier Beach have paved the way for all-girls schools such as Holy Names Academy to get in on the football fun. 

And while flag football shares a namesake and thus many similarities with traditional football, there are still some key differences. For one thing, flag football requires only half the players–at least seven per team. There is also the question of price. American football is single-handedly the most heavily funded sport in the district, partially for the hefty price of the safety equipment necessary to keep athletes safe. Within flag football however, no helmets, pads, or other protective gear is required. The only equipment necessary are flags and a belt to hold them up. Aside from this, many of the rules and positions are largely the same. 

With this being a relatively new sport in the Metro League, the future of Flag Football looks foggy. Deciding factors for many students, such as team leadership, uniforms, and level of commitment required, are undetermined as of this moment. When asked about any doubts she had for the upcoming season, senior Sophia O’Mahony said, “mainly the lack of people. I’m sure a lot of things will be interesting; uniforms might be a little weird…”. Prospective player Noelle Neal also voiced her opinion on what she wants uniforms to look like. “[Just] something simple we can all feel comfortable wearing,” Neal said. Expanding more on her hopes for team safety, Neal said, “I think maybe having someone that can monitor our safety and make sure that we’re okay.” This is a common concern between many teams, considering that Garfield only has one athletic trainer. 

Many who have expressed interest in the team have found themselves at a standstill when trying to find information. “People ask me, like what flag football is but honestly, I [still] have no clue,” Neal said. According to O’Mahony, “During soccer season [Ms. Lynch] came out and talked to everyone, [and said] ‘we’re adding [Flag Football] do you guys want to sign up?’…[but] we haven’t received anything since.” Neal shared a similar sentiment, explaining that interested players are aware that the team is happening, but haven’t learned anything about what the season will really look like. Ms. Lynch gets information regarding schedules, game days, coaches, and rules from the Metro League, but has not yet received any news from the head of this league. 

Players are anticipating new information soon, as the season has already started for other winter sports such as Girl’s Bowling and Gymnastics.

 Despite the lack of clarity, players are excited to join the sport. “Some people do Powderpuff for school… and I think [flag football] will be something that the girls can have fun with and enjoy.” Neal said. The prospect of having an option for non-men to participate in what has been referred to as America’s greatest sport is a view shared among many hoping to get involved this Winter. Keep an eye out Bulldogs, details should be posted soon.