What makes us different than regular tackle football?
Many things…first off and most obvious, this is a non-contact league, meaning there is absolutely no tackling and no blocking. This means that players are less likely to become injured while playing. At this young age, bones are still developing and are not meant for hard contact which is one important reason the NFL promotes NFL Flag. Not to mention, kids will not be worried about getting hurt while playing and can focus more on the skills needed to play the game.
Another difference between the St. Mary’s County Youth NFL Flag Football League and tackle football is that in our leagues, everyone plays every position throughout the course of the season and everyone gets sufficient playing time. In this league, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, or how big or skinny you are, everyone will play every position. When we decided to start this league, its foundation rested on the fact that this league was going to be all about fun for everyone! How many times have you seen the coaches kid always the star quarterback or the biggest player on the team going the entire season playing offensive lineman and never touching a football? Kids should have the opportunity to experience every position.
As Peter Brock, former center for the New England Patriots, explains to youth coaches in the Boston area, “What a tragedy it would’ve been for New England Patriots football history if Drew Bledsoe had been told as a big kid beginning youth football that he could not play quarterback, and was forced to play the line due to his size. Who knows? He may have dropped out of football like so many other kids in his situation and gone on to play baseball, another sport, or dropped out of athletics completely.” It’s all about having fun and learning the skills needed before advancing to the next level, whether it be youth tackle, middle school, high school, collegiate or even pro.
Another benefit of the St. Mary’s County Youth NFL Flag Football League is that the practices will be a maximum of 3 days a week at most (preferably 2 days a week once the regular season begins) and no longer than 90 minutes tops at the discretion of the coach. There is life outside of football and both players and parents shouldn’t be burdened by going to practice 3-5 nights a week with games on Saturday.