Graphic: Igor Lazarevic
INDIANAPOLIS – USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, will assemble and manage the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag Football National Teams that will compete in The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. The event represents the first time that flag football will be featured on a multi-sport, global stage.
The World Games, an Olympic-style sports event, was established in 1981 by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Numerous sports currently included in the Olympic Games program historically competed in The World Games, including beach volleyball, taekwondo and triathlon. World-class athletes of 16 flag football national teams (eight Men’s, eight Women’s) from as many as five continents will be among the 3,600 participants from more than 100 countries competing across 33 sports in Birmingham in July 2022.
The U.S. Men’s and Women’s teams have qualified for The World Games 2022 by virtue of winning the 2018 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Flag Football World Championships in Panama. IFAF is football’s international federation, a member of the Global Association of International Sports Federations and provisionally recognized by the IOC.
USA Football, the United States’ exclusive member of IFAF, fields U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams for international competitions, including IFAF World Championships.
USA Football Executive Director and CEO Scott Hallenbeck:
“Men’s and Women’s flag football is played on an elite, global level. Now in the second decade of managing our U.S. Flag National Teams, we are seeing world-class athleticism drive global popularity and that makes this opportunity to compete at the World Games – given its prominence and strategic position as a stepping stone to the Olympic Games – so timely and exciting for our athletes and the future of the sport.”
USA Football plans to announce the 2021 and 2022 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Flag National Team selection processes within the coming months. Adult flag players interested in playing for the U.S. Flag National Team may contact USA Football here.
IFAF conducts Men’s and Women’s Flag Football World Championships every two years, which have been played on three continents (Asia, Europe, North America), and will hold world championships and qualifiers for national flag football teams to earn berths to The World Games 2022. Flag football at The World Games 2022 is presented by the NFL. IFAF’s 2020 Flag Football World Championships were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are rescheduled for 2021.
Four countries have won each of the past four IFAF Women’s Flag Football World Championships: United States (2018), Panama (2016), Canada (2014) and Mexico (2012). In Men’s play, four nations have won gold in the nine IFAF Flag Football World Championships since 2002. The U.S. men have won four of the past five, including one-possession Gold Medal Game victories in 2018 (19-13 against Austria) and 2016 (33-32 against Denmark).
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About USA Football: USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance, unify and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players.