The NFL creates a new youth flag football program for Canada

Winners of regional tournaments in Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and Halifax will qualify for next February’s NFL FLAG Championships

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The NFL announced Thursday that it is expanding into Canada.

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Well, the extension of the Youth Flag Football program to Canada.

Four Down’s flag football arm has launched a new initiative called NFL FLAG Canada north of the border – for boys and girls ages four to 17.

Regional 2022 tournaments across Canada will be held over the next two months, although age groups are limited this year. The NFL invites established flag football leagues across Canada to participate.

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The NFL’s goal is to open 250 new flag football leagues across Canada within three years, which could eventually accommodate more than 100,000 youth, according to a press release.

“Flag football is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, with more than three million youth and adults regularly participating each year,” said Izell Reese, executive director of NFL FLAG, in a statement. “We’re excited to introduce NFL FLAG to Canada’s loyal fan base and offer young fans the opportunity to learn the basics of the game and experience the excitement of flag football.”

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To fuel growth and fan participation in Canada, the NFL’s flag football arm will work “closely” with clubs that were granted international home marketing territories in Canada last fall – namely the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings.

Four 2022 NFL FLAG Canada Regional Tournaments are scheduled for:

  • Vancouver (June 5 at Notre Dame High School, with registration deadline May 27);
  • Regina (June 18 at the University of Regina, registration deadline May 30);
  • Toronto (July 10 at Esther Shiner Civic Stadium, registration closes June 27);
  • Halifax (June 25 at Saint Mary’s University, with registration deadline June 6).

The winning teams qualify for the NFL FLAG Championships taking place next February at the Pro Bowl, the NFL’s annual all-star game.

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For more information and a league near you in Canada go to nflflag.com/canada.

Flag football is making its debut as a sport at this summer’s World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

Damani Leech, the NFL’s chief operating officer for international initiatives, said in a statement the formation of NFL FLAG Canada and the launch of flag football at the 2022 World Games “demonstrate and underscore the growing global interest” in North American football generally “ongoing efforts in the global football community to include flag football in the 2028 Olympics.”

John Kryk now writes a weekly newsletter on NFL matters. The content is exclusive to this platform. You can have it automatically delivered to your email inbox on Wednesdays by simply subscribing – for free – at https://torontosun.com/newsletters/.

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