So how is flag football fun or at all beneficial to women?! Well let me say, you are asking the right questions and have come to the right place.
Flag football teaches girls an important basic motor skill, hand-eye coordination.
Girls learn this skill when catching the ball on offense or intercepting the ball on defense. They also develop improved hand-eye coordination in the name of the game, the difficult task of trying to pull an opponent's flag.
There are 15 NAIA colleges that offer women’s flag football, which is set to start in the spring of 2021. While four of these colleges are located in Florida, the rest are situated mostly in varying Midwest and southern states, including: Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Mississippi, and on the west coast in California.
- Cottey College (Missouri)
- Florida Memorial University (Florida)
- Kansas Wesleyan University (Kansas)
- Keiser University (Florida)
- La Sierra University (California)
- Midland University (Nebraska)
- Milligan College (Tennessee)
- Ottawa University (Kansas)
- Reinhardt University (Georgia)
- St. Thomas University (Florida)
- Tougaloo College (Mississippi)
- University of Saint Mary (Kansas)
- Warner University (Florida)
- Webber International University (Florida)
- Xavier University of Louisiana (Louisiana)
All of these universities are private institutions and most have a religious affiliation. They also vary in student population, from 350 students to over 16,000.
Women’s flag football recently became a sanctioned NAIA sport; however, it hasn’t been recognized by the NCAA yet. Therefore, there are no NCAA Division 1 colleges that currently offer women’s flag football. There also aren’t any NCAA Division 2 or 3 or junior college teams officially established yet.
That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t leagues available at these schools. Many large universities offer highly-competitive intramural programs or club flag football teams for students who want to continue playing flag football in college. Even though it isn’t an official sport recognized by the school, some teams may still require student-athletes to try out.
Typically, student-athletes are drawn to NAIA colleges because they provide an opportunity to balance academics with athletics, such as taking on part-time jobs or internship, while also offering athletic aid. Because the list of women’s flag football teams is small, and each school varies in size, location and interests—from religious affiliations to women-only colleges to historically black universities—it’s important for student-athletes to do their research and prioritize their preferences.