Illinois Plans to Introduce Girls Flag Football Playoffs, Championship Game in the Near Future

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CHICAGO, IL – Exciting developments are on the horizon for Illinois high school sports as the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announces its plans to introduce girls flag football as an IHSA State Series in the near future.

The decision to incorporate girls flag football playoffs and a championship game aligns with the rising popularity of the sport nationwide. Currently, only six states, including Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and New York, have officially sanctioned high school flag football for girls. However, thanks to financial support from the NFL and Nike’s joint grant initiative, more states may soon break down operational barriers and establish their own girls flag football programs.

Through the grant initiative, the NFL has pledged a one-time donation of up to $100,000 in product to state athletic associations that have already embraced girls flag football or have made significant progress through pilot programs since 2021. The state of Florida, which has been at the forefront of promoting girls flag football for over a decade and boasts the Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was the first recipient of the grant three years ago.  The donation includes flag football uniforms, socks, and accessories such as sports bras, to be distributed at the discretion of each participating state’s governing interscholastic or athletic association.

Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, emphasized the importance of expanding girls flag football, stating, “The expansion of girls flag football is essential to the growth of the game and the preservation of the values it has contributed to society for decades. Girls flag demonstrates that football is for all, and the greater the participation, the stronger the game becomes. Additionally, young women can develop transferrable skills through football that contribute to their success in life.”

In Illinois, several schools across the state have already embraced girls flag football as a competitive sport. The following schools currently have girls flag football teams: Berwyn-Cicero (Morton), Chicago (Agricultural Science), Chicago (Amundsen), Chicago (Hubbard), Chicago (Jones), Chicago (Kelly), Chicago (Kenwood), Chicago (Lane), Chicago (Noble/Mansueto), Chicago (North Grand), Chicago (Phillips), Chicago (Rickover Naval Academy), Chicago (Steinmetz), Chicago (Taft), Evanston (Twp.), Libertyville, Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest), Park Ridge (Maine East), and Villa Park (Willowbrook).

While the specific timeline for the introduction of girls flag football playoffs and the championship game in Illinois is yet to be announced, anticipation runs high among athletes, coaches, and fans alike. The IHSA’s unwavering dedication to expanding its offerings and supporting student athletes highlights its progressive approach in line with the evolving landscape of high school athletics.

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