The Olympics are unlike any other sporting competition on the planet. For 16 days, over 300 events representing 35 sports and every country in the world competed to take home their prized medals, and I have looked forward to watching the Summer Olympics every four years for as long as I can remember.

But there’s always been something missing. One of the United States’ most popular sports and a top 10 sport worldwide, it looks as though tackle and flag football could be Olympic sports by 2024, but issues and obstacles remain for that to become a reality. First, we’ll explain why the road to getting American Football included in the Olympics has not been an easy journey, followed by why we believe flag football is the logical solution and choice as a future Olympic sport.



According to an article by, the biggest logistical problems facing the sport of American Football being included in the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the large numbers of participants on each team, the “gender equality” formats where both men and women participate in every sport,

and the compressed 3-week schedule that would be tough with a more physical game like football and Rugby. Furthermore, for American Football, the barrier to entry is high due to its cost to equip all players with pads and gear. Therefore, it has also been slow to adopt in many foreign countries, especially the poorer variety.

Knowing all this, it’s hard to see how either sport would be a good fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that very little is needed to play the mark in terms of gear and practice at its base level, and it has a much larger international following. This, among other reasons, has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less conventional “sevens” format, which is faster paced with fewer people, which could help carve a similar path for American Football, or flag football more specifically.


Even more and more high school, college, and pro teams are starting to reduce the number of contact practices, still sporting soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for added protection. But what if we could limit the contact players see before high school and middle school while also addressing some of the concerns for the sport related to it being

fully accepted into the Olympics? There have been many talks recently revolving around the safety of tackle football, and not just in the NFL, where concussions are a major concern. Starting as far back as the youth football level, recent evidence has surfaced supporting the idea that even short of a concussion, repeated head impacts

and collision can manifest in similar brain injuries later in life for kids tested between the ages of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting kids shouldn’t be playing football at all, suggesting that kids’ heads are “a larger part of their body, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater risk of head and brain injuries than adults.”


As of 2015, studies show that flag football is the fastest-growing youth sport in the United States, greatly outpacing the growth of traditional tackle football. Many individual high schools are switching to flag football over the tackle, getting other schools in their regions to follow suit and creating organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially

recognized varsity sport in many states, and with women, especially flag football, it is a way to allow easier participation versus the physical nature of tackle. And he’s not the only one. Recently, Drew Brees was interviewed by Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had some strong words on why he believes flag football is the answer. “I feel like flag football can save

football,” Brees said. Brees coached his son’s flag football team and played flag football himself through junior high, never playing tackle football until high school. “I feel like (flag football) is a great introductory method for many kids into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise, I feel it’s straightforward to go in and have a bad experience early on and never want to play it again. I feel like once you put the pads on, there are just so many other

elements to the game, and you’re at the mercy of the coach in a lot of cases, too. And to be honest, I don’t think enough coaches are well-versed enough regarding the true fundamentals of the game, especially when the pads go on at the youth level.” Many other pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments, singing praises for the sport of flag football, and the rise in popularity of the sport echoes that.


Previous articlePeak Performance in Sports
Next articleSport and the Russian Revolution
Antonio Peters
Student. Typical social media nerd. Analyst. Zombie guru. Gamer. Award-winning thinker. Set new standards for analyzing wooden horses with no outside help. What gets me going now is promoting xylophones in the government sector. Uniquely-equipped for working on ice cream in the aftermarket. Spent 2001-2008 creating marketing channels for trumpets with no outside help. Had some great experience testing the market for puppets in Deltona, FL. Spent 2001-2007 importing psoriasis in the aftermarket.