Editor’s note: This bonus content compliments this article first published in the summer edition of Beyond the Meeting Room, ALHI’s printed magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication focused on sharing compelling, inspirational and educational stories from beyond the four walls of a meeting room.
Get ready to hear a lot more about flag football, especially for women. There’s a lot happening across the globe, and there could even be Olympic flag football in the future.
“People don't realize flag football is already happening all over the world,” said Gwen Mueller, flag football player, co-host of Fantasy Football Counselor podcast and National Sales Manager for Classic Hotels and Resorts.
The NFL Pro Bowl went to a flag football format for the 2023 game, coached by women flag football stars. The league already sponsors flag football leagues for youth ages 4-17 across the country. More than 10,000 girls are playing in the NFL-sponsored leagues.
The NFL says that there are more than a half million participants and 1,640 active leagues.
The California Interscholastic Federation approved a plan to make flag football an official sport for girls beginning in the fall of 2023, joining a handful of states that have sanctioned the sport at the high school level.
The NAIA, a nationwide college athletic association, has flag football for women. About 20 schools in 10 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, participate. The NAIA also offers advice for schools wanting to start a program. A few National Junior College Athletic Association schools also offer the sport.
USA Flag football is a pro league that runs events across the country. So far, there have been 6,798 teams with almost 90,000 athletes and more than $360,000 in prize money given.
Flag football has a higher profile in other countries. It’s estimated 3 million people in Mexico play the game.
“Flag football players are treated like NFL players in Mexico,” Mueller said. “They actually have arenas built in Mexico specifically for football. It’s a huge deal there.”
Team USA flag football—with players selected by USA Football—participates in the World Games, and it’s possible that flag football will be an Olympic sport in 2028 when the games will be played in Los Angeles, California.
The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has proposed that it should be added, with an official vote on flag football and eight other potential new sports scheduled for October.
“Let the draft come to you. Don’t focus so much on getting this many RBs and this many WRs in the first three rounds. I like to go round by round at ADP (average draft position) and list who I like in that round and who I want to avoid. I will also label guys if they drop from round two to three, for example. I like them at a lower value. If you draft based on getting the best of the guys you like and you’re right about them, you will be able to trade them during the season for any holes created by drafting this way.”
-NFL Podcaster Gwen Mueller’s Tips for Drafting Your Fantasy Team