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courtesy of the PIAA
Board of Directors accepts first reading in the process of sanctioning Girls’ Flag Football as
a sport in PA.
MECHANICSBURG – The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc. (PIAA)
Board of Directors held its monthly board meeting to discuss, among other things, the
emerging sport of girls’ flag football. The Board of Directors approved the first reading, by a
unanimous vote, 30-0.
Girls’ flag football achieved emerging sports status in July 2023, reaching 25 schools
hosting teams. Last month, the sport surpassed more than 100 schools sponsoring girls’
flag football.
With efforts from the last three years, the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and the
National Football League (NFL) have been working diligently to provide resources to female
student-athletes across the state. To this date, they have helped jump start programs at
103 schools, 65 schools from the eastern side of the state and 36 from the western side of
the state are participating in girls’ flag football.
“We are very appreciative of the Board of Directors support and taking this first step to
sanctioning girls’ flag football,” said Frank Majikes, PIAA President. “We have a lot of work to
do, but with the support of the Eagles, Steelers and the NFL, we’re hopeful of creating a solid
foundation for girls’ flag football that will develop the sport for years to come.”
According to the National Federation of High School Associations, nine states have
sanctioned girls’ flag football. “The popularity of flag football – for boys and girls – has been
growing at the youth levels for the past 10 years. In 2023, about 500,000 girls ages 6-17
played flag football – a 63 percent increase since 2019,
” said Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS
President. Even more growth, the sport was approved by the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) in October 2023 and will be an official Olympic Sport played in the Olympic
Games in Los Angeles 2028.

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