Published on October 17th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Flag Football Officially Added to the Olympic Games in 2028
In a historic decision, flag football is set to make its debut appearance in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. This momentous development comes as a result of a collaboration between the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the NFL, and USA Football, the national governing body of American football in the United States.
A Landmark Decision
The news was welcomed with great enthusiasm as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai, India, voted to include American football, specifically flag football, in the official program of the Olympic Games for the first time in history. This decision follows comprehensive evaluations and recommendations from the IOC Executive Board, IOC Olympic Program Commission, and the Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee.
Vision28: A Unique Joint Venture
The journey toward this historic inclusion began with the formation of Vision28, a unique joint venture and partnership model between IFAF and the NFL. This model places flag football at the center of shared sports development goals on a global scale.
Flag football is known for its short, fast, non-contact, and gender-equal format, making it the most accessible and inclusive version of American football. It has been instrumental in promoting worldwide participation in American football, particularly among women and girls. Currently, an estimated 20 million people in more than 100 countries are actively participating in this discipline, aligning with the ever-increasing global popularity of the NFL, a sport with a fanbase of 340 million.
A Glimpse into the Future
As the world eagerly anticipates flag football’s Olympic debut in 2028, preparations are well underway. This year, 65 national representative teams will compete in the IFAF continental flag football competition. These efforts are building towards the biggest-ever IFAF World Flag Football Championships scheduled to be held in Lahti, Finland, in August 2024.
Voices of Enthusiasm
Pierre Trochet, President of the International Federation of American Football, expressed his excitement, stating, “This is a huge moment for our sport and our global American football community. We are convinced that flag football will offer an exciting new dimension to the Games, uniting them, for the first time in history, with America’s number one sport in its youngest, most accessible, and inclusive format.”
Diana Flores, The World Games gold medalist and Chair of the IFAF Athletes’ Committee, shared her dream, saying, “To compete in the Olympic Games is the ultimate dream of every athlete, and millions of flag football players around the world will go to sleep dreaming of Los Angeles 2028 tonight.”
Roger Goodell, National Football League Commissioner, added, “It’s a tremendous honor for any athlete to represent their country at the Olympics. We have no doubt that this decision will inspire millions of young people around the world to play this game in the years ahead.”
Scott Hallenbeck, CEO of USA Football and IFAF Vice President, emphasized the transformative impact of this decision, saying, “The decision to add flag football to the 2028 Summer Olympic program in Los Angeles is an acknowledgment of the sport’s tremendous international growth and appeal as a fast, exciting and competitive sport.”
This decision to include flag football in the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles is not only a significant milestone for American football but also a testament to the power of collaboration and the sport’s global appeal. As the world looks forward to this historic event, flag football’s journey to the Olympics promises to inspire a new generation of athletes and fans worldwide.