By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.-A new version of flag football will kick off this fall.
Each fall about 60 youth participate in football where a flag is pulled from a belt system to stop the player’s progress. This year a tackle bar system will be implemented where players make contact pull a bar off a harness that is strapped to the opposing player.
“There are no throw downs or tackling,” said Fred Waybrant, township parks and recreation director. “Players approach the opponent like a regular tackle but just pull the bar, drop it and release the player. The idea is to teach proper tackling without the hard hits to the ground. The players will learn more about the game and be more prepared for full contact football at an older age.”
The rules for coed flag football are modified from high school football. Some of the rules include a 60 yard by 50 yard field; five-on-five; three downs to score then the ball goes over; the coach remains on the field; no kicking points after, field goals or punts; one point after a score if the ball is run in from the one yard line, two points from the 12 yard line and all blitzing starts seven yard behind the line of scrimmage with a seven second delay.
In addition, the players wear light helmets and light shoulder pads, but no thigh or knee pads. The teams meet Monday and Wednesday for a seven weeks season. Coaches and sponsors are needed. All ages 5-8 will use the traditional flag system.
By David Fleet