We're delighted to welcome American Football and the British American Football Association (BAFA) to the School Games family.
Speaking about the announcment, BAFA have said:
"American Football is a totally different invasion game that many students would not have experienced and as such, can either attract those who have not found their place in other sports (or a place in a school team) or who are looking for a new and different sport to try. Unlike many sports traditionally played in UK schools, American Football is a disciplined and technical sport based on genuine team-work rather than a sport that requires individual players in teams to act in an ‘intuitive way’ or ‘act on impulse’ to score or make a great play.
"This very structured format makes it accessible to a very wide range of student athletes and with minor rule changes, makes it an excellent inclusion sport. As the version offered in the School Games is the strictly non-contact version (called ‘Flag’) it is a very safe way to learn both playing skills and gain game experience. It is based around the standard format for under 18s in the UK which is 5v5 (and that is played as Flag or full-contact or ‘kitted’). The versions presented in the School Games are essentially the same as the NFL version but with fewer players (and no contact). The Challenge Cards also offer a broad experience of American Football as they include kicking and 3v3, 4v4 and 5v5-plus formats. The Challenge Cards present enjoyable games and activities designed to develop the fundamental skills to play. The NFL is a supporting and promotional partner.
"BAFA is aware that there may be a great deal of interest but maybe not so much knowledge of the sport. So, on the BAFA website there are links to a whole raft of resources - written and video with details about how to access them. BAFA’s National League Clubs will be able to help – students, teachers and other interested parties should look for the ‘School Games Friendly’ logo to signify that the Club has undergone an assessment about its knowledge of the School Games and can help with the Competition formats and Challenge Card activities.
"For teachers, under BAFA’s own school programme – Touchdown Football – there is a resourced-based Teacher’s Induction Day that will introduce the Touchdown Programme and up-skill teachers to feel more than confident to deliver the sport in their PE and after-school sessions. Please see the Leadership Booklet for the new Awards and Junior Touchdown Activator Certificate, too. Youth Sport Direct will also be offering a number of unique products to support the Competition formats and the Challenge Cards. Please see the website for more details.
"American Flag Football is, at its core, a fast, challenging but extremely enjoyable game to play. It is refreshingly different and offers young people a chance to discover something new about themselves through playing a new and uniquely different sport."
We will be making more announcements regarding new sports formats over the coming days.