NFL FLAG powered by USA Football, the premier youth flag football program in the United States, grew to a record participation figure in 2011 with more than 169,000 boys and girls age 5-17 playing in leagues across 49 states and Washington, D.C.
The total is a 27.1 percent increase from 2010, when 133,000 young athletes took part in the program that serves communities of all sizes, marking the fifth consecutive year that NFL FLAG has grown since its inception in 1996.
Players in NFL FLAG powered by USA Football learn every position on the field as well as football fundamentals through USA Football's advanced digital resources. In addition to online video and computer animated skill instruction, the program incorporates player health and safety material as well as football values of teamwork and sportsmanship.
NFL FLAG powered by USA Football promotes physical fitness as part of NFL PLAY 60, the league's youth health and fitness campaign, aimed at getting kids active for 60 minutes a day.
All coaches in the program have free access to USA Football's certified flag football coaching course, spanning topics from the sport's fundamentals to concussion education. Coaches and players also can take advantage of USA Football's Drills Library featuring video of more than 150 drills to view on a computer and conduct on the practice field.
A half-hour television special featuring action from the NFL FLAG powered by USA Football National Tournament of Champions featuring 24 teams from across the United States on Jan. 14 in Lauderhill, Fla., will air at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, April 1, on ESPN and at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, on ESPN2. Former NFL linebacker ROSEVELT COLVIN will host the program, produced by NFL Films. Colvin, a member of the Super Bowl XXXIX champion New England Patriots, is a youth league commissioner in the NFL FLAG powered by USA Football program.
USA Football is the only official youth football development partner that the NFL has had in its 92-year history. Leading football players and coaches in all 50 states in strengthening their skills through digital membership resources, USA Football helps steer and bolster America's premier flag football experience.
About NFL PLAY 60: Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations like USA Football. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 120 NFL Youth Fitness Zones, organized more than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events, and integrated programs into more than 77,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched
About USA Football:USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts more than 80 football training events annually offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent non-profit is the official football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams as well as the Atlantic Coast Conference. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competition and provides $1 million annually in equipment grants for youth and high school football programs. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.