Flag Football Season in Full Swing
May 05, 2016 02:34PM
● By Kelly Cannon
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Sandy - Flag football season has kicked off at the Dimple Dell Recreation Center. The season started mid-April and has seen an impressive turnout of athletes. Dimple Dell has been offering flag football since the recreation center opened in 2000.
“(It’s a) non-contact program that is great for learning the fundamentals of football, it is a safer alternative to contact leagues, and for kids who are looking for a program with less emphasis on competition and more on having fun,” said Alison Barr, the program coordinator at Dimple Dell.
Barr explained the flag football program has been a Salt Lake County program for decades.
“Not every parent wants their kids to play tackle football,” Barr said. “This is an inexpensive alternative to committing to a tackle football program, and it lets the child find out if he/she likes football in general.”
The kids on the teams are in grades first through sixth with leagues divided up by grade level. Both girls and boys are welcome to play and the teams can be coed. Each team has two games a week, one game on a weekday and one on Saturday. In lieu of the first game, teams got together to meet their coaches, reviewed the rules and received basic instructions on how to play.
Barr explained the purpose of the program is to teach the fundamentals of football in a fun environment.
“This league has an emphasis on having fun rather than focused on winning,” Barr said. “It is an alternative program for the kids who are not quite ready, or do not want to participate in tackle football.”
Barr said the benefits to this program include not only learning how to play football but also how to play with a variety of kids at different skill levels and how to have fun.
“We also emphasize the development and importance of sportsmanship in all of our programs, including flag football,” Barr said.
Barr said Dimple Dell anticipates the league will continue to grow because of the national growing concern over concussions and other head injuries received while playing tackle football.
“We believe that more children will play flag football longer as young children, before making the transition to tackle football, if they make that transition at all,” Barr said. “Brain injuries can ‘accumulate,’ and if a child avoids sustaining injuries at a very young age, before safe tackling techniques are understood and honed, this will lessen the chances of irreversible damage later on in life.”