Girls flag football sanctioned as a high school sport following a three-year pilot

girls flag football
Posted at 4:36 PM, Apr 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-24 21:24:42-04

COLORADO — Girls flag football is officially sanctioned as a high school sport in Colorado.

The exciting news comes off the back of a three-year pilot program endorsed by the Denver Broncos and the Denver Broncos Foundation.

"This is a historic moment for Colorado and most importantly for girls in our state who have a new pathway into sports through flag football," said Broncos Owner and Denver Broncos Foundation Board Chair Carrie Walton Penner. "In addition to providing an amazing platform for empowerment, inclusion, and teamwork, the girl's flag creates a powerful sense of belonging and community for our next generation of leaders.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) voted the matter into effect on Tuesday following the success of the flag football pilot programs.

Colorado is the 11th state to sanction girls flag football as a sport in their high schools. This is a testament to the rapid growth of the sport, which will even be making its Olympic debut in 2028.

While rising in popularity, the road hasn't always been so easy during this voyage. The decision to approve girls' flag football came following intense and rigorous sanctioning processes.

The Denver Broncos Foundation, with support from the team and CHSAA, launched the state's girls flag football pilot program in 2021 and funded its first seasons from 2022-2023.

The program featured the following:

  • 50 schools
  • 10 school districts
  • 1,500 girls who played in almost 850 games

In 2023, participation grew in the number of participants and games played.
"Thrilled doesn't even begin to cover it," said CHSAA Commissioner Mike Krueger. "This isn't just about the game. It's about empowerment, teamwork and breaking barriers. By embracing this sport, we're not only fostering athleticism, but we're remaining among the nation's leaders in providing opportunities for female athletes to participate. We are cultivating leadership, confidence and equality — on and off the field — and we are igniting a new era of inclusivity and self-empowerment for every girl who participates. Get ready to witness the unstoppable force of these girls as they redefine the playing field and inspire generations to come!"

In each of the last two seasons, the Broncos hosted the program's championship tournament at the Centura Health Training Center. They also hosted a round-robin tournament last year in which several players and leadership members attended.

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