Jets-Sponsored Ladies Flag Soccer Rising in Leaps and Bounds
That is one in a sequence of articles that can even seem within the New York Jets 2023 Yearbook, which will likely be printed later this summer season.
The New York Jets, Nike and Gatorade kicked off their third season of the Excessive College Ladies Flag Soccer League this yr. The league, which began with eight excessive faculties in 2021, has expanded to greater than 100 excessive faculties and 1,500 athletes all through New Jersey, Lengthy Island and the Hudson Valley in 2023.
“The growth to over 100 groups within the tri-state space exhibits it is not simply that it is women that wish to play flag soccer,” mentioned Jesse Linder, Jets vice chairman of neighborhood relations. “it is faculties, dad and mom, communities embracing the game, eager to develop the game, but in addition develop alternatives generally for ladies to take part in sport. There may be a few 1 million-participant hole between boys who play highschool sports activities and women who play highschool sports activities. I believe everybody’s seeing that, when given the chance, that hole can shut.”
Not solely did the Jets present this chance to younger girls throughout the tri-state space, additionally they supplied the identical alternative in the UK. In March, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears launched the inaugural Jets and Bears NFL Ladies Flag League for ladies ages 12-14 — the primary UK all-girls competitors of its type. The league concluded in late Could with Ealing Fields, from the Jets’ convention, defeating Bears finalist Beaconsfield, 38-12.
“With the UK being the Jets’ worldwide residence market, we wished to make it possible for we handled it like we might our home market and produce alternatives to the residents and constituents of London and England,” Linder mentioned. “We created, with the Bears, a women flag league for secondary faculties, with 12 groups competing.”
Whereas the league continues to develop, the Jets have pushed to have women flag soccer adopted as a varsity sport in New York and New Jersey. It was not too long ago permitted as a championship sport in New York, and New Jersey will vote to make it a pilot sport later within the yr.
“In New York State, starting spring of 2024, the state highschool athletic affiliation will formally take over administering the game to the faculties, creating regional championships and finally a state championship,” Linder mentioned. “In New Jersey, we’re progressing in that route. There will likely be a vote to make it a piloted sport in spring of 2024, which follows the identical observe that women ice hockey and wrestling adopted in New Jersey.”