“Prove that flag football has its place”

Until July 17, the World Games are held in the United States. Among the sports present, flag football, derived from US football. Interview with Pierre Trochet, President of the International Federation of American Football, from Birmingham (Alabama).

First of all, what is the flag football, and what are its differences with American football?

The  » flag uses the same codes as American football. It is also an attack-oriented game, and there are also pitchers, receivers and defenders, to simplify to the extreme. The big differences are that the rules are simplified and there is no contact. It is played 5 against 5, and tackles are prohibited. HAS Instead, we catch bands attached to the waist of the players. It is a practice more suitable for young players and beginners.

Flag football is thus an alternative, but also a gateway to US football?

Totally, because it’s a more inclusive game mode. Playing American football requires a lot of investment: there are a lot of players, and everyone needs a lot of equipment. On the other hand, flag football has a much simpler practice. It requires fewer players as well as less protection. There is also a more inclusive dimension, since it can be played mixed, with little equipment, and with more accessible rules. The practice of flag has fewer physical requirements than US football. So we see more diversity there, both in profiles and ages.

“Flag football, a growing discipline”

What does this participation in the World Games represent for the flag soccer ?

The first time our Federation was invited to the World Games dates back to 2005, in Germany, with American football. We were invited again in 2017, with a victory for theCrew of France of US Football. This time, in the United States, in Birmingham (Alabama), it’s the turn of the flag football to appear at the World Games. The set is presented by the NFL (american football league us) and brings together the eight best teams in the world, both male and female. There is obviously a strategic will with this participation, it is to show that the flag football has its place in major sporting events. It is therefore an exceptional opportunity to demonstrate the progress of the International Federation. The idea is to prove that this discipline and its governance are up to it.

How is the practice of flag football evolving around the world, and how does the international federation support its development?

the flag Football is one of the fastest growing sports right now. Around American football, and the NFL in particular, there is media and economic growth. Regarding flag, it is rather a large increase in the number of licensees. We reach 72 countries around the world, spread over five continents. In 2023, and for the first time in our history, we will have continental competitions in Africa and Asia. What bring us to the world championships which will have take place in 2024 in Finland. The discipline is really expanding.

« After two years of absence, the symbolism of the return is very strong »

A word on other news, with the grand final of the French championship, in Thonon this Saturday. The Diamond Helmet returns and the title will finally be awarded after two years…

It’s great to see the verdict of this competition coming back. A two-year break is extremely long, it took time at the start of the season to find our bearings. Despite that, we had a very good championship. The symbolism of this return is very strong. For the French Federation, this year was also a success, since the milestone of 24,000 licensees was exceeded. It seemed unimaginable a year ago! In this sense, the support of the ANS, particularly in terms of visibility, is key in our development. Regarding the final, it is without a doubt the best in France, with La Courneuve and Thonon-les-Bains. Two opposing clubs in terms of geographical and economic situation…With the level of play offered in the regular season, we can expect a very good final.

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