For all of you ex pee wee, high school, or college football players out there, flag football can be a really fun option when it comes to recreational sports leagues. My friend got me to join the flag football league in Mesa, Arizona which ended up being one of the most fun sports leagues I’ve ever been a part of. I live in Phoenix so I was kind of dreading the drive all the way to Mesa one night a week, but it turns out that joining this league and making the commute was well worth it. I only played football when I was a freshmen in high school and I wasn’t a very big guy so I wound up playing on the B team. Our high school had an A team which was the elite players and then the B team which was filled with first year players and other plays who were experienced but weren’t very athletic. I attended Mission Viejo High School which was ranked #3 in the country so we were a power house to say the least. The best thing I had going for me in high school was that I ran a 4.6 40 yard sprint which was the fastest at the school during my time there. Despite my speed, I was still demoted to B team but I didn’t mind since I was able to play every game instead of sitting on the bench. Although my football career was short, it was still a really fun time in my life and I was ready to accept the challenge of playing adult league flag football.
When you join a flag football league you can take comfort in knowing that the rules are fairly straight forward. Every play wears a belt around their waste with a few flags that are velcroed to the belt. When you have the ball, instead of tackling you, the opposing team has to detach one of the flags on your belt before you’re considered being down. If you make it to the end zone without your flag being removed then you get 6 points, just like in the NFL. I understood the basics of flag football when joining the league but I wasn’t sure how the play calling was going to work. I remember when I was playing high school football I was always nervous about getting the plays wrong. At the time I felt like I had a bad memory (negative self talk which actually became true) but was still able to run the right routes on a consistent basis. Flag football was actually much easier than tackle football when it came to play calling because there are a very limited amount of plays that we ran. All of the players on my team were really cool and had no problem with helping out when a team mate couldn’t remember the route they were supposed to run.
Just like when I joined the bowling league, I was nervous joining the flag football team. Even though my friend had signed me up so I knew someone on the team, I was still nervous of messing up in front of the team when we were playing an actual game. Just like in bowling, all my nervousness left my body as soon as I met the team and we started playing our first game. It turns out I’m still really fast so everyone was looking at me as an asset to their team after the first game which really felt nice. Even if you’ve never played football before and are looking to join a recreational sports league, I highly recommend at least going to a flag football game and seeing how it works. If you like what you see, go ahead and sign up! As an experienced flag football player, I can say with certainty that you won’t regret it!