The Atlanta school district will begin offering flag football for 7th and 8th grade girls in 2019, becoming one of the largest systems in the country to offer flag football as a scholastic sport to middle school girls. All 13 Atlanta middle schools are set to participate.
The program is being established with financial assistance from USA Football, ESPN, and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck says the program will set “a great example for school districts nationwide,” creating opportunities for a new group of potential student-athletes.
According to the Sport and Fitness Industry Association’s 2018 participation report, about 171,000 girls ages 6 to 17 took part in flag football at the core level, an increase of more than 22 percent from the previous year.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 2018 edition of Education Week as Atlanta Middle Schools to Offer Girls Chance to Play Flag Football