PIAA takes first step towards sanctioning Girls Flag Football

(WHTM) – The PIAA Board of Directors took the first steps towards sanctioning Girls Flag Football on Wednesday.

In a unanimous 30-0 vote the Board of Directors approved the first reading. The PIAA requires three readings before adopting a new sport.

“We are very appreciative of the Board of Directors support and taking this first step to
sanctioning girls’ flag football,” said Frank Majikes, PIAA President. “We have a lot of work to
do, but with the support of the Eagles, Steelers and the NFL, we’re hopeful of creating a solid
foundation for girls’ flag football that will develop the sport for years to come.”

Sanctioning the sport would allow Girls Flag Football to be regulated by the PIAA and athletes to compete in District and State Championships for the sport.

This comes a year after the PIAA sanctioned Girls Wrestling in May 2023.

Girls Flag Football has been growing in popularity, especially in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State would become the 10th state to sanction Girls’ Flag Football in high school athletics, following in the footsteps of Florida where the sport became organized about 20 years ago, Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, Alaska, New York, Arizona, Illinois and California.

The PIAA first acknowledged the growing sport in July of 2023, categorizing Girls Flag Football as an Emerging Sport.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles have been promoting Girls Flag Football to the youth in Pennsylvania since 2022 when both teams launched Girls Flag Football leagues. Initially, the leagues featured a combined 22 teams, by 2023 the Steelers had grown to 22 teams just in their league and the Eagles grew to 38 teams.

Now, in 2024 the Steelers and Eagles leagues have over 100+ teams combined.

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Steelers Youth Football shared a timeline of Girls Flag Football on X on Tuesday outlining how the sport has grown and evolved in Pennsylvania ahead of the PIAA meeting:

2022 – The Steelers and Eagles launch Girls Flag Football leagues featuring six schools with the Steelers and 16 teams with the Eagles.

2022 – The Eagles host a Girls Flag Football Championship and College Showcase. The Steelers also host a championship and a game during halftime of their preseason game on August 28.

2023 – The Eagles increased to 38 Girls Flag Football teams and the Steelers increased to 22 teams. The Eagles hosted multiple Learn to Play events, coaching and officiating clinics, a College Showcase and another championship. The Steelers hosted another championship.

2023 – In July, Girls Flag Football was categorized as an Emerging Sport by the PIAA

2024 – The Steelers and Eagles leagues have expanded to 100+ teams.

On May 13, 2024, the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) Big 33 Football Classic, an event and organization that has a rich history of producing NFL players, announced it has partnered with the NFL to add a Girls Flag Football Tournament to the event.

The 67th Big 33 Football Classic slated for Saturday, May 25 will feature the inaugural Girls Flag Football Tournament.

And now, on May 15, 2024 the PIAA has voted to take the first steps towards sanctioning Girls Flag Football, opening more doors for the athletes.

This is a developing story, stay with as new information and updates become available.

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