Flag Football Takes Off at Fay
Lower School football players jettisoned the helmets and pads this fall in favor of flag football belts as 5-6 flag football made its Fay athletics debut.
Flag football is the fastest growing team sport in the United States, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, with more 6–12-year- olds now playing flag football than traditional tackle football. This year’s team, coached by Bruce Chauncey and Sam Thorburn, had twelve players on the roster and a five- game schedule against teams from Fenn, Fessenden, Tenacre, Dedham Country Day, and Belmont Day School.
Unlike tackle football, where each player has a specialized role on the field, flag football gets players involved in every aspect of the game. “Every player has to have the skills of throwing, catching, and running with the ball,” says Fay’s Director of Athletics Rob Feingold. “In some traditional football positions, you’re running or blocking, and you never touch the ball. In flag football, we have multiple players at quarterback, and everyone is incorporated.”
Many of the strategies that students learn in 7-on-7 flag football will also translate to the Upper School tackle football program if players decide to continue. “We run plays, and we have very specific passing tree patterns where they go inside or run outside,” says Coach Chauncey. “If I tell them to run a two, they know what to do.”
With an increasing number of schools adding flag football programs, it’s clear that the sport is here to stay, and Fay’s inaugural team couldn’t be happier about it, notes Coach Chauncey. “They’re having a blast!”