Exciting new plans for flag football in the UK were revealed this week, as BAFL (British American Football League) announced plans for a new flag league.
BAFL Flag will be run and fully endorsed by BAFA (British American Football Association, the UK governing body), providing flag football with the means to expand its popularity and grow as a sport in the UK.
The plan is to attract sufficient local and corporate teams to be able to operate regional conferences in the following areas:
- Northern Ireland
- North East England
- North West England
- East England
- East Midlands (England)
- West Midlands (England)
- South East England
- South West England
Tournaments/fixtures throughout the season will determine regional conference champions. The winners of each division will then be eligible for the BAFL Flag National Championships. The championships will be held in September each year, following a season running from April through to August.
As ESFL Chairman, Neil has been involved in discussions with BAFA recently to ensure our concerns are heard and to share our experiences of running flag football competions in the UK. Consequently, Neil is confident that the plan BAFL are putting in place, is the best option to continue developing flag football in the UK.
2007 has been a difficult year for the ESFL, with a declining number of participating teams, lack of resources and no clear plan for growth, so this move by BAFA is a welcome opportunity for those of us who love the game of flag football.
Therefore, we have expressed our interest in joining the league once the registration process is in place. We expect other teams in our league to do so also. In all likelihood this will mean that the ESFL is no more. However, we’re positive about the future with BAFL Flag.
We’ll talk about this a little more at training on Sunday, including what it means at an individual level. But if you have any questions in the meantime, post them up here.