Medford Flag Football League: Welcome
MEDFORD FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE is a proud member of NFL FLAG. Next fall, Medford Flag Football will be running an NFL FLAG League. The main site of the games is preliminary set for Medford High School. The majority of games will be played on the field turf.
This is a non-contact version of football where young players can develop their passing, catching and defending skills. The games will be played using the Official NFL FLAG Football rules. Each player who is placed a team will receive a reversible jersey with NFL team colors and logos and a flag belt. The BSFFL is for BOTH Boys & Girls.
The age of groups are from kindergarten through 8th grade. There will be separate divisions for the different age groups as stated below:
Division 1: 6th - 8th grades
Division 2: 3rd - 5th grades
Division 3: Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grades
The divisions may be adjusted depending on number of players in each division and competitiveness.
2012 Medford Flag Football League Registration
If you are interested in having your child join the League, you must complete the below attached registration form and send the completed form and with a check payable to Belmont Flag Football League to:
Medford Flag Football League
PO Box 647
Belmont MA 02478
Lawrence Eagle Tribune
November 28, 2011
Whether as an alternative of inducement for tackle football, it's spreading quickly
Georgetown resident Scott MacDonald remembers his senior year at Wilmington High School, when he was in his last year of playing competitive tackle football.
"I had played four years of Pop Warner football and I played four years of high school football," said MacDonald. "By my last year, I was losing interest and becoming a little disenchanted. I was ready to give it up."But MacDonald retained his love of the sport and, when there was talk of starting a flag football program for youngsters in Georgetown five years ago, he was all for it.
In fact, he became the director of the program and has overseen three of his own kids in it, including his 13-year-old daughter."Our first motivation was that we wanted to establish some kind of feeder program for the (Georgetown) high school, because we didn't have anything of our own, but it became a great program (independently)," said MacDonald.
" I think it's a nice introduction to the game. It's wonderful for little kids, and kids who haven't grown yet, and you can really teach the fundamentals.
"It's just a nice alternative to Pop Warner, or youth (tackle) football, especially as far as the time commitment. With Pop Warner, you're usually practicing three or four days a week at least and then playing your game. We practice once a week and have a game under the lights, Friday or Saturday.
"The structure and the program have been a hit with kids and parents alike. There were a surprising 120 participants that first year, and that number has grown to more than 270, ranging from a clinic program for 5 and 6-year-olds through three age divisions, the final being for grades 6-8. By the time boys start playing high school football, there are a slew who got their start in the flag football program before starting to play youth football, whether it be at Pentucket, Ipswich or Triton, and some who go straight from flag football to high school football.
"We want kids to learn about football and have a good time with it," said MacDonald. "We keep it as low key and stress free as possible. I call it organized backyard football.
"Keeping interest high is of the utmost importance for Whittier Tech coach Kevin Bradley, whose two sons have played flag football for years, either in Methuen or in the second-year program at Northern Essex Communiuty College run by the New England Warriors.
"The worst thing that can happen is to have a kid get turned off to football at an early age because of a bad experience in youth football," said Bradley.
"It happens, and when they get turned off, they never come back. But kids don't get turned off in flag football. "You learn the game by playing flag football. You learn strategy, you learn plays, you learn basic rules and you learn skills. I'm all for it.
"But aren't kids who start playing tackle football before high school way ahead of those who don't? Wouldn't Bradley prefer that his freshmen have SOME tackle football experience?
"Kids who have played (tackle) are ahead of the game at first, but it evens off by the middle of the (freshman) year," said Bradley, whose freshman son Connor played both flag football and tackle football in junior high.
"Football isn't like hockey or basketball. You can pick it up your freshman year. I've even had seniors out for the first time who have picked it up and contributed.
"Benefits of flag footballIn addition to the reduced time commitment, there are many parents who are nervous about their children playing tackle football at an early age, worried about the physical aspect of the sport and the chance for injury. For them, flag football is a great alternative when their son or daughter are begging to play football.
"I always leave it to the kid, but if there's a question or concern, I say let them play flag football," said Bradley.Salem athletic director Dave Rozumek, who was a Lawrence High standout, went to UNH and later played in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, has no ironclad opinions about tackle vs. flag football, but he likes the fact that there is an option for youngsters.
"I personally get nervous with younger kids playing a physical sport," said Rozumek. "I hate to see a kid at an early age get whacked.
"Rozumek, incidentally, didn't play tackle football until he reached high school and his career turned out quite nicely.For most parents, however, it may be the time commitment that most separates flag football from tackle football.
"I think Pop Warner is just a really big commitment for younger kids," said Methuen Recreation Department director Bill Pare, who runs the Methuen program and has an 11-year-old son playing flag football. "Kids should be doing a lot of things.
"A feeder system?Pare started the program in Methuen 12 years ago "just as an alternative to Pop Warner, to give parents and kids an alternative," and it has grown steadily.
There are more than 200 kids involved for grades 1-6 and, if you include grades 7-8, there are more than 300. Former Methuen High coach Pat Graham helped add grades 7-8 when he took over and organized a spring program.Graham was trying to pump interest for football in the junior high grades, with the hope that it would translate into greater participation in tackle football at the high school level.
Similarly, the Timberlane Tornadoes began a flag program for second and third graders and then added fourth graders, finding that this early introduction to the sport translated to greater participation in tackle football at the higher grades.
Whatever the motivation, and much of it might just be that flag football is fun to play, it has grown throughout the region in the last decade.Flag football programs in Salisbury and Pelham have grown appreciably in the last decade, at or greater than the clip in Methuen and Georgetown.
Pelham, which is considered one of the more competitive programs, featured 48 teams this year from ages 5-6 to 12-15. Pelham, Salisbury and Georgetown are all associated with the NFL, which means that youngsters get nice replica jerseys in which to participate — clearly a nice benefit.
The Northern Essex program is also associated with the NFL but, unlike the others, it's not a feeder system for any particular town.It draws from numerous communities and it's main objective is to be a recreational alternative.
But it has mushroomed in just its second year, doubling in size from its inaugural season.• • •Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.