Flag Football is a modified version of contact/kitted American Football that provides teams with the opportunity to develop many of the same skills, tactics and strategies, without significant physical contact.  Flag with the Manchester Crows is an inexpensive sport that requires very little equipment; football boots, athletic clothing, and water.

Why Play Flag?

People play Flag Football for a number of reasons – it’s fun, fast, and has a large social element to it.  The sport requires skill, agility, and fitness, and is an excellent form of physical activity.  It develops life skills through sport, teaching teamwork and self-discipline, and does so in a safe and friendly environment.  And with both variants of American Football still being relatively niche in the UK, it is also unlike any other sport you’ve ever tried.

Anyone over the age of 17 can play Flag Football with the Manchester Crows; both men and women.

How is Flag Football played?

Flag Football follows the same basic principles of American Football, albeit with some minor differences;

  • Two teams of five players compete against each other.
  • The aim is to outscore your opponents by scoring “Touchdowns”.
  • One team, the “Offense”, gets possession of the ball and attempts to move it across their opponent’s goal line, in a series of 4 plays, or “Downs”.
  • They do this by passing or running the ball towards their opponent’s goal line. The “Quarterback” is the only player allowed to pass the ball.
  • The opposition, the “Defense” attempts to stop the “Offense” from accomplishing the task.
  • Defensive Players can attempt to stop opponents by a) grabbing and removing the flags worn by players; which is considered a “Tackle”, or b) “intercepting” the ball.
  • After the Offense has used up their 4 “Downs”, possession of the ball changes and the teams swap “Offense” and “Defense” roles.

Flag in the UK

Flag Football is the fastest growing iteration of American Football in the United Kingdom, with over 40 teams currently registered in the national British American Football Association (BAFA) Flag League.

The Manchester Crows, founded in 2015, play in the MEC (Mid-England Conference) Central Division, and qualified for the BAFA Playoffs in 2016 and 2017.