The NFL wants to bring American football to the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, but not the kind its supporters are used to.
The International Federation of American Football president Pierre Trochet and Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, will serve as co-chairs of the “Vision28” group, which aims to bring flag football to the Los Angeles Games, the NFL announced on Wednesday.
Since a number of college players participated in a “demonstration” event in Los Angeles in 1932, American football has not been played in any capacity at the Olympics.
The World Games, an international competitive sport that includes a plethora of non-Olympic sports, are currently include flag football for the first time. Both the men’s and women’s competitions feature competitors from the United States, and both teams are scheduled to compete in the semifinal matches on Wednesday in Birmingham, Alabama.
It seems quite clear why the NFL is supporting the effort to include flag football in the Olympics. Any time American football appears on the largest stage in the world is a victory.
According to Vincent and the NFL:
“We see flag football as an all-inclusive sport, which makes it a great vehicle to spread the values of American football around the world.
“As co-chair of the Vision28 mission, the NFL is committed to place critical assets such as technological, broadcast, commercial, sports science, youth engagement, fan engagement at the service of the Olympic movement and our shared global goal of football for all.”
What other sports are trying to qualify for the Los Angeles Olympics?
There are more sports besides flag football that could be included to the Los Angeles Games. After making a brief comeback in Tokyo, baseball and softball will be aiming to return to the Olympics, while the International Cricket Council is also pushing for a candidacy in 2028. Lacrosse, sambo, teqball, and flying disc are supposedly more candidates.
Three other Olympic mainstays, boxing, modern pentathlon, and weightlifting, are presently on the outside looking in after being left off the initial Los Angeles programme, but they do have a path back in provided certain requirements are met.
What does flag football at The World Games (and even the Olympics) look like?
Flag football is played in line with World Games regulations on a 50 by 25-yard field with 10-yard end zones, five-on-five with no contact. Any three flags on a player’s belt must be removed in order for them to be “tackled.”
If a team reaches midway, they receive a new set of downs and another set of four downs. Six points are awarded for a touchdown, and teams can try to score one extra point by doing so from five yards out or two extra points by doing so from ten yards out.
20 minute halves are used throughout games, and rosters are limited to 15.