American Football

American football is an adapted non-kitted version of the NFL game. Known as Flag Football, it is a safe, non-contact version that schools all around the world take part in, designed to suit all abilities.
American Football

What is American football?

Flag Football is an inclusive, non-contact invasion game that develops agility, balance, and coordination. The game is suitable for Year 3 upwards, and has been appropriately matched with the School Games mission to place positive experiences and enjoyment at the core of its offer.

The objective of the game is two-part; the defensive team must prevent the ball from reaching the goalpost by removing the belt tags from ball-carrying players on the offensive team, whilst the offensive team must avoid the defensive players to get the ball through the goalposts.

Find out more about how to play American football.

Equipment needed

  • American footballs
  • Tag belts
  • Cones
  • A suitable large space outdoors (e.g. playing field)

A brief history of American football

Whilst initially evolving from rugby, the first recorded American football match took place in 1869 between two American college teams. By 1880, the rules had been standardised and the sport rapidly grew in popularity; in 1920, the National Football League (NFL) of America was formed and within two years it was firmly established as America’s premier professional football league.

Flag Football originated in the 1940s during Word War II where the sport was developed to encourage the United States military personnel to keep fit during periods of inactivity and reduce the risk of injuring soldiers through play.

Today, the American football is one of the most popular sports in America, and over the last few years has been gaining a growing fanbase internationally. Whilst not an Olympic sport, it was a demonstration sport during the 1932 summer Olympics.

Get involved

The School Games is inclusive to all young people and provides opportunities for everyone to get involved, either within school, against other local schools, or at county or regional level.

School Games Organisers

School Games Organisers (SGO) help schools coordinate appropriate competitive opportunities for all young people from Key Stage 2-4, to recruit, train and deploy a suitable workforce, and to support the development of club.

Sign up to find your local SGO

Quick and easy American football activity resources

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