SAN DIEGO — It's not your mother’s powder puff football and it’s not a new sport, but girls flag football has seen exponential growth.
CBS 8 recently met some young female athletes in Spring Valley, and their league is just an example of the expanding reach of this brand of football.
“Females like to play football too and it’s going to be fun to work together and just have a nice football game,” said Zariah Ferrell, a flag football player for She Rocks SD.
Many of them sprinting, dodging and weaving their way to playing a sport that has usually been male dominated.
“A couple of years ago my sister used to play with all boys. Personally, I think she was better than all of them. And she inspired me to play with different people,” said Maya Brown.
The NFL has been an outspoken supporter of girls flag football, you may even remember a Super Bowl ad featuring Diana Flores. The Mexican flag football quarterback who won a world championship last year.
She's been resonating with small leagues that never thought they would see a Mexican female flag football player taking the game forward.
In Spring Valley, the coach of an all girls team, She Rocks SD, also created this league. The coach says he was inspired after his daughter who said she wanted to play in the NFL.
“You've seen the big push, the draft has female athletes, Super Bowl female athletes. So they recognized that the female athletes ball too. And that’s a big quote for all girls, ball too. They can do everything that the boys can,” said Dwayne Brown, the coach for She Rocks SD in Spring Valley.
Just a year ago, the California Interscholastic Federation announced girl’s flag football as a statewide, varsity sport.
CBS 8 asked the CIF San Diego Section Commissioner, Joe Heinz, what it would cost to build a fall program for girls flag football.
“Like any sport, like any new sport that’s approved at the state level or any emerging sport it starts at the school or district level depending on whether it's a public school. It starts with the district or the site level depending on what their funding structure is for any sport and that could include equipment, uniforms and coaching stipends,” said Heinz.
He also added that it's exciting to see big brands helping with the push to make it a high school sport.
The NFL has recently connected some of its major sponsors with local leagues.
“The NFL has been behind it in a big way and they have been behind it since the proposal had come forward. helping push this and move it forward and companies like Nike are coming forward with funding,” said Heinz.
Games could be played as a lead-in to the boys varsity football games on Friday nights, much like a boys JV game.
Heinz adds there is talk of Monday night doubleheaders and Saturday tournaments as well.
A high school football field might not be the last stop for these young athletes, there has been a push to add flag football as an Olympic sport, with the first competition being the 2028 summer games in Los Angeles.
For the meantime, these gridiron girls say the sky's the limit.
“Women can do anything, women can do football, baseball, basketball. they can do anything,” said Ferrell.
The newer generation of female athletes are letting people know that this is no longer a backyard game for girl’s
It's now a sport where women are ready to dominate in front of a bigger audience.
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