Girls flag football makes its debut

CIF adds new sport to its fall schedule


Californian file photo

Last Year, junior and senior girls play in the annual powderpuff football game. Now that the CIF has added flag football to the fall schedule in August, girls will be able to play the sport competitively against other EBAL schools.

Another new sport will be making its debut on campus in the fall.
A season after badminton was added, women’s flag football will hit the gridiron.
Seeming to stem from the tradition of powderpuff, this new sport will be an adaptation of that game. Powderpuff flag football games are traditionally hosted to raise money for the school and are played between the girls in the senior or junior classes, and sometimes even crosstown rivals.
These games are usually coached by guys on the football team. Cal High actually hosted its annual game last Friday.
The California Interscholastic Federation, which serves as the state’s athletic governing body, unanimously voted 146-0 in March to give this sport the green light, according to the Mercury News.
Although sections such as the North Coast Section are not mandating schools to field teams, those sections will not be eligible for regional and state championships if the CIF adds them, according to the Mercury News.
The newly sanctioned sport has many excited.
“I am looking forward to having new teammates and learning a new sport,” sophomore Emma Liu said.
With new organizations that support girls playing flag football, such as Next Level Football, girls interest in this sport has begun to grow over the years.
But there will some logistical issues this summer before the girls take the field in the fall. Coaches need to be hired and schools such as Cal need to figure out field availability since two football teams will be practicing and playing during the same season for the first time.
Cal athletic director Chad Ross said practices are supposed to be four to five times a week and games will take place either on Tuesday or Thursday.
Ross emailed an interest form in late April looking for potential players. He received about 30 responses with 13 girls indicating they were 100 percent committed to playing, while the remaining students indicated they were 50 percent committed.
Ross said he is expecting a turnout ranging from 20 to 40 girls come August when the fall season kicks off. Although there is potential to play some out of league teams,most of the games will be within EBAL, which expects to have eight to ten teams participate.
The school has posted the coaching opening but has not received any applications.
With the turnout presumably mostly being girls with a soccer or lacrosse backgrounds, there are lots of excited girls ready to give this new sport a try.
Liu thinks her soccer background will give her an advantage over others players when trying out. Liu played JV soccer at Cal this year and plays for Pleasanton Rage outside of school.
Sophomore Avery Taylor, another girl with a soccer background, thinks that this will help her get an edge.
“I think my prior experience with sports will help me play with more skill and athletic ability as well as continue my fitness journey,” Taylor said. “It sounds fun and like a good opportunity to exercise and have fun with my friends.”
Sophomore varsity football player Matteen Rekabi finds it interesting that Cal will field a girls football team.
“I think its really unique because no one else is doing it,” Rekabi said.
He is aware of the conflicts that the two sports will share the field and advises the girls trying out to keep it simple.
“Just have fun,” he said.
Junior Liam Corkery who will be a second year varsity football player next season, is glad that this new sport will be coming to Cal next year.
“I think its nice that the girls are enjoying football like the guys do now,” Corkery said.