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NFL FLAG-In-Schools Program Kicks Off Eighth Year

More than 4,000 NFL FLAG-In-Schools Kits Will be Distributed to Schools Nationwide this Fall, Offering 2.3 Million Students the Opportunity to Engage in and Develop a Love of Sport

The NFL, GENYOUth, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) announced the return of GENYOUth’s NFL FLAG-In-Schools (FIS) and the opening of the program’s national application for the 2021-2022 school year. Starting today, educators can apply for a FREE NFL FIS kit to enhance their physical education curriculum and equipment. Applications will close Wednesday, May 19.

NFL FLAG-In-Schools continues to increase through a renewed commitment of $1.5 million from the NFL Foundation. A total of 28,000 kits have been provided to U.S. schools since 2014 engaging an estimated 13 million students to become more active before, during and after school.

NFL FIS is coming at a critical time as COVID-related school disruptions have left millions of kids at home and severely limited their access to sports, increasing the level of interest in turn-key solutions for student engagement in physical activity. Scalable and sustainable, NFL FLAG-In-Schools is a proven resource that inspires boys and girls to participate in school-based sports.

The program’s positive impact on girls has been especially significant with schools reporting increased female students' participation in physical activity, and even a movement toward girls flag as a varsity sport due to NFL FIS. Research shows girls are at greater risk than boys of falling short of physical activity guidelines, with girls twice as likely as boy to drop out of sports when they reach middle school.

NFL FIS is building on the success of previous years with new and engaging program elements.

NERF Belts and Footballs

  • Global play and entertainment company Hasbro, Inc. will supply iconic NERF footballs and flag belts to the NFL FIS kits, infusing the equipment with a new level of flexibility, size and softness.

Curriculum Enhancements

  • 30 new online videos will teach students the fundamentals of flag football. Each lesson will close with a nutrition tip of the day, taken from “101 Tips for Incorporating Nutrition in PE,” an informational resource created by Midwest Dairy and SHAPE America.
  • A dual English-Spanish language “Rules of the Game” resource, to be introduced in conjunction with the NFL’s celebration of Spanish Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, will help more parents familiarize themselves with the NFL FIS program.

Expanded Program Reach

  • NFL FIS will continue to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), providing kits to nearly 200 clubs selected by BGCA on Native Lands and introducing 90,000 Native youth in American Indian, Alaskan Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian tribal communities to flag football.
  • NFL FIS is forging a three-year partnership with Special Olympics, which will provide kits to Special Olympics Unified Sports® coaches and Unified physical education teachers who offer flag football instruction within Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools®*.

NFL FLAG-In-Schools Coach of the Year Contest

  • To highlight the positive impact of physical education on students, a national contest will be launched for back to school to honor these unsung school heroes. More details will be provided in the months ahead.

"Since 2014, GENYOUth has been committed to NFL FLAG-In-Schools, and the millions of students who enthusiastically participate every year are a testament to the success and effectiveness of this program,” said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. “This school year, more than ever, NFL FLAG-In-Schools will create much-needed opportunities for millions of students to come back together and discover the fun and benefits of physical activity after a year and a half of limited to no exposure to team sports.” 

“The NFL Foundation is proud to partner with GENYOUth, Fuel Up to Play 60 and Reigning Champs Experiences to provide these high-quality resources,” said Alexia Gallagher, NFL Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director of NFL Foundation. “We know that children, having been displaced from the classroom and their normal routines, are craving the opportunity to engage again in in-person team-based activities when they return to school later this year. We hope these kits will provide a sense of renewed excitement for the 2021-2022 school year.”

“Reigning Champs Experiences prides itself on our commitment to making sports accessible to all athletes,” said Izell Reese, NFL FLAG Executive Director and GM of RCX. “As the official operating partner of NFL FLAG, RCX works to continue that mission and ensure that the game of flag football is available to athletes across the country.”

Summing up the appeal and value of NFL FIS, a physical education teacher from an elementary school in East Salisbury, Maryland, said: “Our kids are always asking when we’re going to play. With NFL FLAG-In-Schools, they are ready to go. They love it and it’s been really great for the students and our school.”


  • NFL FLAG Football
  • Youth Football
  • Clubs and Partners