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CIF girls flag football to be fall sport

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Girls flag football will be added to the list of CIF San Diego Section sports for the 2023-2024 academic year, and flag football will be a fall sport.

The CIF Board of Managers meeting Wednesday, April 5, included the unanimous approval of flag football as a fall sport. The approval also includes use of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association rule book. A separate April 5 vote unanimously approved the CIF master schedule for 2023-2024 which governs permissible dates for practices and contests.

“We’re excited about this moving forward,” CIF commissioner Joe Heinz said.

Flag football had tentatively been approved as a fall sport for the San Diego Section. Field availability, player availability and compatibility with other CIF sections were considered.

“We know there are challenges,” Heinz said. “We settled on the fall.”

Boys football is a contact sport, and the CIF requires a team to have had 14 days of practice before to the first game, while each player must have at least 10 days of practice before being

allowed to compete in a game. Because flag football is a non-contact sport, the CIF will require five days of practice before a game. Football teams are limited to 10 regular-season games, while girls flag football teams will be allowed 20 contests during the regular season.

The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association focuses on the college level but has a rule book for flag football. CIF girls flag football will have seven girls from each team on the field at one time. The fields will measure 80 yards by 40 yards.

The first permissible day of practice for the 2023-2024 season will be Aug. 5, the first permissible scrimmage date will be Aug. 11, and the first allowable date for games is Aug. 12. The end of the regular season will be Oct. 27, allowing for an Oct. 28 playoff selection and seeding meeting.

The CIF only administers playoffs for sports in which more than one conference participates – currently only the City Conference has badminton and only the Metro Conference has roller hockey – and the requirement for a formal CIF tournament also includes that the sport is played by at least 20% of the schools.

“It could be an informal tournament,” Heinz said.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of schools moving forward,” CIF assistant commissioner Todd Cassen said.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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