VALLEY VIEW, Ohio -- Are you ready for some flag football? There is a new league headed to Cleveland this fall. It’s called the FNA youth flag football league in Valley View.
“The biggest thing is kind of keeping it a family atmosphere and really making this a family football night, essentially, and that is why it is called football in America,” said Dave Baiko, commissioner of the Cleveland league.
The Cleveland league will be one of 12 leagues nationwide this fall backed by New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees.
“We pride ourselves in being able to teach the fundamentals of the game through FNA but also creating the best fun, family-friendly atmosphere that we can for our kids and our parents,” said Brees.
The Drew Brees youth flag football league launched last fall in Louisiana. They are open to co-eds from kindergarten through 8th grade.
“The biggest hope for Cleveland is that we get a bunch of kids to sign up and especially kids that never played football before and this is their first opportunity or exposure to the game,” Brees said.
Each game is played on Friday nights with one practice a week for one hour. This allows kids to play more than one sport.
“The great thing about flag football too is that every kid on the field is a skilled position player: He’s a quarterback; he’s a running back; he’s a receiver, or he’s a defensive back,” said Brees.
There are unique rules for this flag football league but the rules make the game more fun and safe and they mirror tackle football rules. For instance, players are allowed to snap the ball sideways to begin a play.
“At the end of the day, I want kids to have fun and develop a love and a passion for the game of football,” Brees said.