AYFC Introduces Flex Football

UpdatedWednesday May 9, 2018 byJay Faber.


The next generation of flag football is here – Flex Football!  Central Mass Youth football (of which AYF is a member) has elected to roll out Flex Football.  All current K-1 and 2-3 flag and tackle teams will be replaced by Flex Football.  AYF believes that Flex fills the needs of both traditional flag and tackle football players.  

For our flag families  

There's no doubt that flag football is an exciting game and excellent way to introduce kids to football. Unfortunately, it lacks the essential element of player progression. Currently, the only option after standard flag is full-contact tackle football, which means there's no skill-building phase. This missing gap results in participation drop-off or players that are underprepared for tackle football in later years.

The answer is flex football, true to "real" football but without the contact. As a player’s skill develops and their desire to strap on the pads grows, parents now have an exciting option. Flex affords the experience and skill progression kids want from tackle football but in a controlled and safer environment.

Aside from the progression and skill-building benefits, flex brings a fresh look and feel to football that appeals to current players as well as a new wave of players. This next generation of the game is resulting in the growth of leagues and retention of players, without the pressure to play tackle football.

And for our tackle families  

Tackle is undoubtedly viewed as the top of the football pyramid.  The goal of flex wasn't to change tackle, but to make it better. The obvious problem with natural progression in football is the gap between non-contact and full-contact styles of play. As a result of this gap — where skill-building and preparation should occur — fewer kids are merging into tackle, they're dropping off, or finding other sports.

With the creation of flex football, parents can have confidence in their child’s readiness to safely step into full-contact. Flex introduces limited-contact for the first time in the form of “hands first” blocking, and with its unique and proprietary gameplay, creates an atmosphere of playing in "open space" and fast-paced environment that's closer to the modern tackle game.

Flex is dynamic in its benefits and is a spring extension for tackle football leagues. Flex gives players and teams a platform to develop their skills in a non-tackle environment with low impact on the body. Flex will result in better trained and more confident tackle football players.

Summary - 

Flag players will enjoy: 

  • Safety: With any sport, accidental collisions are a fact of the game.  Flex mitigates this risk by adding softshell head and shoulder protection.  
  • Expanded Availability: Allows flag based teams up to 3rd grade.
  • Development: The program adds more traditional offensive lineman blocking and defensive lineman pursuit as well as downfield blocking.   Flex allows for greater variety of skill level positions.  This ensures that there are more positions available for the varying levels of player ability.

Advantages to traditional tackle player

  • Safety: A delayed start to full contact.  As players are expected to have a better technical base by the time they age into our tackle program, tackle coaches will be able to spend more practice-time focusing on safe tackling techniques.    
  • Foundation: Aligns offensive and defensive schemes more closely to traditional football, which will allow a smoother transition for those kids who hope to enter our traditional tackle program in later years.  
  • Mastery: Without the possible intimidation of full contact, players can focus on mastering technique.

Please direct any questions to 

Jason Faber