On the uprise in Sioux Falls: SDJRFB girls flag football


Emma Southwick

The girls league champions pose with their trophies after a hard fought game.

Emma Southwick, Entertainment Editor

Established in 1969, the Sioux Falls Junior Football organization has helped kids learn more about the sport of football through both their flag football and tackle football programs. Since the beginning, SDJRFB had teams only consisting of boys. However, this season they opened up the league to girls by starting an all-girl flag football league. 

To begin, let’s go over some brief history on how women’s flag football came to be. It has been assumed to believe that football’s nature of being a “spectator sport,” due to the games always being broadcasted on television, was a main reason why women began showing interest in the sport in the late 1960s. Additionally, during this time the women’s rights movement was more relevant than ever, which gave women the confidence to get involved in activities and associations which had previously only consisted of men. With that being said, flag football obviously did not exist, but women started to wonder how they could get involved in football, or at least something similar. 

According to the International Women’s Flag Football Association, during the late 1960s, “Many [women] soon wanted to play the game, but because tackle was very rough as it included tackling, helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, other padding, and intense conditioning, a softer version of the sport, flag football, soon was being played to satisfy these new athletes across the United States.” 

As previously stated, it is no secret that society has only seen football as a sport for men all throughout history. Luckily, girls in our world today are able to get more involved in male-dominated sports like football because of organizations like SDJRFB. Opportunities like these are especially great for the younger female generation, as they allow them to grow up learning about the sport of football, enabling them to have more knowledge and experience with the sport as they get older.

Because football was new to a majority of the girls in the SDJRFB leagues this year, it took a lot of extra focus and effort to be able to strive in the league. Flag football was unlike any other sport for the girls, as they had to not only develop new skills, but also learn the rules of a sport they had never played before. However, positive aspects of this situation clearly exist as well. Because of the fact that this was a new concept for all of them, it forced them to push themselves, as well as each other in order to find success. In turn, many valuable life skills were able to be built among these girls such as teamwork, perseverance, confidence and dealing with adversity.

No matter what sports they are in, or even if they are not currently involved in any sport, playing and becoming familiar with flag football serves as a great way to learn and build teamwork skills as well as build knowledge and strategy for young girls. For more information and how to sign up for next year’s season, visit SDJRFB’s website at https://www.sdjrfb.com/.