It’s official. Flag Football will be making its debut at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Monday’s decision follows prior recommendations by the IOC Executive Board, IOC Olympic Program Commission and Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee and concludes a two-year evaluation process. Phew. And it’s poised to join four other sports, baseball / softball, cricket, lacrosse and squash. Sorry Pickleball fans, you’ll have to try again in 2032!
“The choice of these five new sports is in line with the American sports culture and will showcase iconic American sports to the world, while bringing international sports to the United States. These sports will make the Olympic Games LA28 unique,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Their inclusion will allow the Olympic Movement to engage with new athlete and fan communities in the US and globally.”
And the flag football community is thriving. An estimated 20 million athletes are currently playing flag football in more than 100 countries, and this year’s IFAF Continental Flag Football Competition will see 65 national representative teams. Those numbers are likely to grow exponentially following this week’s announcement.
This is an incredible milestone for flag football", Scott Dillon, CEO of Gridiron Football, shares. "For more than 80 years, kids and adults alike have gathered in American backyards, at parks and on football fields to play this game. And it’s recently taken the world by storm with its fast-paced play, competitive yet accessible format for men and women of all ages, and safety-first approach. I can think of no better place for its debut on the Olympic stage than the country of its birth. Now our Gridiron athletes will not only be able to dream of Olympic gold; they can achieve it. We’re excited to help them get there!"
So what are other folks in the football community saying? Let’s find out:
Pierre Trochet, President of the International Federation of American Football: “Flag football will offer an exciting new dimension to the Games -- uniting them, for the first time in history, with America's number one sport in its youngest, most accessible and inclusive format, which is already spearheading extraordinary growth, particularly among youth audiences, women and girls and in new countries worldwide. We have no doubt that inclusion in the Olympic Games will further accelerate this dynamic."
Diana Flores, The World Games gold medalist and Chair of the IFAF Athletes' Committee: "To compete in the Olympic Games is the ultimate dream of every athlete, and millions of flag football players around the world will go to sleep dreaming of Los Angeles 2028 tonight. Together, we are determined to use this incredible stage to showcase the best of flag football - its speed, athleticism and creativity, and also its power to transform lives and include new communities in sports.”
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner: “Congratulations to the International Federation of American Football on this landmark achievement for flag football and the global community that loves and plays our game. We have no doubt that this decision will inspire millions of young people around the world to play this game in the years ahead.
Former Patriots and Buccaneers tight end, Rob Gronkowski, had expressed his interest in competing in Olympic Flag Football- even before the vote was held: “Hopefully there’s no tryouts, and they just accept me. But I’m in. I’m going for that if there is flag football in the Olympics in 2028. USA going all the way!”
So, Olympics 2028. Will you be taking that iconic Opening Ceremony walk as one of the first-ever flag football Olympians? Start your training today with Gridiron Football. We offer the best 5v5 flag league play and national tournament series in the country. No one knows - or does - football better than Gridiron.