New Partnership Aims to Grow Flag Football

NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation established a new partnership with RCX Sports, the official operating partner of NFL Flag, that seeks to enhance intramural and club flag football.

With a goal of increasing flag football participation, programming and training across college campuses in the intramural and club sports arenas, this collaboration will enhance NIRSA’s flag football tournaments, both regionally and nationally, as well as help train officials.

Izell Reese, CEO of RCX Sports and executive director of NFL Flag was excited for the opportunities for growing the sport presented by this partnership. “I believe that sports are an integral piece of learning for students; they promote leadership and teamwork, both of which are important to future success,” Reese said. “Together, we will enhance the student experience and provide accessibility for athletes nationwide at the collegiate level.”

Since its founding in 1950, NIRSA membership has grown to more than 4,000 dedicated professionals, students and associates who serve nearly 10 million students each year through club and recreational sports. RCX and NIRSA aim to enhance the club and intramural flag football experience at more than 900 schools across North America.

“NIRSA is excited to integrate the experiences and enthusiasm that make our Flag Football programs and NIRSA Championship Series tournaments so popular and prestigious among hundreds of collegiate teams across North America to growing the flag football ecosystem through this new partnership with RCX Sports and NFL FLAG,” said NIRSA Executive Director Pam Watts, CAE. “Our tournaments are more than just competition. Developing tournament staff and fostering a pipeline of high-quality officials are critical investments for our tournament experiences. We can’t wait to work with RCX Sports and NFL FLAG to grow the game to become more accessible and inclusive,” she added.

Youth participation in sports has declined 13% over the past decade, but flag football has become one the fastest-growing youth sports in the country, with more than 585,000 participants in 2022.

“Not only is flag football growing rapidly across the youth sports arena, but this collaboration also gives college students who want to continue their football playing careers past high school a chance to get back on the field,” said Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations for the NFL. “Flag football is poised for even greater expansion as the cornerstone of the NFL’s domestic and international participation and development strategies.”