Following the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Board of Regents meeting in February, the NJCAA has officially announced women's flag football as an emerging sport in a joint effort with the National Football League (NFL) and Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX).?
"This is an exciting time for the NJCAA and particularly the advancement of female opportunities in our association," stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. "As the first national collegiate athletic association in the United States to integrate women's athletics, this is another major milestone in the association's history."
With the partnership, the NFL will provide a $150,000 grant to the NJCAA Foundation for distribution to NJCAA member colleges that declare their intent to participate in the sport over the next two years. The NJCAA Foundation, along with the NFL and RCX, will award $10,000 grants to 15 member colleges to move the initiative a step closer towards becoming a full championship sport over the next few years.
"The expansion of women's flag football as a varsity sport at the two-year college level is yet another historic achievement for women's collegiate sports," said Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. "We are excited to partner with the NJCAA in providing the opportunity for female student athletes to experience the tremendous values, life benefits, and competition that comes with playing football."
RCX, the official operating partner of NFL FLAG and the NAIA women's flag football initiative, will assist the NJCAA with developing awareness and a framework of the sport within the women's flag industry. Through its efforts and collaboration with the NFL, RCX has contributed to the rapid growth of women's flag football throughout the country.
"For so many young girls in flag football, the idea of playing the game they love in college has seemed like an impossible dream," said Izell Reese Executive Director of NFL FLAG and GM of RCX. "RCX and NFL FLAG have been working hard to make that dream a reality and we're proud to work with the NJCAA to help create a viable path for female athletes to potentially earn a scholarship to complete at the collegiate level and earn a degree."
Following the granting of emerging sports status, the NJCAA will proceed with forming the women's flag football sport committee to begin creation of the sport's guidelines and competition structure. NFL FLAG and RCX will continue to assist the committee and NJCAA with expertise and best practices within the sport, with the intent of starting competition in the spring of 2022.
NJCAA members who begin a women's flag football program will have the opportunity to compete against other members, in addition to various invitational events managed by RCX. A national championship event and full sport status will be granted with the increased number of participating institutions.
ABOUT THE NJCAA
Since 1938, the NJCAA has served as the nation's premier governing body for two-year collegiate athletics, providing student-athletes opportunities to PREPARE, COMPETE, SUCCEED and ACHIEVE in their academic and athletic disciplines. The NJCAA is the second-largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States, with over 500 member schools in 44 states. Each year over 3,400 teams compete in 28 different sports across multiple divisions in the NJCAA and the organization sponsors 52 national championship events and five football bowl games.
ABOUT REIGNING CHAMPS EXPERIENCES (RCX)
Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) is the premier youth-sports experiences business, running and operating leagues, camps, combines, tournaments, and events.
Part of Reigning Champs LLC, RCX works with professional leagues, national governing bodies, sports-centric businesses, and brands to reimagine youth sports experiences. RCX produces events with world-class partners including the NFL, Jr. NBA, NAIA, Rivals.com and the 2022 World Games.
RCX is committed to improving the accessibility and inclusivity of sports by enhancing the youth sports experience and creating opportunities for all athletes to play. We believe sports have the power to transform lives and that every athlete should have the opportunity to experience the value of sports. For more information, visit www.rcxexperiences.com.
ABOUT NFL FLAG
NFL FLAG is an NFL-licensed property of more than 1,600 locally operated leagues and over 500,000 youth athletes across all 50 states. NFL FLAG is a fun and accessible non-contact program available for girls and boys ages 5-17. Players benefit by being physically active through non-contact, continuous action while learning the fundamentals of football as well as lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. Reigning Champs Experiences (RCX) is the official operator of NFL FLAG.