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Illinois Adds Girls' Flag Football


In a sign of the continued growth of girls’ flag football in American high schools, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) recently made girls’ flag football an officially sanctioned sport in Fall 2024. A proposal to add girls’ flag football passed by an overwhelming 464-82 vote by IHSA member schools.

The rationale for adding girls’ flag football as an IHSA sanctioned sport included an increase in participation in the state and more than 100 schools with active teams, according to the proposal submitted by principal Dan Krause of Willowbrook High School in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park. The Chicago Bears served as the organizing body since 2021 and established a state championship series in 2022 and 2023.

“Establishing an IHSA season and state series will allow the sport to continue to grow throughout the state and provide structure, support and the needed resources for schools and teams to compete on an equal playing field,” the proposal stated.

The IHSA will require students to practice on at least nine different days to be eligible to participate in girls’ flag football contests. Teams will be allowed to play a maximum of 25 games prior to IHSA postseason competition.