Flag Football is one of the `”easier” formats of the game to play and a great way to be involved in the sport. As well as being fast paced and fun, it’s still very competitive and more players and teams are set up in the league than ever before. As the season progresses we aim to give you features on the teams and personalities that are involved. To begin our coverage we give you an introduction, starting with how the league is setup for this year.
West Coast Trojans
West Lothian Astros
Mansfield Honey Badgers
West Essex Showboats
Aylesbury Vale Spartans
Reading Lions 2
Reading Lions 1
Victoria Park Panthers
MT Thunder Ducks
As in 2014, the ‘British Regional Playoffs’ will be split into two meets, with the 2 most Northern Conferences (HNC and MEC) and 2 most Southern Conferences (SWC and SEC) meeting.
The top two teams from each Division will progress to the post-season and take part in the ‘British Regional Playoffs’, with each Conference seeding their teams #1 through #4. The team with the best record in the Conference will be the #1 seed and the winner of the other division will be the #2 seed. The #3 and #4 seed are determined by record.
Tie-breakers in order are - ‘Win Percentage’, then ‘Head-to-Head’ record (wins, not aggregate points), followed by ‘Division Record’, and ‘Points Scored’ and lastly ‘Net Points’
The hosting of the two British Regional Playoffs will be offered to the highest seed across the 2 Conferences, based on the tie-breakers above, however they are NOT obliged to host.
At the British Regional Playoffs, the #1 seed from 1 Conference will play the #4 seed from the other conference and so on. Once down to the final 4 teams the highest seed will face the lowest remaining seed and the two other seeds will play each other. The higher seed is always the home team. At this point, should two teams have the same win percentage, the preference will be for teams to play Out of Conference matches, as long as the top two seeded teams that remain do not face each-other.
The two winners of these games will get two of the four spots at the 2015 BAFA Championships
At the Championships the 4 teams will gather for an official draw with the semi-finals drawn at random and all games played on a single pitch. The winner of Match 1 will be the home team in the Final and the loser will be the home team in the 3rd placed playoff, which will precede the final.
The hub for Flag Football is pullingtheflag.com and we will be linking to their site for regular updates of scores and standings. It is also the place to visit for more details in how to get involved in the game.
We thank Neil Warren, of the West Lothian Astros, for his help in compiling this report.
To get my weekly fix of football, I pack my camera bag and usually travel to a local BAFA game and this season it has taken me to see my local teams.
For a change, last weekend I was invited to a two-touch football game organised by my friend William Jeffrey in Portsmouth. Will is that rarity of being a Cleveland Browns fan so he deserved not only sympathy, but my support. The chance to play in a game I love was certainly a lure for a Bank Holiday Sunday.
After I accepted the invitation to play, it was then revealed that I was needed more for my officiating skills than my playing ability. I guess Will wasn’t impressed by the influence of record breaking Ben Roethlisberger on my passing ability. He was relying more on my skill in throwing a flag than a ball.
When BritBall first began in the mid-eighties I officiated for many years. Every Sunday, it would be off to somewhere or other to listen to abuse for sixty minutes.
My ears may appear to be a funny shape now, but that’s because they were bent and battered for years with abuse from the sideline. Of course the coaches knew the rules. They watched the NFL highlights every week. Unfortunately, the British game played basically collegiate rules and at that time, there was no coverage of college football.
I’m not sure why I still have my BAFRA shirts with their number 21 emblazoned across the back. Sentimentality is a strange characteristic, so with eagerness I tried the shirts on, but that enthusiasm soon faded as it became apparent they had shrunk over the years. Not sure how shirts lying dormant in a drawer can shrink, but no matter how much I persisted, I couldn’t get them on.
Will lent me his official’s shirt, so I found myself marking the field out as the players arrived. Will had friends over from Australia, so the participants were divided into two teams; England vs the Rest of the World (ROW). In addition to Australia, ROW also had an American lady and a Scottish gentleman, so it was good to see the SNP finally achieving their independence from England. As it was a family affair, children were also encouraged to take part.
A coin toss usually determines who will receive the ball for the opening series, but in this case when England won the toss, their captain did a jig the Irish would have been proud of confirming that it would still be a competitive game while being played in good spirit.
Playing five a side, ROW scored first to dampen English spirits, but the score was soon tied as the lead then flip flopped between the teams. The youngster joined in the fun and I’m sure they enjoyed the occasion of overweight adults pretending to be athletes.
With time running out, England took a slender 26-22 lead that their exhausted bodies managed to defend until time expired. Even more celebratory dancing took place as the victors
For everyone who took part, including the referee, it was definitely an enjoyable experience and if any of our readers want to join in the fun and want to begin with flag football; please check out the BAFA site http://www.britishamericanfootball.org/.