NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Flag Football League, a new professional football organization, announced its plans today to combine the energy of America’s fastest growing youth sport with electrifying athletes to create world-class entertainment for fans and spectators.
Recently retired quarterback Michael Vick has signed on as a player/advisor to the AFFL and inaugural game on June 27, 2017, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Vick has been an avid supporter of flag football for many years – first as someone who played it and now as a parent of a daughter in middle school who quarterbacks a high school flag football team. Former running back Justin Forsett will also play in the launch game.
“When I first heard about the AFFL, and the opportunity to continue doing what I love most, playing football, I had to be involved,” said Vick. “Like most kids, I grew up playing flag, and this league brings me back to the days when I was a teenager learning the game of football.”
Eight league-owned franchises will take part in a nationwide open tournament in the summer of 2018. Hundreds of teams will vie for the opportunity to take on some of their heroes in live action. The tournament will award a cash prize to the champions.
“We are extremely excited to be launching the American Flag Football League,” said Jeffrey Lewis, Founder of the AFFL. “The AFFL makes professional football more accessible to a wide variety of athletes, not just veterans of tackle football. The league eliminates the traditional physical limitations of tackle football, creating a platform for players who have elite athletic ability and speed, regardless of their size.”
Retired linebacker and entrepreneur Isaiah Kacyvenski will serve on the AFFL Board of Advisors along with several other former football players and professional league and business executives including Vick, fullback Rob Konrad, safety Donovin Darius and former baseball executive vice president, Tim Brosnan.
“I'm honored to be part of the AFFL team,” said Kacyvenski. “The potential that the league has to showcase athleticism, while providing a platform for how technology can shape the sports industry, inspired me to join Jeff and his team. We're excited to launch this league, and treat a generation of fans who enjoy speed, action, and skill.”
Innovative E-Flag Technology
The AFFL engaged technology powerhouse SMT, the “Yellow First Down Line” company, to design and develop an innovative SMT e-flag that will revolutionize the game of flag football. SMT’s patented OASIS Platform utilizes the SMT e-flag to accurately track the on-field location and flag status of all AFFL players in real-time. SMT e-flags have a live, on-line, location-trackable and time-stamped, magnetic-sensor release mechanism. SMT e-flags represent a quantum leap forward in technological sophistication over the traditional Velcro flag release mechanisms. The SMT OASIS Platform provides AFFL game officials with the visual tools and data displays needed to track all on-field player movements and flag-statuses to accurately spot all flag-release events. In addition, the OASIS Platform integrates and synchronizes the referee’s Go-Clock timer with the in-stadium displays.
SMT’s in-house design firm, (n+1) designstudio, designed and implemented the AFFL insert package, the AFFL score bug, and the AFFL virtual graphics package including first down markers and virtual player-tracking enhancements.
A fan’s time is valuable and the outcome of the game is important to them. The AFFL’s goal is to get the calls right and play with limited unnecessary interruptions.
Game Structure and Rules
Games in the AFFL will be 60 minutes played 7-on-7 on a 100-yard football field. Each team will have a 12-man roster and to encourage exciting offensive play, the AFFL will permit the offense to have complete control over the inflation of the football.
One big change from traditional tackle football is that due to the size of roster, athletes will play both ways. The game and roster structure will result in a fast-paced, intense and fun experience for players and fans.
As the first professional flag football league, the AFFL has established a set of rules that emphasize speed of play, safety for the players and simplicity of the game. The rules are intended to create uniformity for the flag football community as they can be utilized by both professionals and recreational players.
Fans will watch a game that essentially mirrors the game they play themselves with the best players having an impact on the outcome from both sides of the ball.
Inaugural Game and Ticket Information
The AFFL’s inaugural game is set for June 27, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Avaya Stadium, the first ever football game to be played at the home of the San Jose Earthquakes. Presale tickets are available now to Earthquakes season ticket holders, and tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 19 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting this link on Ticketmaster.com.
All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Positive Coaching Alliance. PCA's mission is to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building experience that results in Better Athletes, Better People. PCA provides live and online training to parents, coaches, athletes and leaders.
The inaugural game will be available for stream after conclusion on www.AmericanFlag.Football and KISWE, a mobile application transforming live and archived digital video to make it interactive, personalized, and social.
For more information and the AFFL’s complete rulebook, please visit www.AmericanFlag.Football.
About The American Flag Football League
The American Flag Football League is the preeminent professional flag football league in the United States. As a first of its kind pro league, the AFFL combines the energy of the fastest growing youth sport in America with world-class, elite athletes. The goal of the AFFL is to provide a platform for athletes to continue their athletic careers and create a product that is cutting-edge entertainment for fans and spectators. For more information on the AFFL, please visit www.AmericanFlag.Football.
SMT, a leading innovator and supplier of real-time data delivery and graphics solutions for the sports and entertainment industries, provides clients with cutting-edge storytelling tools to enhance their live sports and entertainment productions. SMT’s technology for scoring, statistics, virtual insertion and messaging for broadcasts and live events has been used to enhance the world’s most prestigious live events, including the Super Bowl, NBC Sunday Night Football, major golf and tennis events, the Indianapolis 500, the NCAA Tournament, MLB games and the World Series, ESPN X Games, NBA on TNT, NASCAR events, and NHL games. SMT’s clients include major US and international broadcasters as well as regional and specialty networks, organizing bodies, event operators, sponsors and teams. The 31-time Emmy Award-winning company is headquartered in Durham, N.C., with divisions in Jacksonville, Fla., Fremont, Calif., and London, England. For more information, visit smt.com.
About the Positive Coaching Alliance
Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. In addition to nearly 1,500 free multimedia tips and tools at www.PCADevZone.org, PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, along with online courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.
PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board, including National Spokesperson and 11-time NBA Champion Coach Phil Jackson, and many other top coaches, athletes, organization leaders and academics who share PCA’s mission.
About Avaya Stadium
Avaya Stadium, home to Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, is an 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium located on Coleman Ave. adjacent to the San Jose International Airport. The European-inspired building is the first cloud-enabled venue in MLS and is among the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. The stadium features a canopy roof and the steepest-raked seating in MLS to provide the best possible fan experience. Additionally, the north end zone houses the largest outdoor bar in North America, a two-acre fan zone and a double-sided video scoreboard. The suites and club seats are located at field level, giving fans a premium experience unlike any other in professional sports. The stadium has hosted numerous non-Major League Soccer events since its inaugural season in 2015, including the International Champions Cup, which featured Manchester United and Club America, the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star Game against Arsenal FC and a FIFA Men’s World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Honduras. For more information about Avaya Stadium, visit sjearthquakes.com.