The flag football scenario this spring in my town is probably similar to others around the country. What is normally already a very popular spring sport is more popular than ever.
This trend is in part due to the fact that the season was canceled last spring because of the pandemic and instead of giving refunds, the league guaranteed registered players a spot this season.
Another reason is that a lot of kids not only missed last year’s spring season but also this past fall season. They’re all anxious to get back on the gridiron and do anything that involves a pigskin.
This “more demand than supply” situation means there are too many kids, not enough coaches, and limited field space that is already completely booked.
The priorities for the roster spots available rightfully went to last spring’s registrants and then kids were taken off the waiting list in the order in which they applied. Unfortunately, my son never got off the list.
His first reaction: “Maybe we can come up with our own practices and games right in the backyard.”
I liked the idea. We selected Thursday nights for a short practice followed by a game. We picked Thursday because it’s the one evening when the majority of the kids in the neighborhood don’t practice or play other sports.
I’m going to put together a simple practice plan, have already recruited a few parents to help out and bring their footballs and flag belts, and we will just make do with whoever shows up each week.
They won’t have fancy uniforms, highly trained referees or cheerleaders. But what they will have is fun. After all, as my son said, “The most important thing, Dad, is that we are playing football.”
Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.