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Detroit Lions announce second season of Michigan girls high school flag football league

The league has grown six times in size since pilot season in 2023

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions have announced the return of the Michigan girls high school flag football league in 2024 for its "Second Season," which kicked off on April 29 and will run through May 19. From four teams in the pilot season, the program has grown sixfold, with 24 schools and over 600 girls participating across five pilot leagues. Each team will play three games, including one at Ford Field on either Saturday, May 11, or Sunday, May 19.

In celebration of the league's growth, players from the "founding four" schools – Madison Heights Bishop Foley, Lapeer High School, Holly High School and Rochester Community Schools – stood alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to unveil the Detroit Lions' first-round draft pick of CB Terrion Arnold from Alabama during the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.

"These four girls demonstrate why we initiated this league," said Detroit Lions Executive Director of Football Education Chris Fritzsching. "Our focus has always been on improving girls' opportunities in football, and the increase in participation reaffirms our commitment. The interest is undeniable, and we expect more growth in the coming years to aid in establishing high school flag football as an official interscholastic sport for girls in Michigan."

The league's geographic footprint now includes Detroit and has expanded throughout Michigan with schools from Wayne, Washtenaw, Genesee, Livingston, Oakland, Lapeer, Calhoun and Baraga counties. This league is the first of its kind at the high school level in Michigan, with hopes to join the current 11 other states where girls high school flag football is a state-sanctioned sport. To help amplify girls flag football in their markets, Nike provided the uniforms and USA Football provided the necessary equipment for this league.

This year, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has teamed up with the Detroit Lions Foundation to provide a $325,000 grant spanning the next three years. This grant will serve as seed funding for schools across southeast Michigan seeking to initiate a high school girls flag program, as well as to establish a pipeline program at the middle school level.

"The enthusiasm shown by girls in our region who are eager to join flag football has been inspiring," said Jim Boyle, VP of Programs and Communications at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. "Through our Project Play initiative, in partnership with the Detroit Lions Foundation, we're aiming to bring the joy of girls' flag football to even more middle and high schools across the region."

The 24 schools were selected to participate in the league because they either have an established girls flag program or have expressed strong interest in creating one. Detroit Lions Football Education created the Girls Flag Football Rule Book with plans to modify to best fit the needs of the student athletes and coaches as the sport evolves. While creating a new opportunity for girls to get involved with sports at their school, the structure of the league also allows for girls to play even if participating in other spring sports.

Additional league information (standings, scores and photos) can be found at Schools interested in participating in 2025 and beyond can visit the program's webpage and complete the "Intent to Participate" form. Once received, the Detroit Lions Foundation will contact Michigan high schools about potential grant opportunities to launch their girls flag football teams.

Student-athletes interested in learning the game are welcome to attend a Detroit Lions Girls Flag Football Clinic this summer for ages 8-17:

Saturday, June 22 - Alpena High School (Alpena, Mich.)
Friday, July 19 - Ford Field (Detroit, Mich.)
Sunday, July 28 - Siena Heights University (Adrian, Mich.)

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