DETROIT – The Detroit Lions announced today the kickoff of the Michigan girls high school flag football pilot league which will run through the month of May. The participating teams are Madison Heights Bishop Foley High School, Holly High School, Lapeer High School and Rochester Community Schools. The pilot season will consist of three games total for each team, with two of the game weekends being held at Ford Field and the Detroit Lions Training Facility and Headquarters in Allen Park, Mich.
"Getting girls into the game of football is a huge priority both for us and the NFL," said Executive Director of Football Education Chris Fritzsching. "One of the goals of this pilot league is to generate further interest – we know it exists already – and open the opportunity for growth. Starting with this proof of concept and expanding the number of schools participating next year would be the next step to getting girls high school flag football to become a recognized interscholastic sport in Michigan."
While eight states currently have girls high school flag football sanctioned as a sport, Michigan girls high school flag football is in its infancy. Through their relationship with each of the 32 NFL clubs to help amplify girls flag football in their markets, Nike provided the uniforms and USA Football provided the necessary equipment for this pilot league.
The initial four schools, all of which will be coached by their football coaching staffs, were selected because of either established girl flag programs or expressed strong interest in creating one. This pilot league is the first of its kind at the high school level in Michigan. 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. Future seasons at the conclusion of the pilot program will be determined based on the interest of additional teams participating.
Schools interested in participating in 2024 and beyond can complete the "Intent to Participate" form found at www.DetroitLions.com/girlsflag. Once received, the Detroit Lions Foundation will contact Michigan high schools about potential grant opportunities to launch their girls flag football teams.