Nancy Vos is bringing NFL Flag Football to Aliso Viejo.
Vos and her husband, Doug, have a seven year old son, Zachary, whom Vos describes as an “avid football fan,” so they wanted to sign him up to play flag football.
“We recognized that the demand was great and the opportunities to play flag football in South Orange County were limited,” Vos said. “When we found NFL Flag and saw the jerseys, we started searching for our field of dreams.”
Finding a field wasn’t easy. With all of the sports programs in the area, Vos couldn’t find an available field in any of the South Orange County cities she contacted. Next, she started calling private schools.
“I either had to find something or this just wasn’t going to work,” Vos said.
Then Vos talked to Matt Keil, athletic director at St. Mary’s and All Angels School in Aliso Viejo. St. Mary’s allowed the use of their field and are sponsoring a home team, the Falcons, that will play in Vos’ league—NFL Flag South Orange County.
“It was nice to meet someone who has common goals for childhood fitness,” said Keil. “We’re excited for this new relationship with NFL Flag South Orange County.”
Vos is encouraging other schools in the area to come up with an idea for a team. As an NFL League, the teams choose NFL team names and “the players get real NFL jerseys,” she said.
Vos beams as she describes the many benefits of flag football.
“There’s no blocking, no tackling, there’s equal playing time and they rotate positions. There is a minimal time commitment—just one practice during the week and a game on Saturday. And girls can play. We have girls signed up already.”
There are professionally hired umpires and parent coaches. Vos said they have good parent participation, but she also has plans to enlist high school football players to assist the coaches. She feels it would be a mutually beneficial situation in which the high school players would be a great help while obtaining volunteer hours for their service.
Vos is also pleased with the fact that no safety equipment is needed in flag football.
“Just a mouthpiece,” she said.
The basic rules are the same as mainstream football, but it’s safer. Instead of tackling players to the ground, the defensive team must remove a flag or flag belt from the ball carrier to end a down.
In addition to the safety of the sport, Vos appreciates the fact one of the goals of the league is to help each player score a touchdown during the season.
When they score a touchdown, “you should see those kids’ faces,” Vos said. “There’s nothing like it.”
To register, go to nflflag.com, enter your zip code and then type in NFL Flag South Orange County. Opening day is scheduled for September 10 at St. Mary’s and All Angels School, 7 Pursuit, Aliso Viejo.