The Southwestern College athletic department announced on Monday that it will become one of several Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference institutions that have added the growing collegiate sport of women’s flag football, with their first season of competition set for the spring of 2024.
The addition will become the 19th competitive athletic offering at Southwestern College, according to a news release from SC.
“Southwestern College is excited to be on the leading edge of this fast-growing and exciting sport,” SC Athletic Director Jamie Adams said. “Flag football is an emerging sport at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level and offers a new experience for student-athletes on our campus.”
The NAIA named women’s flag football an emerging sport in 2020, and has seen the participation in the offering grow since then. Southwestern will become the 20th institution to start an NAIA women’s flag football program since the sport’s inception in 2020, and they will join Bethel, Ottawa, Kansas Wesleyan and Saint Mary as another KCAC representative for the sport.
The Builders will play against the aforementioned KCAC institutions, along with both Midland University (Neb.) and Cottey College (Mo.).
As a sport, flag football is played in the spring season, and is played on a field 80 yards in length and 40 yards in width.
Another one of the chief differences between flag football and traditional football is that seven players from each team will be on the field at one time in a flag football game, which is four less than the 11 for each team in tackle football. Passing and running the football are both options in flag football, and in order to end a play, a defender must pull the flag of the ball carrier from their hip/waist.
“Flag football is a great addition to our athletic offerings,” Adams. said “It is a growing sport and uses our on-campus facilities to great advantage, while bringing in additional dedicated female student athletes.”
Looking forward to the spring of 2024, several important steps will be taken to insure the success of the newly minted program, including the hiring of Southwestern’s first ever head flag football coach.
In related news, Graceland University (Iowa) will also be joining the KCAC as a per-sport member in the 2023-24 school year.