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IFAF Continentals

The 2023 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Americas Continental Flag Football Championship will be held from July 5-7 at the United States Performance Center (USPC) located at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). The championship brings together the best men’s and women’s flag football national teams from North and South America.  

It is the first of three Continental Championships taking place this year as IFAF embarks on its biggest-ever cycle of global flag football competition in the run up to the 2024 IFAF Flag Football World Championships in Lahti, Finland. 

The Continental Championships will serve as a qualifying pathway for the first time, with the reinforced global competitions structure reflecting flag football’s momentum as one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. 

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The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is the international governing body for the sport of American Football and is responsible for all regulatory, competition, performance and development aspects of the game on a global level.

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Growth of Flag Football

Flag football enters the 2023 IFAF Americas Continental Flag Football Championship carrying momentum as one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. IFAF is composed of 74 member countries, a family of nations that has increased by more than 75 percent from just 15 years ago (40).  

The most recent IFAF Flag World Championships, which took place in Jerusalem, Israel in 2021, drew a record number 39 men’s and women’s flag national teams (combined) from 22 nations.  

Flag football’s low cost to play, short breaks between games and small rosters make it a sport that blends well with modern, international competitive formats.  

Last summer, flag football debuted at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Ala., marking the sport’s first time featured on a multi-sport, global stage. The World Games is an Olympic-style sports event established in 1981 by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  

Numerous sports included in the Olympic Games program historically competed in The World Games, including beach volleyball, taekwondo and triathlon. 

Recently, the Executive Board (EB) of the IOC proposed IFAF be approved by the IOC Session for full IOC recognition. The decision on IFAF’s recognition will come later this year at the 140th IOC Session in Mumbai, India from October 15-17. IFAF was granted provisional recognition by the IOC EB in 2013.  

An estimated 20 million players in more than 100 countries participate in flag football. IFAF, USA Football and their supporters hope the sport’s recent surge in international popularity will help it stand out among the nine new sports currently under consideration for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. 

About USA Football

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Who We are & Why We’re Here.

USA Football, a Recognized Sport Organization of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the sport's U.S. governing body, will host the 2023 IFAF Americas Continental Flag Football Championship from July 5-7 in Charlotte, N.C. 

As the sport’s governing body in the U.S., USA Football organizes and fields the U.S. National Teams for international competition. Last year, USA Football organized the Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams that competed at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Ala., along with the Women’s Tackle Football National Team that competed in the IFAF Women’s World Championship in Vantaa, Finland.  

USA Football also fields Boys’ and Girls’ Flag National Teams at the 15U and 17U levels.  

In an effort to lead, strengthen, and grow Football For All, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players. 

The non-profit based out of Indianapolis, Ind. is building a high performance program that teaches young or new football players the basics before introducing them to regional and national-level competition. This program provides athletes with an opportunity to stay in the game even after passing through high school and college.  

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