Adult flag football league coming to Betts Park

Are you ready for some football?

Beginning this September at Betts Park, players will have a chance to dust off the cleats and take part in a competitive but safe atmosphere in the newly-formed Warren Flag Football League.

The league is the creation of Joe Bees, Tim Munksgard, and Shawn Ristau, who will serve as W.F.F.L. board members.

“I’m from Warren; I’ve played softball here for 12 years and I know how people tend to mope around once the season ends,” said Bees. “I ran the rec program when I was at Edinboro and I thought we could start something similar here.”

Like many college recreational leagues, the W.F.F.L. has adopted rules set by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).

Bees stressed that the league would feature minimal contact, relying on speed and skill rather than a physical style of play.

“Everyone has to get up and go to work on Monday,” said Bees. “It’s about getting out there and having fun. It’ll be competitive, but no one needs the guy that’s just trying to run people over.”

The league will be played in a 7-on-7 format with no kickoffs or running plays. The quarterback is only allowed to scramble if pressured by the defense.

Offensive players cannot use their hands or body to block the defense. Rather, players should use a screening technique while the defensive player is responsible for avoiding contact. Violation of these rules could result in a 10 or 20 yard penalty. Additionally, the ball carrier is not allowed to stiff arm or otherwise initiate contact with the defense.

Games will consist of two 20- minute halves with a five minute half time. The first half will be continuous clock – with the exception of timeouts – as is the second half until the last two minutes. Beyond the “two-minute warning,” the clock stops on incomplete passes and plays that go out of bounds.

The W.F.F.L. is tentatively scheduled to start September 13 with games to be held every Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. in the outfield of Creola Field. According to Bees, the league has commitments from at least six teams, though they hope to fill an eight-team playoff bracket at the end of the season.

The first captains’ meeting will be held August 7 at 6 p.m. in the upstairs room of Ralph-E’s Pub to discuss rules, hand out waiver sheets, and go over rosters. The league fee will be $450 for each team to be put towards equipment and payment of referees.

Interested players who have not yet found a team can post on the Warren Flag Football League Facebook page. Teams are allowed to carry up to 14 players.

The W.F.F.L. is currently limited to adult men 18 years of age and older.

The league is also looking for reliable referees with a working knowledge of football. There will be a short training session for officials to cover different rules.

For more information, email warrenflagfootballleague@gmail.com or visit the Warren Flag Football League Facebook page.