East Rutherford, N.J.— The New York Giants are proud to celebrate today's announcement from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), which will now recognize high school girls flag football as a state championship sport for the spring 2024 season. The exciting announcement was made on a rather notable day, as February 1 is National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
"With the support of the NFL, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has provided thousands of student-athletes with the ability to play girls flag football. In less than one year, the number of schools playing girls flag has nearly tripled in our state. Providing participation opportunities for students continues to be one of our top priorities," said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director.
The Giants commitment to high school girls flag football has continued to make a significant impact. The Giants have coordinated with the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets, the NYSPHSAA and Nike to create girls flag football opportunities throughout New York state. In 2022, the three NFL teams outlined a joint goal of supporting 24 high schools across six sections. With 51 participating high schools, the coalition sparked measurable change and the state of New York was encouraged to declare girls flag football an "emerging sport."
In 2023, New York is expected to have over 140 high schools across eight sections participating in girls flag football.
"We are thrilled with today's announcement that our high school girls flag football athletes in New York State will experience the thrill of the playoffs and a championship game beginning in 2024," said Ethan Medley, Giants Director of Community Relations and Youth Football.
"Our collaborative effort with the Bills, Jets, Nike and the NYPHSAA to encourage and support the athletes, coaches and school districts who had an interest in participating in the sport has been a very rewarding experience. To have over 140 schools participating across the state in just the second year is truly beyond even our own expectations and shows the interest and excitement for the sport."
The Giants have prioritized creating long-term relationships with the schools and sections that have adopted the sport, including the creation of numerous touchpoints with the athletes and coaches each season. To kick off the inaugural season in 2022, the Giants joined Section 1 and Section 4 for the respective leagues' jamborees. Participants, coaches and community members came together to celebrate the student-athletes as they embarked on the upcoming historic season.
Somers High School in Somers, N.Y. hosted Section 1's jamboree, where Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and former Giants linebacker Blake Martinez were in attendance to honor the arrival of girls high school flag football and lead the teams in football drills.
Section 4 followed suit with a jamboree at Chenango Valley High School in Binghamton, N.Y. Giants Legend and Super Bowl champion Rich Seubert joined numerous student-athletes to introduce the game of flag football and facilitate drills.
At the conclusion of the inaugural 2022 season, the Giants invited the Section 1 and Section 4 winners –Binghamton High School and Brewster High School, respectively – to celebrate their achievement by playing at halftime of the Giants Play Football game at MetLife Stadium on August 21 when the Giants hosted the Cincinnati Bengals for a preseason game. The Giants also honored Coach Vaughn Labor of Binghamton High School and Coach Matt Cunningham of Brewster High School as The Lou Rettino High School Coaches of the Week for Week 1 and Week 2 of the 2022 season.
Section 1 and Section 4 will double in size as a reflection of their success and will receive a $10,000 grant to assist with the introduction of additional schools.
This upcoming spring, the Giants will support Section 7's inaugural season of play with a $30,000 contribution to support eight schools that intend to start a girls flag football program.
The Shore Conference Girls Flag Football League in New Jersey is entering their third season of play and has expanded to 15 participating schools. In 2022, the 10-team league started their season with a kickoff event in April at MetLife Stadium led by Giants Legend and two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and current Giants running back Sandro Platzgummer. Both helped coach the student-athletes in football fundamentals and shared their experiences playing football.
In June, the Shore Regional Blue Devils won their second consecutive Shore Conference High School Girls Flag Football Championship. The Blue Devils were also celebrated at the Giants Play Football Preseason game in August where they were invited to ring the Giants Pride Bell just before kickoff. The Giants will be contributing $10,000 to support the new schools joining the Shore Conference girls flag football league in 2023.
As the Giants look to support the growth of the game throughout the tri-state area, the organization will contribute $10,000 to encourage the participation of high school girls flag football in Connecticut. They will join forces with Connecticut Flag Football, a large girls youth flag football league operator, to help organize an inaugural jamboree in Windsor, Conn. this spring.
"The New York Giants look forward to continuing to support the expansion of girls flag football throughout the tri-state area and to celebrate the athletes and coaches who play this great game," said Medley.