So your little Peyton Manning is eager to strut his or her stuff on a 100 yard field, but you're not quite ready for helmets, shoulder pads, and -- yikes! -- the tackling part. Not to worry. Flag football is an extra-curricular activity that offers the challenge, strategy, running, and "plays" that the other rough-and-tumble football has to offer, without the impact. And (yea!) you don't have to rent all that gear. Read on for a round-up of flag football opportunities and leagues in your neck of the field.
Many area recreation centers offer Flag Football in the fall and spring. Check out the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, or your county rec. department for current and future offerings. Registration fees for programs at both rec centers and private facilities range from free to $150 (unless otherwise noted).
Note: All leagues and programs listed here are open to boys and girls. All players must wear mouth guards. Other gear (for example, football cleats or specific color shorts) are sometimes required as well.
Boys and Girls Club of Venice
Field Location: Mark Twain Middle School
2224 Walgrove Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
This great 5-on-5 program gets your kid pumped and primed, and feeling a part of something special.
Youth Flag Football League - Malibu
Malibu Bluffs Park
24250 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Flag football with an ocean view - what more could a player (or parent spectator) want? Practices are once per week, and games are on Wednesdays.
NFL FLag Football
Playa Vista Sports Park
John H. Henschel Soccer Field
13196 W. Bluff Creek Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90094
Registration for spring opens in fall.
Official NFL Flag belts and reversible jerseys make this league feel like the real deal. Practices are held one hour before Sunday games. Register before February for reduced rate.
City of Compton - Youth Flag Football
Register at one of six Compton parks
Ages 5-14 (must show birth certificate or school ID)
The goal here is to make sure every player gets ample playing time and feels a part of the team. All games are played on Saturdays.
Youth Activities League (YAL) - City of Industry
Offered at Rimgrove Park, Martin Park, San Angelo Park, and Bassett Park
The City of Industry Sheriff's Department Youth Activities League along with the LA County Department of Recreation and Parks bring this free and popular program to area youth. Check Flag Football Page for registration details.
South Bay and Long Beach
Beach Cities Sports Youth Flag Football
Most games played at Mira Costa High School Stadium, Manhattan Beach
Ages 5-12 (Special Future Stars program offered for 5 year olds)
Must show proof of age (birth certificate). No exceptions.
$250, plus $20 for pants (yours to keep)
Fall and spring sessions offered
There must be something to this program; registration fills, and waiting lists form to accommodate the 700+ kids who play each season.
City of Long Beach Youth Sports Program
Offered at various Long Beach parks. Call to see if program is offered near you.
You get what you pay for, but free (no cost) is a beautiful thing with the City of Long Beach flag football (and other) programs.
Programs in Simi Valley, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills
Registration for seven-week session
i9 offers a safe and well-organized program in several Valley locations. Jerseys and belts are distributed on opening day.
Friday Night Lights (FNL) - Youth Flag Football
Programs throughout Orange County including Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Newport Beach, Murrieta/Temecula and Carlsbad
Spring League registration begins in November
As the largest non-profit flag football league in the country, it's no wonder FNL welcomes more than 8,000 players annually. Register early! Both the fall and spring leagues fill up quickly.
Programs in Irvine and Laguna Hills
See Registration page for more information.
Practices are held before the games in this league, meaning you only need to make a one day per week commitment. All team members get ample playing time.
Originally published September 19, 2012