Tag Archive : camisetas de clubes de futbol

The huge variety of sports cleats on the market can make selection for the best a daunting task. As a player, the worst you can do when buying is getting a pair that is just wrong for you. Foot comfort matters most if at all you want to manage giving your best during play and this means choosing a pair that does justice to you. Using a few do’s and Don’ts of buying the best, you should be able to end up with a pair that you actually love wearing.

The dos

1. Do buy cleats matching the surface you will be playing on. This may mean getting a number of pairs especially if you have several differently pitched matches during the season but it will definitely be worth it. Soccer cleats are designed differently for the different field conditions and the appropriate footwear is necessary to keep you on top of the game. A pair that is perfect for soft ground may not work as great on the firm hard ground so choose wisely.

2. Do consider your playing position when buying. Playing style differs from player to player and therefore the play position should be used when selecting the perfect pair. For instance, strikers will need cleats which are comfortable and light whereas defenders and goalkeepers are better off wearing a pair with a firm grip to prevent slippage and a design that enhances stability. Pay attention to your play position then choose a pair that will help you get the most during play.

3. Do remember your feet shape. You cannot change the shape of your feet and the best you can do therefore to enjoy comfort is to choose sports cleats that are perfect for your feet. Some players will have high arches and others will have normal ones, others may have wide feet and others will have toes which taper differently. Understanding your feet is the key to finding the perfect pair. Go for a cushioning boot if you have a high arch and choose stability boot for normal arched feet. For flat feet, motion control boots are the best.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t choose looks over comfort. Soccer cleats have revolutionized greatly from the typical black boots into very attractive and colorful ones. It is therefore very easy to be blinded by what appeals to the eye more than the design which matters most. When buying your boots, always go for the right size, fit, design and materials before going for the aesthetics of the boot.

2. Don’t compromise quality for price. There is nothing wrong with looking for cheap soccer cleats, but you should at least ensure that the quality you get in the end is still worth it. Soccer cleats on sale can save you lots of money but avoid poor quality boots no matter how pressed you may feel financially. When you pay attention to all the right elements, it is very possible to find cheap cleats that are of high quality.

Soccer cleats may not have the ability to make you a better player, but they definitely bring out the best in you because you are able to make use of your skills appropriately. There are so many cleats available in the market today and you should make the right choice in terms of fit, comfort, materials and even the features to enjoy a rewarding session in the field. But it is one thing to buy the perfect pair and quite another if you do not take care of your soccer boots. Keeping your cleats in top shape enhances durability and quality and it is not that hard to keep them in top shape.

1. Avoid the myth of hot water technique to loosen the soccer boots because it ruins the shoe even though it does loosen and expand them to give you a good fit. Instead, choosing other better breaking in techniques such as jogging in them during warm ups or prior to the game. The more activities you engage while wearing the boots, the more they loosen and the better the fit when you finally go to play.

2. If you want to soften your leather soccer cleats, then choose a high quality leather food. You can apply it to the boots after cleaning suitably one day before your game. The softer the boots the more comfortable the fit will be and the easier the movement on the pitch.

3. For natural leather cleats, polishing with creams is enough in ensuring that they do not dry out. They need this kind of conditioning to maintain softness and you can rub the cream after cleaning and drying the shoes. When they remain soft, cracking and hardening is eliminated.

4. Air dries the cleats after every game and avoid situations where you leave them in your bag till it is next practice day. You can stuff some newspaper into the soccer boats to soak up dampness inside and to hold them in shape as they dry. It is also important that you do not expose them to direct sunlight when drying or areas that are too hot because it can end up cracking them.

5. Remove the cleats out immediately after the game; the only place to wear them should be on the field. Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can wear the spikes down, making them less functional in offering you grip during play.

6. Clean the soccer boots as soon as possible after the game so you are able to avoid grime and dirt settling into the leather causing damage in the process. When cleaning, you need to also ensure that you clean out every inch of the boot including dented areas as a result of stitching.

7. Use gentle cleaning products that will not damage the shoe and affect the breathability. The cleaning method and the cleaning products should be as gentle as possible to keep your shoe in top shape for longer.

Soccer is one of the kid’s favorite sports. Soccer is the kind of game that requires immense energy and kids are just full of it. They don’t stop, they don’t get beat and that is just what soccer needs. And choosing the perfect pair cleats for them is the parent’s responsibility. For kids, such cleats should be chosen which should be a perfect fit as well as comfortable. The feet of kids are still delicate and need protection. Although kids play in grass field mostly if they happen to play in a place with water or ice on the surface, then cleats help in skidding and prevents from slipping as much as possible. Know all about the cleats before choosing the perfect one for your kid.

When looking for the cleats keep these things in mind. Make sure that the cleats you are choosing are a good fit, not even a little bit loose or tight. If it is loose it can impact the performance and if it is tight then it can give cramps to the kid’s feet. Also, make sure that they are durable as well. Kids apart from playing also do a lot of running. The upper portion should be tight to give a proper fit, but not too tight to squeeze your toes. The cleats should be strong to endure all that. Also, small kids look after legend players as their role model and try to adapt their style, also demanding the same kind of cleats worn by these players. Kids just go crazy for them.

Do not confuse soccer cleats for other sports cleats. Every sport has its own type of cleats which is specially made accordingly for the game. For basketball have cleats in front of them which are helpful in digging. In football they are present on the edge and bottom. They are different and heavy. Soccer cleats are lighter in weight compared to cleats of other sports. It comes in a low cut style only with its cushioning removable as well.

Cleats are detachable and can be attached again. The cleats at the bottom are made of different materials like metal tipped, rubber and plastic. For kids safety, it is better to provide them with rubber or plastic cleats. Metal-tipped cleats may weigh a little more and can be harmful if came in contact with other player’s skin. It can leave rashes or bruises to children’s delicate skin.

The material is also a matter of when comes to soccer cleats. Leather and synthetic materials could be a little heavy if you are looking for ultra lightweight shoes.

Do not go just on looks. If you find a cute looking pair of cleats then just don’t buy them on impulse. Ask your kid to try them on first, make sure it is comfortable and a good fit, then only gives buying it a thought. Do comparisons first if you find the same cleats with the same quality at less rate, then just don’t pay for the name of the brand.

How many times have you wished that you had been an active participant in the sport of golf as you watched the ongoing US Open or the PGA Championship? Well, since golf is an individual sport and does not involve teams, the number of actual sportspersons taking part comes several notches lesser than other team games such as soccer, hockey or baseball. Therefore, lesser mortals like us have slimmer chances of making it as a high-profile professional player in the golf course! Yet, if you want the opportunity to change the history of golf for once – try pursuing the career of a golf inventor as an alternate profession!

Golf inventions, since the days of inventing the tee to today’s oh-so-convenient electric golf buggy, have always had uninhibited potential for developments. From inventing or remodeling existent golf equipment to designing better or handy accessories for a golfer, the scope for intelligent inventors or designers to weave their magic into golf as a whole is immense. One can also add or experiment with the golf course pattern and even add hazards or obstacles for the golfers in order to make the game more challenging. A novel idea that had been tinkered with sometime back was playing golf in the streets in suburban areas, with buildings, gutter lines and car roofs as possible hazard spaces. Another tried the desert itself as a golf course, with a glass surrounded by sands to the brim acting as the hole!

Such inventions do not require any special training course or career tutelage. Anybody with a thorough knowledge of the nuances of the game and an enterprising and inquisitive mind can try a hand at being a golf inventor as an alternative career option or hobby! In fact, many professional golfers who have retired from the game as well as analysts and other team members from a professional golfer’s entourage indulge in the arena of golf inventions with full zeal and monetary investments. Those who are interested but do not have the financial resources to take the plunge can hook-up with large corporate houses or research and development firms that assist such inventors in general.

If you were thinking that a career as a golf inventor would be boring, think again – even minor inventions like the tee, a ball balancer or the reinvented putter handle has made vast changes in the way the sport is played today. And needless to say, the inventors of these little things have garnered huge royalties too!

The scope of golf inventions do not end at any one level. Media channels, such as the Golf Channel encourages golf inventors through some of its programs. These include actual competitions for the best golf inventions to reality shows on golf inventors’ lives! Reputed companies like Fairways International can also be contacted for licensing or selling your golf product, concept or prototype.

Therefore, both from the viewpoint of monetary gains as well as for the betterment of the game, the prospects are huge for a golf inventor. Provided you hit ‘near’ the bull’s eye with your product, even as an alternative career path, it can lead you to the zenith of glory!

Soccer is an exciting game that should be enjoyed all through. Players need to start off with the right gear to put up their best performance when out there and soccer cleats are some of the important items needed to positively impact performance. Considering that it is an active game, there is always the risk of getting injured, especially with all the running. But when you have selected the most appropriate soccer cleats, you are less likely to get injured.

Most cleats come with protective features to prevent injuries as much as possible. They may not be the most obvious features to consider when buying your cleats, but they can go a long way in keeping you safer during play. These features may just end up saving you from sprained ankles, torn muscles, sprained knee ligaments and even broken bones. You only need to pay attention to shoe features that can reduce the likelihood of the injuries.

1. Tri stud technology – There are cleats that come with this feature which generally utilizes natural foot movement and currents inversion injuries. The technology is also great in training muscles on the lower limb. The study configuration can go a long way in keeping you safe from injuries so consider what yours mean when buying.

2. Wings – They are now being included by most brands to as injury prevention features. Most are on the lateral side of the boots to help in the prevention of foot roll during movement. It is among the best features you can have on your cleats to keep your ankles safe from sprains.

3. Padded upper – Not all cleats come with uppers that are decently padded but those that do definitely work best in protecting knees and ankles from injuries during play. The upper also adds to the comfort levels of your cleats.

4. Heel rise – It is a feature that may not seem that pleasant to most players, yet it is one that can help very in preventing overuse injuries. A slightly higher heel on your cleats reduces stress on joints and muscles and also promotes bio-mechanical efficiency.

5. Stud material – Some of the best are made using rubber, but there are other materials that are used to offer durability. The studies are important in offering grip, but they can be dangerous, especially when they meet another player. For safety purposes, you may want to consider materials that are likely to cause injuries or are designed in such a way that the impact is reduced.

When considering getting your soccer shoes, it is advisable that you go through any reviews given so you are able to identify the key features and what they stand to benefit you and other players as you enjoy the game. The protective features may differ from one brand to another or from one shoe series to another. Find out as much as you can and then make a choice that will offer you a more pleasant play time.

The Power of the X Chromosome: Chi Cheng

If 1968 was the year that put Taiwan back on the sporting map, Chi Cheng was the face that place it there. In that Olympian year, she was one of the world’s three top hurdles by earning bronze in the women’s 80-meter hurdles during the track-and-field competition in the Mexican metropolis –staged at 7,349 feet above sea level. The event was dominated by Eastern Europe and the States.

After securing her country’s second Olympian medal and becoming the first Asian woman in history to accomplish that feat, she gained a special status in her homeland and her name was immortalized on national stamps by the island’s rule. Indeed, it was an important success for the small nation that had not won a medal since 1960. Women’s sport was relatively rare among Asian states during this period (with the exception of Japan).

Over a sporting career that spanned more than seven years, she won a number of international medals inside and outside Taiwan and her “biggest fans” were boys and girls in those wonderful years. From the beginning, she easily broken the national records.

Due to her perseverance,discipline,talent,and patriotism, this California-based sprinter received high praises from internationasl experts and Olympian journalists. By 1971,they crowned Chi Cheng as the “Best Athlete of the world” (surpassing Edson do Nascimento, the top-class footballer from Brazil).

Unequivocally, Chi Cheng was one of the two most popular women on the island, alongside former First Lady Soong May-ling (or Madame Chiang-Kai-shek), an American-oriented woman who had won important financial aid to her country during the early decades of the Cold War.

In Asia, Africa, Latin America, only 15 countries have had world record holders— among them China, Cuba, Brazil, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Iran, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania, Uganda, and Taiwan. On July 12, 1970, Chi Cheng, a born-hurdler, confirmed her international stature by breaking the women’s 200-meter record in the Federal Republic of Germany, with a time of 22.44 seconds, becoming the first sprinter from Asia to do so (up to now) and reviving flashes of Taiwanese’s brilliant past.

Throughouther his athletic career, this track star produced six national/continental records in different events at home and abroad. Incredibly, she set four international records in the space of 17 days -No other sportswoman from that continent had ever established 4 regional marks in less than three weeks. On July 12, 1970, she enhanced her growing fame when she had a new Asian record of 12.93 seconds in the women’s 100m hurdles, becoming one of the Planet’s top hurdlers at that year. In the same day, she generated a new mark in the 200 meter-dash. Less than a week after, by Jul. 18, Chi Cheng followed that with other historic record in the 100 meter-dash with a time of 11.22 seconds (which still unbroken). Nearly two weeks after, by the end of July, she caused a plash by establishing another record in the 400m race with a mark of 52.56 seconds. Besides all that, the world record holder also had regional marks in the long jump and 80m hurdles. On the other side, she also was part of the country’s 4×100-meter team.

By the end of 1972, the nation’s second greatest athlete was the highest hope for a medal in the Games of the 20th Olympiad in Munich ( Federal Republic of Germany). Chi Cheng had been named as one of the members of the country’s Olympic national team. Soon afterwards, she, however, did not take part in West Germany. Around this time, the world record holder announced her retirement from sports after some injuries. For a brief time afterward, by 1975, in the International Year of the Woman, Chi Cheng was widely regarded as one of the world’s most prominent sportswomen, alongside Martina Navratilova, Liudmila Tourischeva, Shane Gould and other world-class champs.

Dark Horses

After Chi Cheng’s Olympian experience on the Latin American continent, the Asian republic has produced high-profile Hollywood figures such as Ang Lee and Tsai Ming-liang, or Nobel Prizes as Lee Yuan-tseh and Daniel C. Tsui, but it can not produce world titles and global records in spite of being one of the most powerful economies on Earth and one of the Continent’s major liberal democracies.

Gone are the days when the country’s athletes established world records. Fortunately, however, there is an important athletic potential that should receive major attention -for example: The national youth side gave Taiwan a shock win over the USSR (now Russia) at the 1989 Women’s Volleyball Junior World Cup in Lima, on Peru’s Pacific coast).

Country Background. Education: A Key To Taiwan

The entire Asian country is little bigger than Maryland (U.S.). It is located between East and South China seas. Its capital is Taipei, one of the most modern and spectacular cities in the continent. Twenty-five million people live on the island.

Owing to its status as an unrecognized country by United Nations since the early 1970s, the Asian republic has had many hurdles as a member of the global community. On the international stage, it is only recognized by 23 states from Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Pacific. Traditionally, the island has a rocky relationship with the Chinese mainland.

Under an ambicious and multi-billion educational project backed by its Constitution (“Expenditures of educational programs, scientific studies and cultural services shall not be, in respect of the Central Government, less than 15 percent of the national budget…”), this East Asian country paved the way for a prosperous society. Following over two decades of troubles, the project began to pay off as Taiwan to become one of the most influential and dynamic economies in Far East after having been one of Asia’s poverty-ridden countries throughout the 1950s.

Unequivocally, the building of its education system has been one of Taiwan’s biggest success stories. In fact, its educational program and economic model has inspired most of the republics of the Third World and other regions on Earth, from Botswana and Mauritius to Chile and Thailand.

Since the year 2000, it is a democracy (one of the world’s newest democracies) following a period of authoritarian regimes. On the other side, women’s rights on Taiwan are among the most advanced in the West Pacific.

Taiwan At The 1960 Italy Summer Games

For the 1960 Games, the national contingent arrived in Rome to begin its participation, but the delegation was the center of controversy when was forced to compete under the banner of Formosa (a name designed by Portugal’s explorers in 1544) instead of the “Republic of China”. Since then, this changed of name was subjected to worldwide criticism. During the Parade of Nations of the Games of the XVII Olympiad, the country’s Olympic Committee also protested.

After a good performance in the early 1960s, the national delegation made a trip to Japan to take part in the 1964 Games. On that occasion, its ill-equipped team did not win medals. From 1964 through 1968, it participated under the banner of Taiwan. Then, by 1972, the anti-Marxist state appeared as the Republic of China (ROC). Since 1984, nonetheless, it competes with the name of Chinese Taipei after an agreementing between Beijing, the island and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), marking the end of Taiwan’s isolation in the global sports arena.

Upon snaring a bronze in the world’s greatest sporting event in the United Mexican States four years earlier, the island’s sporting officials sent a 22-person delegation to Munich’72, participating in ten disciplines: aquatics (3 entries), archery (1), athletics (8), boxing (1), cycling (1), judo (4), sailing (1), shooting (1), weightlifting (1), and wrestling (1). Expectations weren’t high for the nation’s Olympian squad after Chi Cheng’s retirement.

Swimmer Hu Tung-hsiung was one of the 39 entries, among them Mark Spitz of the States, from 27 countries -from Singapore and Colombia to the Philippines and East Germany/German Democratic Republic (GDR)-who competed in the 200m butterfly. Before taking part in the multi-sport event, most of Taiwan’s sportsmen and women had attended the 1970 Continental Games in Southeast Asian nation of Thailand, where was one of the 12 top contingents.

Yang Chuan-Kwang: Breaking Stereotypes In The 20th Century

By the beginning of the 1960s, Taiwan produced a great champion in a time when the island –shapped like a tobacco leaf-was just one of the poverty-stricken countries on the Planet (with per capita GDP equal to most of Africa’s black republics) and also among Asia’s most unstable nations. His name: Yang Chuan-kwang, who represented most Taiwanese’s hopes for an Olympic medal in those years.

By 1963, this sportsman was focus of the attention of the world press: he was one of the first individuals from Asia to establish a world record with 8,089 points in the men’s decathlon, breaking the stereotypes of what makes a great decathlete.

Throughout most of his athletic career, Yang Chuan-kwang set several international records on the island and foreign soil, but he reached his peak as Chinese-Taipei’s decathlon champion when, on September 6, 1960, he won the nation’s first Olympian medal (and first medal in track) upon finishing second in the world’s greatest sporting event on Italian soil, after an epic showdown with America’s Rafer Johnson (who won the James Sullivan Memorial Trophy that year). That day, the audience had all eyes on Taiwanese Yang Chuan-kwang. In fact, his popularity throughout the 1960s added to Taiwan’s international fame. On the other hand, he was one of UCLA’s top athletes.

Historically, Yang Chuan-kwang was considered by several experts and sportswriters to be the island’s greatest native-born athlete. Furthermore, the islander was one of the first Aboriginal athletes to win an individual Olympic medal, along with Jim Thorpe of America. Curiously enough, the nation’s greatest sportsman was member of the Ami Indigenous tribe, one of Taiwan’s ten major tribes, well-known for its matrilineal society and their unique pottery.

Montreal 1976 Olympics: Stolen Dreams

The island was scheduled to participate in the quadrennial Games at Montreal (Quebec, Canada) in the mid-1970s. From the beginning, it had expressed its interest in competing in North America after being expelled from the 1974 Continental Games in Iran, but by July 1976, the Asian republic had difficulties to attend the Montreal Olympics when Canada’s Premier Pierre Trudeau -Beijing’s Cold War ally-refused to issue visas to the national delegation under the name of “Republic of China”.

Overnight, inexplicably, the Canadian rule defended its position in the face of criticism from Washington’s administration and Taiwan’s Latin American diplomatic partners. Owing to this, on July 17, 1976, the island’s uncontested leader, Chiang Ching-kuo, cancelled the Olympic participation rather than compete with the banner of Taiwan; just when some Taiwanese representatives had already arrived in North America.

Notable athletes lost the opportunity to compete in the multi-sport event in Quebec, such as regional champs: Tan Wwang (1500m), Tai Shih-jan (110m hurdles), Chen Chin-long (triple jump), Chen Ping-huan (javelin throw), Lee Chiu-hsia (800m, 1500, and 3000m), Lin Yet-hsing (100m hurdles and long jump), and Chen Fu-mei (400m hurdles).

Track and field Tai Shih-jan was one of the finest members of the country’s national squad in the Second Athetics Asian Championships, by June 1975, when he was two-time gold medalist by defeating national-class hurdlers from Malaysia, Japan, and Kuwait in the finals.

Throughout the 1970s, Tai Shih-jan was the top Taiwanese in the men’s 110m and 400m hurdles. Meanwhile, Lee Chiu-hsia was the Tournament’s most outstanding female athlete in Korea upon capturing three Asian golds following a hard battle against Masae Namba of Japan in the women’s 800m. Trying to qualify for the 1976 Montreal Games, Taiwan’s would-be star finished the event in 2 minutes and 8 seconds. Upon her wins as one of the greatest middle-distance runners from Asia in 1975, her fame spread beyond the nation. At the time, from 1974 through 1978, she was bitterly disappointing when the Asian Olympic Committee refused to allow athletes from Taiwan to attend the Asian Games in Iran and Thailand.

Lee Chiu-hsia had a great potential of becoming a world champ in athletics. Nevertheless, toward the end of the 1970s, her career was hit again when her dream of competing at the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games did not come about. Why? The nation’s sports administrators refused to take part in the multi-sport event with the name of Chinese-Taipei.

A Tortuos Path: Taiwan Faced An International Boycott

In practice, Taiwan is viewed as a “hostile province” by Beijing since 1949 when the government of the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek established the island as the seat of the Republic of China. Under China’s pression, Taiwan’s international status as an Olympian nation was uncertain at the turn of the 1970s. The Asian republic was banned from international sports competitions around the globe, becoming an isolated nation on the sporting map, alongside Rhodesia’s racist regime (present-day Zimbabwe), South Africa’s white minority rule, and the Vietnamese-occupied Cambodia.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the Chinese administration on Taiwan was ousted from the world community of nations when it was replaced by the People’s Republic of China as a member of the United Nations. Throughout the 1970s, over 60 states severed diplomatic ties to Taipei’s rule, including Japan (on September 29, 1971), Thailand (on July 1, 1975), and Washington (on January 1, 1979). Also, the island was on the Kremlin administration’s black-listed of states where the Soviet athletes could not compete, alongside Pinochet’s Chile, Stroessner’s Paraguay and Park Chung Hee’s South Korea.

Unequivocally, the People’s Republic also banned its competitors to visit Taiwan until the early 1990s when two mainland Chinese basketball squads departed for Taipei to play local teams.

Within a span of two decades, the Taiwanese representatives were not allow to attend the Asian Games (Tehran’ 74, Bangkok ’78, New Delhi’ 82, and Seoul ’86). Although three countries –Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand-made common cause with Taipei, by September 1973, the island was excluded from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). It sent its top Olympic leaders to the OCA to argue their case, but they failed. Twenty years earlier, by the beginning of the 1950s, South Africa’s apartheid and Taiwan were considered “pariahs” by the International Table Tennis Federation.

By 1974, in Mexico City, the FIVB -the world volleyball’s governing body- was one of the major sporting organizations to break ties to Taipei after China’s admission. Inexplicably, the island was expelled by a vote of 54 in favor, 18 against, and 3 abstentions. In spite of these hurdles, the country’s sporting officials sent many athletic contingents to Taiwan’s diplomatic partners throughout the world. Within these years, for example, a swimming team -integrated by seven locals and five American-trained athletes- departed for Latin America. During their tour, they astonishingly gained a Buenos Aires meet, upon capturing twenty-two events. A couple of years earlier, the islanders came in third place at an Uruguay meet by bagging nine medals -behind America (40 trophies) and Argentina (15).

In anti-Communist times, the Taiwanese capital hosted the William Jones Basketball Cup; over 50 basketball teams, including Britain, Sweden and Bolivia, were offered an all-expense paid trip o Taipei to attend the international meet. Chinese-Taipei was also one of the first states in Asia to maintain close ties with the Spanish-speaking world. At the time, for example, two national coaches headed for La Paz to train the Bolivian national team for the 1977 Bolivarian Games.

Overcoming Obstacles

In an attempt to isolate the island, the Communist China had boycotted the Games in the space of three decades to protest Taiwan’s Olympic participation. But during Los Angeles 1984 Olympics, it -after an absence of 12 years- and the People’s Republic marched for the first time in the Parade of Nations. Thereafter, Taiwan was a pariah no longer.

By 1984, the Chinese mainland made its Olympian debut and the island its ninth appearance after competing at Los Angeles’32, Berlin ’36 – where the Taiwanese anthem was honored as the world’s best piece- London ’48, Melbourne ’56, Rome’60 (debut with the name Formosa), Tokyo ’64, Mexico ’68, and Munich’72.

In California, its international return this year could not have been better: Surprisingly, Taiwan won its first medal since 1984 as it was medalist in the weightlifting competition with Tsai Wen-yee. Unequivocally, he was the key figure behind Taiwan’s return.

As well as snaring a medal in the weightlifting event, the nation’s baseball got the bronze in the Demonstration Tournment. On this occasion, Kuo Tai Yuan became one of the top baseball players in Southern California.

To prepare for the 1984 Olympiad, Chinese Taipei’s baseball entered many international meets. A year earlier, they finished third at the 1983 Intercontinental Cup,which was held in Belgium, after having participated in the 28th Seoul World Tournament. Around this time, the baseball team departed for the Caribbean to attend a Cuba meet. On the other hand, this baseball-mad nation earned the Junior 1983 Global title – the nucleus of the country’s baseball squad at the 1992 Spain Olympics.

During the Los Angeles XXIII Games, Taiwan’s Olympic team was represented by 59 élite competitors (51 sportsmen and 8 women). On that occasion, there were islanders in more than a dozen disciplines: archery (6 entries), athletics (10), baseball (20), boxing (2), cycling (2), fencing (2), judo (5), modern pentathlon (1), sailing (2), shooting (3), swimming (5), tennis (1), weightlifting (4), and wrestling (2). Likewise, the national delegation was accompanied by thirty sports officials.

Following Taiwan’s participation at Los Angeles’84, the Asian athletes began its return to global sporting events, attending the Men’s Volleyball World Cup in Paris (France), between September and October 1986, where the national side placed 15th by defeating heavily favored Venezuela (runners-up at the South American Cup in Caracas) with a score of 15-5, 12-15, 15-10, and 15-3. Subsequently, the women’s basketball team headed for Moscow – the capital of the Soviet Empire– to attend the Global competition despite a troubled history between the island and the Kremlin. Soon afterwards, the hockey national squad was one of the competitors in the World Cup in Colombia. Likewise, for the first time a Taiwanese was medalist in the Junior IAAF Global Athletics Tournament in Canada when the up-and-coming Hui-Fang Nai got the bronze in the men’s long jump with a mark of 7,77m.

Summer Olympics in South Korea

At the 1988 Seoul Games, many Asian nations won individual medals (for example: Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, and the Islamic republic of Iran), but not Taiwan-one of the most disappointing results in its history. Its once flourishing athletic system had been in decline. Fortunately, however, its fighters, Chin Yu-fang and Chen Jiun-feng, obtained medals, gold and bronze, in the Taekwondo competition, which was introduced as a demonstration sport in the 1988 Olympiad.

In Korea, the baseball squad narrowly missed the bronze when they were one of the four best teams, among eight competitors in the demonstration event. By 1984, they got the bronze in the under-20 World Cup on Canadian soil and climbed even higher at the Senior Global Championship two years later, capturing the silver medal.

On September 25, 1986, the Taiwanese Olympic Committee was readmitted to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after withdrawing 13 years earlier. Four years on, the sports leaders announced that the rule will allow their athletes to compete in mainland China with the name of “Chinese Taipei”. Shortly afterwards, on September 17, 1990, a 200-member contingent departed for the People’s Republic for the nation’s first attendance of the Asian Games since 1970. Then, there were 186 islanders at the First East Asian Games at Shangai. By 2001, Chinese Taipei’s 106 élite athletes departed for Beijing to attend the World University Games.

Chinese Taipei’s Baseball At The 1992 Barcelona Olympics

By 1992, the international governing organization for baseball ruled that professional players were eligible to participate in the Summer Games on Barcelonese soil. This decision favored to many countries with professional athletes abroad, among them Taiwan. In team sports, for the first time the nation won an official berth in the Olympiad when the baseball national squad won the right to represent Asia in the Barcelona Games in the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Throughout Taiwan’s national passion, baseball –which was introduced by America- Chinese Taipei had one of its most memorable Olympics when it advanced beyond the first round and gained silver medal in the First Baseball Tournament in the 1992 Games, remembering the golden years of Taiwan’s baseball (1970s).

In Spain, they lose to Cuba (a long-standing competitor in the baseball world) in the gold-medal game-Taiwan’s first medal during Post Cold War (and team sports). Since then,the country’s baseball players majority had played in top clubs in the States. Liao Ming-hsiung was one of the most gifted players of the silver-medal-winning baseball team.

Prior to participating on Spaniard soil, this baseball-mad nation won several trophies, special awards, and medals in the Western Hemisphere, from the United States and Cuba to Canada: the Little League World Series twice in 1990 and 1991 after being runner-up in 1989 and winning the international title for the third time in a row (1986, 1987 and 1988). Aside from that, by the beginning of the 1990s, the islanders obtained a pairs of medals in the Intercontinental championship and the Junior World Cup. Thus, the Taiwanese contingent was regarded as one of the top contenders on Barcelonese soil.

Baseball is at the top of Taiwan’s list of favorite sports, followed by taekwondo. There are more than 720 baseball stadiums on the island. In fact, one of the most notable moments of the country’s baseball occurred in the early 1970s when the Asian republic became the second country to win back-to-back the Little League World Series.

Taiwan: Democracy & Sports

In spite of having one of the top Olympic centers in Far East -Tsoying National Sports Training Center and the Northern National Sports training Center — there was a lack of athletic progress in the Centennial Games staged in Atlanta, U.S. On that occasion, the nation’s sports administrators sent seventy-four islanders -among Taiwan’s largest delegations in the 100-year-history of the Modern Olympic Games– but their sporting squad only earned a silver when, on July 30, 1996, Cheng Jing, a former sportswoman from the People’s Republic, was second in the women’s table tennis singles, the nation’s first individual medal since 1984.

In the XXVIII Summer Games in Australia in 2000, Taiwan’s sport had a good performance after receiving five individual medals (one silver and four bronze)-just at a time when Taiwan abandoned its 50-year-old anti-Communist style one-party state. On this occasion, about 80% of the nation’s total medal count came from female Olympians.

Chinese-Taipei’s 2000 Olympic delegation was represented by a 74-member team with entries in a dozen disciplines: archery, athletics, badminton, diving, cycling, sailing, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwomdo, tennis, and weightlifting. On this occasion, the Asian republic did not take part at the Olympic Baseball Championship for the first time.

Taiwan: A Sleeping Giant in the World of Weightlifting

In Sydney 2000, the Taiwanese delegation won two weightlifting medals in the women’s Olympic tournament. On September 18, once more a sportswoman put the national flag on the Olympic stage as Li Feng-ying was runner-up in the women’s 53-kilogram category after beating Sei Indrayi of Indonesia. The next day, on September 19, the world-class lifter dominated the front-page headlines in Taipei. In the meantime, her fellow countrywoman Yi Hang-kuo earned a bronze in the 75-kilogram category. A few years ago, the women’s national squad made history in the 68th World Weightlifting Cup in Chiangmai, Thailand, when they were second with total of 817 points, behind only China (1,309 points).

The Asian republic took two taekwondo bronze medals in Oceania: Chih-Hsiung Huang, placed third in the men’s 58-kilogram category behind Greece’s Michail Mouroutsis and Gabriel Esparza of Spain (silver), meanwhile Shu Ju-chi was medalist in the women’s event. Aside from that, the island’s table tennis star Jing Chen came away with a bronze in the women’s singles, behind Nan Wang and Ju Li, both players from the People’s Republic. Chen had been medalist foru years ago.

Chun Mo-yen: A New Star In The Taiwanese Sky

At the Games of the 28th Olympiad in Athens, the 2004 national delegation picked up a total of six medals in two disciplines-Taiwan’s best performance in the 108-year-history of the Modern Olympics. On this occasion, sportswomen won two medals.

The island’s sports czars sent a 87-person contingent to Greece and competing in the following disciplines: archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, cycling, judo, rowing, shooting, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and weightlifting.

Chinese-Taipei’ long dream of winning an Olympian title was realized at the 2004 Athens Olympics by gaining a pairs of individual golds with Chun Mo-yen (men’s flyweight) and Chen Shih-hsian (women’s flyweight), both titles were won in taekwondo competition. In fact, an important milestone in the development of Taiwanese sport. Through two major medals, they also contributed to give the island’s athletes more respect on the Planet. Historically, Taiwan is a powerhouse in taekwondo on Earth, having amassed 73 medals (14 gold, 23 silver, 36 bronze) during the World competitions -behind only South Korea and Spain.

Of the country’s eighty-seven elite competitors at Athens 2004, Chun Mo-yen was one of the favorites to capture a gold after capturing a gold in the 2003 Taekwondo World Cup. It was one of the most memorable moments of his life when the gold medal was placed around his neck, becoming the first male from Taiwan to win that honor. Immediately, there were celebrations on the island. Chun Mo-yen was a respect figure in the group of talented fighters that flourished in the first years of the 21st century. In fact, he is already national hero in his home nation.

The nation’s best previous finish in the Games were silvers at Sydney 2000 (women’s weightlifting), Atlanta 1996 (women’s table tennis) and Barcelona 1992 (men’s baseball).

Like in Azerbaijan (shooter Zemfira Meftakhetdinova), Colombia (weightlifter Maria Isabel Urrutia), Costa Rica (swimmer Claudia Poll) and the former Soviet republic of Estonia (cyclist Erika Salumae), a womam (Chen Shih-hsian) had the distinction of being the first individual from Taiwan to earn the Olympic title, paving the way for new titles.

In 2004, the baseball national side came in 5th in the Olympic Championship, behind Cuba (gold), Australia (silver), Japan (bronze),Canada (fourth) and ahead of Holland (sixth), Greece (seventh) and Italy (last) -having won the right to do so by capturing a berth in the Asian Tournament. The team was represented by star pro players, who had placed second at the 2002 Busan Asian Games after losing to Japan in the finals (4-3). A year ago, the national side obtained a bronze at the 34th Baseball World Cup. In Far East, this land is producing more talent players than any other nation after South Korea. Chinese-Taipei’s professional pitcher Wang Chien-Ming, who played for the New York Yankees, was one of the best players in the early 2000s.

London 2012 Olympics

During Beijing’s bid to host the 2008 Olympics, Taipei’s rule supported the Olympian project with sports exchanges with the Chinese mainland. By 2008, Chinese-Taipei’s sporting administrators sent élite competitors to Beijing. On that occasion there were national delegations in archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, cycling, judo, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, and weightlifting.

Its women’s national side was one of the eight competitors in the Softball Olympic Competition at Fengtai Sports Center, site of the Beijing Olympic softball events. The Asian Republic also gained an Olympian berth in the Baseball Tournament, alongside America, Canada, Cuba, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea (winner),and the host nation. In team sports, however, the women’s basketball team of Chinese-Taipei failed to qualify for the Beijing Games in the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Chinese-Taipei’s 2008 Olympian squad earned only four bronzes: Chen Wei-ling and Lu Ying-chi (women’s weightlifting), and Chun Mu-yen and Sun Yu-hi (men’s taekwondo). Chun Mu-yen became one of the first national competitors to bag medals in two Olympics. On the other hand, Lai Sheng-jung was named as the flag bearer of the national contingent at the Opening Ceremony.

Two years earlier, the Asian republic had finished 10th in the medal count at the Continental Games in staged Doha (Qatar), ahead of Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Hong Kong.

Taiwan’s 2012 Olympian squad at London will be represent by elite athletes in more than a dozen disciplines: aquatics, archery, badminton, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, judo, martial arts, rowing, sailing, shooting, table tennis, tennis, track-and-field, weightlifting, and wrestling. By contrast, Chinese-Taipei will not compete in team sports after failing in the Continental pre-Olympics in basketball, field hockey, handball, soccer, and volleyball. Best medal chances are likely to come in disciplines such as archery, badminton, martial arts, and weightlifting.

At last year’s worlds in South Korea -the indisputed capital of taekwondo– Western Europe, the nation won a handful of medals with top-class competitors such as Wei Cheng-yang (taekwondo), Cheng Shao-chieh (badminton),and Huang Shih-hsu (weightlifting). In women’s singles, Taiwan’s would-be star Cheng Shao-chieh lost to China’s badminton player Wang Yihan in the gold-medal match at the BWF World Cup in England in August 2011. In the past months, the athletic delegation also obtained several trophies on home soil and abroad.

The 2012 Olympic delegation also might win medals in judo, shooting and table tennis. On the other side, at the Asian Games in Chinese mainland, a couple of years earlier, the national representatives amassed 67 medals (13 gold, 16 silver, 38 bronze), finishing 7th in the medal count. They were the nucleus of he country’s Olympian squad at the 2012 London Olympics.

In today’s globalised society, Taiwan has not foreign-born athletes on their Olympic delegations, being one of the few industrialized nations without foreign-born athletes on the Olympic stage.

Let's talk about pre-game communication with coaches and school personnel. Some people think we just walk on the field and officiate the game, right? Wrong !! Today I will talk about the pregame routine and all the details we address as a high school football crew.

As a rule, we like to be on the field at least 35 minutes prior to kickoff time. During this time members of the crew should meet with each team's head coach and follow these rules of communication:

The High School Football white hat (Referee):

* Does most of the talking
* He is your 'General' – please allow him to maintain that level of respect and professionalism
* He will introduce the crew members
* Everyone shakes hands, showing the head coach respect
* The referee orders the head coach if all players are legally equipped – do all players have the proper playing equipment?
* Do any players have any casts that may require a doctor's approved note to play?
* Do any players have any wraps or braces that need to be examined for metal or sharp edges and for proper padding (safety concerns)?
* If there are any casts, wraps or braces the referee instructions the umpire to review them for proper padding
* Does the team run any special formations or trick plays so that the crew knows ahead of time to watch for them?
* Does the team's quarterback throw left or right handed (so that the referee knows which side to be on for the quarterback's protection)?
* Is the team's field goal kicker left or right footed (so that the crew knows their positions on field goals or extra points)?
* The referee states any special points of emphasis this year – sideline clearance in the players box, horse collar, etc.
* Does the home team have any special activities prior to the game or during half time that may take additional time?
* The referee will give the coach a card with the crew's names and positions
* The referee will ask the coach who is the 'get back' coach – this is the coach who helps the side line official control the team box
* The referee will ask the coach to identify the game ball person
* The referee will then ask the coach if he has any questions for the crew

The High School Football Umpire:

* Assists the referee when meeting with coaches
* Allows the referee to do most of the talking
* Reviews any documentation, ie, doctor's notes for any players with cast or wraps
* Reviews padding for casts, wraps or braces to assess the proper protection for player safety

The High School Football Linesman

* Checks the "line to gain" equipment for several things
* Checks that the chains actually measure 10 yards (or 15 yards for 6 man) (do not laugh, at times the chains are too short!)
* The linesman communicates with the chain crew:

  • He explains what they should do and should not do
  • He tells them to never move without the referee or linesman are signaling to move to the next ball spot
  • He tells the down box person to move to his spotting foot each down
  • He tells the down box person to manage the chain clip (for measurements) each first down
  • He tells the down box person where to place the chain clip
  • He tells the entire chain crew to never move the chains or down box if they see a penalty marker
  • He tells the entire chain crew to drop the chains (another reason for the clip) if play comes their way

* Do the chains have a piece of tape directly in the middle at the 5 yard mark?
* Now why would you ever need a silly piece of tape in the middle of the chains?

  • It helps the linesman and decidee determine whether the penalty will result in a first down
  • The tape makes it easy to know if a 5 yard penalty or penalty inside the 10 (half the distance) will give you a possible first down
  • As the referee you do not have to guess, you can view the tape and know if a 5 yard penalty gives you a first down
  • We make a point to replace that tape every game

The High School Football Line Judge:

* Secures and reviews the game balls
* Communicates to the ball person to always stay near the line judge and linesman for quick ball rotation when a ball is needed
* Communicates with the ball person to always retrieve the game balls when they go out of bounds during plays
* Communicates with the ball person to place a ball behind the goal posts prior to an extra point so that the ball is ready for the crew
* Reviews the starting time

The High School Football Back Judge:

* Is responsible for the game timing
* Is responsible for the 25 second clock – timing when the "ready for play" is signaled
* Is responsible for the 45/15 second clock for time outs and between scores
* Is responsible for:

  • meeting with the clock operator
  • communicating the signals to the clock operator
  • communicating the overtime procedure with the clock operator
  • communicating to turn off any horns at the end of the period timing
  • communicating with the clock operator to look for him to start the half time clock

As a crew, you need to be sure that everyone knows their pre-game responsibility. This will help you maintain credibility with the coaches and school officials which will lead to a much smoother game for everyone.

Even if you’ve never been to a Texas high school football game, you probably know that these games and the fans who follow them are somewhat different than other high school football games and fans. In Texas, football isn’t a sport and it isn’t an extra-curricular activity. No, it’s almost been elevated to the level of a religion. To say that Texas high school football fans are passionate about the spot would be an understatement; a huge understatement.

Friday Night Lights may have been first a popular book and then a film but it all started with the true story of one season with the Odessa Permian Panthers. Hollywood didn’t need to pump up the real life story of this Texas high school team with fabrication; the real story was already enough of a legend to carry it all the way to the silver screen.

If you think you know high school football, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen it from the Lone Star State. Even the smaller schools really get involved. It’s not uncommon to see entire caravans traveling the Texas highways on Friday nights; the football team, drill team, cheerleaders, marching band and sponsor. All of that can easily require a dozen buses or so. And that’s not even including the hordes of parents and fans that travel right along with them. In relatively few other events will you see devoted fans travel hundreds of miles for a playoff game; and keep in mind that in Texas that’s entirely possible. The border from east to west stretches almost one thousand miles.

So, what is it exactly about Texas high school football in particular that seems to appeal to such a mass audience? While there may be no definitive answer for that question, there is definitely one certainty: nothing else on earth has quite the same intensity and passion to it. You can feel it reverberating in the air when you step into any high school football stadium throughout the state.

High school football fans in Texas are not just passionate about football; they live it and breathe it. On any given Friday night during football season in Texas you’re likely to see just about as much violence in the stands as you are on the turf if one fan happens to aggravate another.

And that’s not even mentioning the rivalry that can take place between teams in Texas. While it’s not uncommon at all for neighboring towns throughout the country to form high school football rivalries, Texans take it to a whole new level. In many cases, extra policeman have to be called out during big rival games just to keep the peace among the crowd. In a few instances, some towns had to stop even playing one another at all because of the violence that ensued between fans in the stands and on the sidelines during rival games.

The exact allure of Texas high school football may be somewhat difficult to describe, but one thing is certain: you feel it when you experience it.

If the rest of the world loves soccer, Texans love football.

Going to an NFL football game is exciting and adventurous when you are in a wheelchair. But, how do you do it? If you love football, there is nothing better than seeing your favorite team in their home stadium. Being in a wheelchair presents both obstacles and benefits. This is my experience with FedEx field, but some stadiums have different policies.

First of all, you need tickets to the NFL football game of your choice. How do you get a wheelchair space at an NFL football game? Searching for wheelchair assessable tickets brings no results. There are handicap assessable seats in the stadium, but when you look at the online ticket sellers, there are no tickets handicap or wheelchair seats for sale. They just do not sell them. The truth is that regular NFL football game tickets are exchanged for wheelchair seats at the stadium. These special seats come with a space for a wheelchair and a regular seat next to it for a companion.

Generally these seats are at the front of the section. That is a real bonus. You get a clear view of the game with no one directly in front of you or behind you. Even with so-so tickets, you get great seats. You can exchange two tickets for these seats or just one for the wheelchair space if you are going to the game alone. Also because you are exchanging the tickets, you can get a better deal on tickets. Buy the cheapest tickets you can find for the section you choose. It doesn’t matter if they are front row, back row or aisle, you will be exchanging them anyway.

Great. Now you have tickets, but how do you get to the stadium? The parking lots are huge. Look on the team’s website. There should be a stadium diagram and a diagram of the parking lots. Find the handicap assessable lots. These will have shuttles with lifts to take you right up to the stadium. That’s another bonus, no long walk from the parking lot.

Above all, make your trip to and NFL football game an event. Consider going to the team sponsored tailgate party. You need to be there early anyway to get good parking and exchange tickets, so you might as well enjoy the food. There are other things to do during the tailgate party like meeting some of the cheerleaders and former players. Of course you will probably also like to visit the team store.

The key to going to an NFL football game is planning. There are extra things to consider when you are in a wheelchair. Arrive early. Get good parking. Exchanging NFL football game tickets is done on a first come, first served basis. Exchange early to assure yourself a seat. Enjoy the football game!

The Olympics are unlike any other sporting competition on the planet. For 16 days, over 300 events representing 35 sports and every country on the planet compete to take home their prized medals, and I have looked forward to watching the Summer Olympics every 4 years since as far back as I can remember. But there’s always been something missing. One of the United States most popular sports, and a top 10 sport throughout the world, it looks as though tackle and flag football could be Olympic sports by the year 2024, but issue obstacles still remain for that to become a reality. First we’ll walk through some reasons why the road to getting American Football included into the Olympics has not been an easy journey, followed by why we believe flag football to be the logical solution and choice as a future Olympic sport.

WHY ISN’T AMERICAN FOOTBALL ALREADY AN OLYMPIC SPORT?

According to an article by NFL.com, the biggest logistical problems facing the sport of American Football being included in the Olympics are very similar to that of Rugby. With the large numbers of participants on each team, the “gender equality” formats where both men and women participate in every sport, and the compressed 3 week schedule that would be tough with a more physical game like football and rugby. Furthermore for American Football, the barrier to entry is high due to it’s cost to equip all players with pads and gear, and therefor has also been slow to adopt in many foreign countries, especially of the poorer variety.

Knowing all this, it’s hard to see how either sport would be a good fit for the Summer Olympics. Rugby is a lot like Soccer in that very little is needed to play the sport in terms of gear and practice at it’s base level, and has a much larger international following. This among other reasons has recently allowed Rugby to be cleared for the Olympics starting in 2016 by changing the traditional style to a less traditional “sevens” format which is faster paced with less people, which could help carve a similar path for American Football, or flag football more specifically.

TACKLE SAFETY CONCERNS

Even more and more high school, college and pro teams are starting to reduce the number of contact practices, still sporting the likes of soft-padded headgear and shoulder pads for added protection. But what if we could limit the contact players see before high school and middle school while also addressing some of the concerns for the sport related to it being fully accepted into the Olympics?There’s a lot of talk recently revolving around the safety of tackle football, and not just in the NFL where concussions are a major concern. Starting as far back as the youth football level, recent evidence has surfaced supporting the idea that even short of a concussion, repeated head impacts and collision can manifest in similar brain injuries later in life for kids tested between the ages of 8-13. Many researchers are suggesting kids shouldn’t be playing football at all, suggesting that kids’ heads are “a larger part of their body, and their necks are not as strong as adults’ necks. So kids may be at a greater risk of head and brain injuries than adults.”

DREW BREES BELIEVES FLAG FOOTBALL CAN SAVE FOOTBALL

As of 2015, studies show that flag football is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States, greatly outpacing the growth of traditional tackle football. Many individual high schools are making the switch to flag football over tackle, getting other schools in their regions to follow suit creating organized leagues and divisions. It’s even an officially recognized varsity sport in many states, and with women especially flag football is a way to allow easier participation versus the physical nature of tackle.And he’s not the only one. Recently Drew Brees was interviewed by Peter King for NBC’s pregame show and had some strong words on why he believes flag football is the answer. “I feel like flag football can save football,” Brees said. Brees coaches his son’s flag football team, and played flag football himself through junior high, never playing tackle football until high school. “I feel like (flag football) is a great introductory method for a lot of kids into football,” Brees mentioned. “Otherwise I feel it’s very easy to go in and have a bad experience early on and then not want to ever play it again. I feel like once you put the pads on there are just so many other elements to the game, and you’re at the mercy of the coach in a lot of cases too. And to be honest, I don’t think enough coaches are well-versed enough in regards to the true fundamentals of the game especially when the pads go on at the youth level.” Many other pro athletes and coaches have expressed similar sentiments as well, singing praises for the sport of flag football, and the rise in popularity of the sport echoes that.

Flag football isn’t a fluke or just a recreational development tool that feeds into tackle football, it’s a full-fledged movement that has it’s own identity and purpose and it’s time we recognized that distinction.

Internationally it is gaining popularity as well, much faster it seems than traditional American football where the barrier to entry is much higher with the need for full pads and gear. In Mexico for instance, flag football is booming in popularity, where most consider it to be the #2 sport to soccer and closing fast, with and estimated 2.5 million kids participating just at the elementary school level. International teams are starting to make the trip to some of the more popular American flag football tournaments, with representation from Panama, Indonesia, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and more a common occurrence.

Everywhere you look, participation and interest in the sport flag football is exploding.

At an adult level, it was a record year for the sport of flag football. New major tournaments are popping up across the world, seeing thousands of teams competing across all age groups, formats and styles. Cash prizes have been at an all time high, expected to eclipse over $100,000 in team giveaways in the next calendar year. Sponsors have started taking notice as well, with the likes of EA Sports, Nerf, Hotels.com, Red Bull and other major brands seeing the value and growth from flag football as a way to effectively reach their target audience in large numbers. Women’s participation is at an all-time high as well, mirroring it’s popularity at the youth level, and is the preferred format of play for American football in most Central to South American countries.

So how does this all lead back to the Olympics and getting American football included as an official sport? First, let’s review a little history on where the sport stands today with the International Olympic Committee, or IOC.

Historically, In order to be included into the Olympic games as a demonstration sport, you have to have an International Federation and have held a World Championship competition. This must take place a minimum of 6 years before a scheduled Olympic games. The International Federation of American Football, primarily focused on tackle football but includes flag in it’s tournament lineup, met this standard and was approved in 2012, and gained provisional recognition in 2014. This could pave the way for American football to be included as an official sport, and flag football as possibly a discipline of said sport, however the IFAF has since faced setbacks due to alleged scandal, event mismanagement and misappropriation of funds that cannot bode well for the sports inclusion short term. Fortunately in 2007 the IOC adopted a new, more flexible rule set allowing programs to be up for review after every Olympics starting in 2020, clearing a path for all sports to present their case for being included by winning a simple majority vote.

So the opportunity is there for American football to be included in the most prestigious sporting event around the world, but how do we overcome the obstacles presented by the structure of the sport to fit the mold of a successful Olympic sporting event?

FLAG FOOTBALL IS THE KEY TO OLYMPIC INCLUSION

For every way tackle football doesn’t fit the mold as a logical choice for the IOC, there’s flag football. Here are the top 4 reasons flag football should be considered to be included as the next Olympic sport.

1. It’s Less Physically Demanding than Tackle Football

As we’ve already established, flag football is a much safer alternative than tackle football. Less hits and collisions equal fewer injuries, and flag football is already a proven success model that’s being praised for preserving the game for future generations. But when it comes to the Summer Olympic Games, safety is just one aspect of the physical demands of the sport, considering you have less than a 3 week window to fit in all levels of competition, and the year-round activity needed to practice and qualify. Imagine playing 6-7 full contact football games with a limited roster all within a span of ~16 days, not to mention other possible qualifying events throughout the year. For flag football, it’s not uncommon to play 6-7 games in a weekend or sometimes even a day, so the sport is more than equipped for this style of tournament play.

2. International Flag Football Interest is Exploding

As mentioned above, this is a major issue when determining whether a sport is fit to be considered, and while traditional American style tackle football is extremely popular worldwide as well, flag football appeals to more countries. It’s a lower barrier to entry as far as cost and equipment go, don’t require full length and striped football fields to participate, and is easier to hold larger tournament competitions and leagues to inspire local interest.

3. It Requires Fewer Participants

Depending on which format would be used (our guess is either 5v5 or 7v7), flag football requires far fewer participants than traditional tackle football. Part of this is due to it being a less physically demanding sport and the need for less substitutions, and another part is due to needing less specialist players, such as kickers, punters, special teams, offensive lineman, etc. Where each traditional tackle football team would probably carry 50+ competitors, flag football would need probably 15 players at most, cutting that number to less than a third. This is important because the Olympics cap their total participants to 10,500 athletes and coaches. It also again allows more countries to compete, especially poorer countries, where fielding a smaller and less financially demanding team coupled with the reasons above makes more sense.

4. It’s Not Just a Men’s Sport

Gender equality is a major emphasis for the IOC. The 2012 Summer Olympics marked the first time all sports included competing women in their category. Today, any new sport that is added to the Olympic Games must include both male and female participants. For tackle football, there is just not nearly enough interest from women participators for it to make sense. While there are some female players, and even some female tackle football leagues and organizations, it just doesn’t fit the mold, especially with the other issues relating to physicality and barrier to entry. For flag football this is not a problem as detailed above, with female participation booming internationally.

NEXT STEPS FOR FLAG FOOTBALL AND OLYMPIC INCLUSION

So how do we take the next steps to ride the momentum of flag football straight into the next available Olympic games? The IFAF has already helped begin the process of getting the sport of American Football in front of the IOC in recent years, but with their public issues and seemingly no movement since 2014 more needs to be done to keep moving forward. What we do know is that flag football is being taken seriously at all levels for really the first time in history, with major organizations making moves to get more into the flag football space and the creation of bigger and more international events to fuel the sport. We believe that either on it’s own, or as a discipline of tackle football, flag football WILL be included in the Olympics at some level in the next 10-20 years.

If that happened, what do you think that would do to boost the popularity and legitimacy of the sport of flag football long term? Let us know in the comments below!