Many churches are hosting flag football and touch football events for their youth ministries. In full-contact football, players wear extensive padding and safety equipment. Virtually no protective gear is used for flag or touch football, and yet players still can experience high levels of contact, both intentionally and unintentionally. Here are nine quick safety tips to keep players safe on the gridiron:
- Before play begins, inspect the playing area for hazards and make sure the field is clearly marked.
- Check that the playing area includes a buffer zone.
- Maintain a balance between skill and size when dividing up teams.
- Before play begins, explain the rules of the game including what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
- Have participants warm up before play begins.
- Before the game starts, instruct participants to remove any jewelry such as rings, bracelets, or watches that could cut another player.
- Instruct players not to wear metal cleats.
- Instruct supervisors to correct inappropriate behavior immediately.
- Instruct supervisors on emergency procedures in case of an accident or a health problem.
For more help with church safety issues, see the downloadable resourceSafe Youth Trips and Activities.
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