The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has officially approved girls flag football as a high school sport, with backing from the Broncos.

Colorado sanctions high school girls’ flag football

The Colorado High School Activities Association recently approved high school girls’ flag football as a varsity sport, making Colorado the 11th state to do so. This decision was influenced by a three-year pilot program spearheaded by the Denver Broncos and Denver Broncos Foundation.

Carrie Walton Penner, the Broncos Owner and Denver Broncos Foundation Board Chair, stated that this is a historic moment for Colorado, particularly for girls in the state, as they now have a new pathway into sports through flag football. She emphasized that girls flag football not only provides an amazing platform for empowerment, inclusion, and teamwork, but also creates a powerful sense of belonging and community for the next generation of leaders.

We would like to acknowledge the dedication of the Colorado High School Activities Association, the girls flag football pilot committee, our community impact team, the student-athletes and the coaches during the three-year sanctioning process. The Broncos are proud to support opportunities for girls to thrive mentally, emotionally and physically through flag football and other high-impact programs for youth.

In 2021, the Denver Broncos Foundation, in partnership with the Broncos and CHSAA, initiated the state’s first girls flag football pilot program. This program was then funded for its inaugural seasons in 2022-23. The pilot program involved 50 schools, 10 school districts, and almost 1,500 girls who participated in nearly 850 games.

In 2023, the program experienced a significant increase in participation, with the number of participants growing by 161 percent to 1,316 and the number of games growing by 310 percent to 680. This growth reflects a strong commitment to empowering female athletes and fostering leadership and equality both on and off the field.

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The Broncos have consistently supported the pilot program since its introduction, hosting the program’s championship tournament at Centura Health Training Center for the past two seasons. In addition, the team also hosted a round-robin exhibition tournament in 2023, with members of Broncos leadership and several players attending each of these events to demonstrate their support.

After the sport was officially sanctioned, the Denver Broncos Foundation will keep supporting it through seasonal programming, coaching clinics, recognizing athletes and coaches, and promoting youth health and wellness initiatives.

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