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Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) sanctions girls flag football as high school sport with support from Broncos


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Girls flag football is here to stay in Colorado.

Following a three-year pilot program supported by the Broncos and Denver Broncos Foundation, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) voted Tuesday to officially sanction girls flag football as a high school sport.

"This is a historic moment for Colorado and most importantly for girls in our state who have a new pathway into sports through flag football," Broncos Owner and Denver Broncos Foundation Board Chair Carrie Walton Penner said. "In addition to providing an amazing platform for empowerment, inclusion and teamwork, girls flag creates a powerful sense of belonging and community for our next generation of leaders.

"I want to recognize 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 champion opportunities for girls to thrive mentally, emotionally and physically through flag football and other high-impact programs for youth."

One of the fastest-growing sports, flag football will debut as an Olympic sport in 2028. And now, Colorado will provide the sport as an option for girls high school athletes. Colorado is the 11th state in the U.S. to sanction girls flag football as a high school sport, and girls flag football becomes the 14th fall activity and 21st girls activity recognized by CHSAA. The approval from the CHSAA Legislative Council comes following an extensive and rigorous sanctioning process.

The Denver Broncos Foundation, with support from the Broncos and CHSAA, launched the state's girls flag football pilot program in 2021 and funded the inaugural seasons from 2022-23. The initial pilot program featured 50 schools, 10 school districts and nearly 1,500 girls who appeared in nearly 850 games.

The program saw a significant increase in participation in 2023, as the number of participants (1,316) and number of games (680) grew by 161 percent and 310 percent, respectively.

"Thrilled doesn't even begin to cover it," CHSAA Commissioner Mike Krueger said. "This isn't just about the game. It's about empowerment, teamwork and breaking barriers. By embracing this sport, we're not only fostering athleticism, but we're remaining among the nation's leaders in providing opportunities for female athletes to participate. We are cultivating leadership, confidence and equality — on and off the field — and we are igniting a new era of inclusivity and self-empowerment for every girl who participates. Get ready to witness the unstoppable force of these girls as they redefine the playing field and inspire generations to come!"

The Broncos have shown consistent support for the pilot program since its introduction, as the team hosted the program's championship tournament at Centura Health Training Center in each of the last two seasons. The Broncos also hosted a round-robin exhibition tournament in 2023. Members of Broncos leadership and several players attended each of these events to show their support.

Following the official sanctioning of the sport, the Denver Broncos Foundation will continue to support the sport via seasonal programming, coaching clinics, athlete and coach recognition and youth health and wellness initiatives.

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