J14 The physical capabilities of national league female American Flag Football players


  • Hannah McManus University Academy 92
  • Mitchell Finlay University Academy 92




Flag Football is the fastest growing format of American Football and is a recent addition to the 2028 Olympics. The Flag format is a non-contact version of American Football, where tackles are made by removing flags from players hips. Activity profiles in the NFL (Sanchez et al., 2013, App Sci, 13:9278; Wellman et al., 2016, J Strength Cond Res, 30, 11–19) have highlighted the need for high levels of strength, power, and speed. Given the similarities within Flag, these physical capabilities may be equally applicable to Flag players. However, a lack of literature on the Flag format, and the paucity of research in female football, irrespective of format, exists. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the physical fitness capabilities of a national league Women’s Flag Football team. Fourteen participants (age 28 ± 5 years; stature 166 ± 8 cm; mass 79 ± 29 kg) from a national league Women’s Flag team took part in a physical fitness testing battery comprising; countermovement jump (CMJ), squat jump (SJ), broad jump (BJ), 20-yard sprint and shuttle, and the Isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP). Participants were familiarised with testing procedures and initially completed a standardised warm-up. Mean and SD results from the jump assessments were as follows; CMJ jump height 25.1 ± 5.9 cm, peak power 39.1 ± 7.1 w/kg; SJ jump height 24.6 ± 6.3 cm, peak power 39.3 ± 6.6 w/kg; broad jump 1.89 ± 0.28 m. Absolute and relative peak force in the IMTP was 2201 ± 422 N and 30.1 ± 4.1 N/kg respectively. The Dynamic Strength Index (DSI) calculated from CMJ and IMTP peak force was 0.76 ± 0.12. Lastly, 20-yard sprint and shuttle times were 3.43 ± 0.28 and 5.36 ± 0.38 s respectively. Significant correlations were found between mean CMJ jump height and mean sprint time (p 0.001; r = −0.780), between mean CMJ jump height and mean shuttle time (p <.001; r −0.857), between mean BJ distance and mean shuttle time (p <0.01; r = 0.870) and between mean BJ distance and CMJ jump height (p <.001; r = −0.911). This study is the first of its kind to report the physical capabilities of female flag football players. The findings of this study may help develop the understanding of a growing and soon to be Olympic sport.