No helmet, no pads no problem

Published 5:02pm Sunday, August 11, 2013

You can leave the pads and helmet at home, kids.

Atmore PeeWee Football League President Murray Johnson announced plans this week to bring a 7-on-7 flag football league to Atmore. A meeting has been scheduled Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Tom Byrne Park to discuss the idea further.

Joining the United States Flag Football Association would save parents money on equipment and travel. It would also help league organizers save money on accident and liability insurance, Johnson said.

“We have the funds to join the association and purchase the insurance,” Johnson said. “Additional funds would be needed for equipment, such as jerseys, footballs, field markers and referee expenses.”

In addition, insurance coverage would be cheaper for the non-tackle league, he said.

“In the past we’ve purchased insurance on a group basis through the American Youth Football Association,” Johnson said. “Instead of buying it for tackle, which can be more expensive, we’ll purchase it for flag football.”

A flag football league would lessen the liability involved in new concussion regulations, Johnson said.

“It’s not impossible to get a concussion in flag football, but it would be as obvious as the devil that you got hit in the head in that situation,” he said.

The 7-on-7 format would allow for more Atmore teams, which would require less travel, Johnson said.

“It would allow for more teams and allow you to compete locally,” he said.

The dimensions of a 7-on-7 field are smaller – only 45 yards – which would allow for multiple teams to play at the same time on baseball fields at Tom Byrne Park.

The ages of children would range from 6 to 12, but details like that and others will be discussed during Monday’s meeting.

Johnson added that registration could begin as soon as school starts and games could be scheduled as soon as next month.

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