By Jason Head
For lovers of American football who don’t fancy the rough-and-tumble full contact, Flag Football West has the answer.
Flag football is a non-contact, social version of the increasingly popular sport of American football and is accessible for all types of people.
This version of the sport sees teams face off on a smaller version of a football field, making passes and catches while trying to avoid having the flags pulled from their waists (which counts as a tackle).
Gareth Weinbrecht has been an organiser of the weekly contest in WA since day one in March 2011.
He said the sport started as a way for the Curtin Saints contact team to have something to do in the offseason, but the interest from non-contact enthusiasts encouraged an expansion.
“It was a way to get younger people, smaller people and women involved in the sport as well,” he said.
He said people were drawn to the social atmosphere of the sport, and anyone and everyone could have fun catching and running with the ball
“Different [sports] aren’t as inclusive as usually the better athletes dominate and everyone else stands to the side,” Weinbrecht said.
Jared Steyn has been a regular player for the last 3 years, and said that he enjoyed the laid back, supportive and social aspect to the game.
“The league doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a good way to wind down the weekend while spending time with mates,” he said.
Both Steyn and Weinbrecht said that joining a social league like Flag Football West was a great way to meet new people who share similar interests and get some physical exercise.
“I joined this league with my friends three years ago and I haven’t looked back,” Steyn said.
“I think mainly the social atmosphere is what it’s about,” Weinbrecht said.