COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHEN ARE THE SEASONS?
Currently, there three flag seasons planned for 2024.
SPRING FLAG runs from approximately the last weekend in April until the third week of June.
FALL FLAG runs from the beginning of November to the end of January.
WINTER FLAG usually starts the end of January and runs through to the end of March.
WHAT DOES FLAG FOOTBALL COST?
Annual memberships are only charged once per calendar year. The cost for Spring registration is as follows:
League Fee $225.00
Football Canada Flag Player Membership $15.00
2024 Manitoba Annual Membership and Insurance $25.20
TOTAL $265.20 (includes memberships if required, and two game shirts/jerseys)
Some exceptions may apply for certain divisions or leagues.
IS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE?
All Football Manitoba Leagues are eligible for KidSport and Jumpstart. Before you apply for financial support from either organization you must provide details of the specific season and program information. This information will be provided by our office. Email: email@example.com
Links to apply online:
After you have completed your application with either of the above, use the flag registration link our office provides you to complete your registration to play. You must provide the KidSport or Jumpstart application confirmation number which you will receive immediately after completing the application. Once we receive a confirmation that your funding is approved we will finalize your child’s registration and assign them to a team.
WHAT AGES CAN PLAY?
Flag football is open to players as young as 7 right up to 19 years of age. To accommodate the recreational and competitive divisions, players are assigned using the following age groups based on their year of birth and the age they turn in the current year:
For the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 Seasons
U10 – players turning 7, 8 or 9 (born 2015-2017)
U12 – players turning 10 or 11 (born 2013-2014)
U14 – players turning 12 or 13 (born 2011-2012)
U16 – players turning 14 or 15 (born 2009-2010)
U18 – players turning 16 or 17 (born 2007-2010)
We try to schedule each age division on the same night as the previous Spring season. Here are the tentative game nights by division for 2024 (subject to change):
U18 (age 16 & 17) THURSDAY
U12 (age 10 & 11) MONDAY
U14 (age 12 & 13) TUESDAY
U16 (age 14 & 15) WEDNESDAY
U10 (age 7-9) THURSDAY
Each team plays two one-hour games back-to-back each game night, meaning that over the 6-7 weeks of regular season teams will have 12-14 regular season games, followed by a playoff week, and Championship games!
FALL and WINTER INDOORS
Games are played Saturdays and Sundays at the U of W Axworthy Health and RecPlex.
For the indoor seasons, teams only play one 1-hour game each week.
All U10-U18 age groups are coed divisions, meaning that girls of any age can play.
Any divisions noted as “Girls or Female” are restricted to female players.
Games are held at one of several participating community football clubs around Winnipeg. Our age groups have a specific “game night” which is the same night for the duration of the season. These fields are located in virtually every area of the city and teams can be assigned games at any one of them each week. There is no guarantee that your child’s games will be at a field close to home due to the size of the league. Flag football fields for games are quite a bit smaller than a regular football field. In fact, we usually have 4 flag football games being played at the same time on one regular tackle football field!
SPRING – Teams will typically practice once or twice per week in our Spring League. However the League has no requirement regarding practices and it is usually the coach and parents that agree on a practice schedule for their team. However, we expect that all teams should practice at least once per week, but no more than 3 practices. Practice days, times and locations are again determined with agreement among the team. Practices can be held anywhere there is a reasonable green space. School grounds or parks etc., are perfect practice locations as a large field is not needed for flag football.
FALL and WINTER – Some teams are able to locate a gym or community centre to practice. The cost of renting practice space falls on the team. Our League does offer some open time slots when available at the RecPlex for our teams to use at no cost to the team.
With the growth in the number of flag players, the need for coaches and parents to coach flag football also grows. Most of these coaches come back year after and invite the same players they coached in the previous season to play. These coaches register their team with the League and their players register specifically for that team
We have an equal number of teams that we create from players that have never played before and do not have a specific team they want to play with. Generally, we will group 10 players from the same area and create a team, then work to find a coach for the team. In many cases one or more of the parents step forward to help coach, and have such a good time they come back and offer to coach again the following season!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RECREATIONAL AND COMPETITIVE?
Competitive and recreational divisions are geared to two different types of young athletes to ensure that every one of our youth players has the experience he or she is looking for when participating in flag football.
The competitive divisions are for teams and athletes that place more emphasis on winning and is geared towards players who have prior experience playing flag football. The competitive divisions allows more highly skilled players and teams to compete with one another to help both the individual players and the teams to further development of their individual and team skills. It provides the opportunity to practice and compete in games against similarly skilled and experienced players and teams. The games in the competitive division are usually played at a quicker
The recreational divisions are intended for players and teams who are interested in having fun and learning the game. Many of the children that participate in this division may not have participated in youth flag football before and the emphasis is not on winning or losing, but instead on learning the basics of the game, skills and techniques, from footwork and ball-handling skills to the proper way to grab a flag or catch a pass.
More importantly, it also teaches how to work together with other teammates towards the same goal. Teamwork is essential to any sport and participating in the recreational division, with its emphasis on pulling together in pursuit of a common goal as a team, is a perfect platform for players who may never played flag football before, or have limited experience with flag football.
Almost 50% of our flag players register as individual players or “free agents” with no specific team they are to be assigned to, or with a specific coach.
Winnipeg has been divided into several “flag areas” based on boundaries used by the community tackle clubs. Teams are made up of players within the same flag area for ease of practices and carpooling, etc. Sometimes there are not enough available roster spots in your immediate area, in which case we would assign to the next closest team to your home area.
CAN MY CHILD BE ON A TEAM WITH A FRIEND?
SPRING SEASON offers a SMALL GROUPS option – during registration, you are given the opportunity to register as part of a small group. Your group would consist of your child and any friends they are wanting to play with. The first child in the group to register will select SMALL GROUP on the form. Once their registration is completed, they will receive a GROUP CODE via email to share with the friends, who in turn would enter that code when the register. All friends are then connected to be assigned together onto a team. This is not necessary if your child already has a team they are joining.
If you don’t know if the friends are playing do not create a Small Group – register as an individual and add their names in the space provided. Sometimes the friends might not register, or do so very late in the registration period after we have already assigned your child to a team. While we will make every effort to juggle players to accommodate these requests, we cannot guarantee it.
MY CHILDREN ARE DIFFERENT AGES. CAN THEY PLAY TOGETHER?
The league generally does not allow players to move down an age group, however players are allowed to age-advance one year only by age. Using the age divisions above as an example, a player that is 13 years old (U14 division) can move up to play with 14- and 15-year-olds (U16 division) however a 12-year-old (also U14) would not be permitted as they would be advancing 2 years by age
WHAT IF MY CHILD HASN’T PLAYED FOOTBALL BEFORE?
One fairly benefit to flag football unlike other sports is that most players with no previous football experience can learn the game and develop the skills required very quickly.
We have a very large number of new players at every age in flag football each season with no previous football background or experience, whether they are just starting off in organized sport, or adding another sport to another they currently play. Whatever their background with sport, anyone can learn the game in almost no time
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?
Included in your registration are 2 game shirts (one for home games and another for away games)
Players must to have a pair of shorts without pockets for safety reasons. The shorts should be a solid color without stripes or designs to avoid confusion for players pulling for the flags! Although these can be hard to find at the usual places to by children’s wear, they can be purchased through Football Manitoba in the registration form!
Cleats – football or soccer cleats are recommended as long as they have molded rubber cleats only. Good outdoor running shoes are also acceptable however players are more likely to slip on the grass or turf.
Football gloves are totally optional. There is no question that while football gloves can assist with catching the ball they are not required or recommended necessarily.